Back in June when AMD launched the Radeon 300 series, AMD made the unusual move of only releasing refresh SKUs for around half of their products. While the 390 series saw the release of the vanilla 390 and 390X parts, the 380, 370, and 360 were all released with just one SKU respectively. Furthermore all three parts were the second-tier configurations for their respective GPUs, each packing a partially disabled GPU. At the time we suspected that AMD was simply holding back some SKUs to avoid flooding the market all at once and to release those SKUs at a more convenient opportunity, and it looks like this is indeed the case.

Alongside yesterday’s R9 Nano unveil, AMD also quietly launched the R9 370X. The unexpectedly quiet launch of the SKU is due to the fact that AMD is only releasing it on a regional basis, at least for the time being. As reported by PCWorld, who received confirmation from AMD, the R9 370X is only going to be available in China at this time.

The China-only launch of the R9 370X comes shortly after the launch of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 950, a card that we expect will be especially popular in China given pricing, economics, and the specific popularity of free-to-play games in that market. As a result, AMD releasing a China-only SKU, while not normal, is not without merit since it’s likely going to be China and the greater APAC region where the real fight over sales volume for this class of parts will be. Still, we also expect that R9 370X will eventually come to North America, similar to how AMD rolled out some of the 200 series SKUs.

AMD GPU Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon R9 370X AMD Radeon R7 370 AMD Radeon R9 270X AMD Radeon HD 7870
Stream Processors 1280 1024 1280 1280
Texture Units 80 64 80 80
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Core Clock ? 925MHz 1000MHz 1000MHz
Boost Clock ? 975MHz 1050MHz N/A
Memory Clock 5.6Gbps GDDR5 5.6Gbps GDDR5 5.6Gbps GDDR5 4.8Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
FP64 1/16 1/16 1/16 1/16
TrueAudio N N N N
Transistor Count 2.8B 2.8B 2.8B 2.8B
Typical Board Power ? 110W 180W 190W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Architecture GCN 1.0 GCN 1.0 GCN 1.0 GCN 1.0
GPU Pitcairn Pitcairn Pitcairn Pitcairn
Launch Date China-Only 06/18/15 10/08/13 03/05/12
Launch Price N/A $149 $199 $349

As for the R9 370X itself, the SKU is the refresh successor to the R9 270X. This means we’re looking at a fully-enabled Pitcairn GPU with all 1280 stream processors enabled. This marks the fourth such desktop SKU for the full Pitcairn configuration, following the original Radeon HD 7870 and the R9 270 & 270X, both of the latter being fully enabled parts.

AMD Radeon Product Evolution
Predecessor GPU Successor
Radeon R9 290X Hawaii Radeon R9 390X
Radeon R9 285 Tonga Radeon R9 380
Radeon R9 270/270X
Radeon HD 7870
Pitcairn Radeon R9 370X
Radeon R7 265
Radeon HD 7850
Radeon R7 370
Radeon R9 260 Bonaire Radeon R9 360

At this time we don’t have official AMD specifications for the R9 370X SKU (nor do we expect to get them). Furthermore based on information released by TechPowerUp, the first card released is a factory overclocked Sapphire model, so we have limited information available on clockspeeds. However based on the 5.6Gbps memory speed, it would appear that this is closer to a straight re-badge than was the case with the release of the 200 series, as AMD reworked their board designs to improve memory clockspeeds for that refresh.

Sapphire's R9 370X Vapor X (Image Courtesy TechPowerUp)

In any case, while the R9 370X is China-only for the time being, don't be too surprised if we see it released in North America before too long, especially once R9 270 series supplies start dropping.

Sources: TechPowerUp & PCWorld

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  • dragonsqrrl - Sunday, August 30, 2015 - link

    Yes, the market is conspiring against AMD... AMD is just the unwitting victim of consumer ignorance and yellow journalism...

    ... that sounds about right.
  • Alexvrb - Monday, August 31, 2015 - link

    You want them to add a software feature that wasn't included? They add new software features all the time. They also backport them whenever it's cost effective/feasible. VSR is a good example. Are you saying they should make a software feature like that exclusive to the 300 series? Can you imagine the uproar? Heck you'd probably jump all over them. They can't win.
  • silverblue - Monday, August 31, 2015 - link

    The 370X is allegedly China-only - check Robert Hallock's replies (@Thracks) on Twitter, dated 27th August. Amusingly, it's dated before most of the articles on this subject were even written.
  • mr_tawan - Monday, August 31, 2015 - link

    why don't you apply for a marketting job at AMD ? You may be able to turn the tide upside down.
  • RaistlinZ - Friday, August 28, 2015 - link

    What's the point of this card? Why not just reduce the price of the 270X?
  • ddriver - Saturday, August 29, 2015 - link

    Cuz 370 is moar than 270, much moar ;)
  • AlB80 - Saturday, August 29, 2015 - link

    but R7 370 < R9 270 and it's true
  • AlB80 - Saturday, August 29, 2015 - link

    What's the point of R7 370? Why not just reduce the price of the R7 265?
  • Cryio - Saturday, August 29, 2015 - link

    It fits in the new naming scheme, it has 4 GB VRAM variant compared to only 2 GBs 270X and it has more efficient ram modules, therefore the card itself is more energy efficient while boasting better core clocks and especially memory clocks than the 7870 or 270X. It can overclock better too.
  • Alexvrb - Monday, August 31, 2015 - link

    Yeah if there's anything the 300 series have going for them it's that many models offer variants with more memory. Not sure about the overclocking claims, but they do also tend to come with faster memory clocks. That doesn't help the 370 enough but the 370X 4GB should do decent.

    Then again, the 380 has a 4GB variant too starting at $220 so they'd have to price a 4GB 270X pretty darn aggressively.

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