Read The Best AMD Radeon R9 285 Review

AMD Radeon R9 285
Credit: IGN India

With the AMD Radeon R9 285 , AMD’s aim is simple – to ensure its product is cheaper, easier to produce, and more power-efficient. To cut a long story short, with its new ‘Tonga’ design it wants to get rid of the inefficiencies from the old Tahiti chip that powers the 280. Indeed, it also intends to transcend its Nvidia rival. The AMD Radeon R9 285 is AMD’s new $249 midrange enthusiast card. 

Detail on Tonga

Detail on Tonga
Credit: Amazon

Indeed, Tonga is in multiple ways an optimized version of Tahiti. In fact, Tonga also happens to be the first GPU in AMD’s next Graphics Core Next architecture revision. We will come to term it as GCN 1.2. Indeed, AMD has made the confirmation that R9 285 is not deploying a “full” Tonga configuration. Thus, R9 285 will not be the highest possible configuration for Tonga.

A complete Tonga configuration will accommodate 2084 SPs. Indeed, 1792 of those SPs are active on AMD Radeon R9 285. This is combined with the card’s 32 ROPs attached to a 256-bit memory bus, and a 4-wide (4 geometry processor) frontend. If you compare it with Tahiti, the most obvious change is the memory bus size. Indeed, there is a reduction from 384-bit to 256-bit. In fact, compression is the reason why AMD is able to manage this. 

Indeed, Tonga’s geometry frontend has undergone an upgrade identical to Hawaii’s. Thus, there is an expansion in the number of geometry units (and number of polygons per clock) from 2 to 4. Indeed, there are truly some extra architectural efficiency improvements that should further enhance performance per clock. Thus, it will transcend what Hawaii can do in real life. 

The ultimate die size of Tonga is 359 mm square. In fact, it comes with an unexpectedly high 5 billion transistors. The narrower memory bus suggests that AMD was able to drop a pair of memory controllers and the memory crossbar. Indeed, AMD compensates for it with the extra transistors required to drive all of the additional features (and geometry processors) that Tahiti lacked. 


Being GCN 1.2 based indicates that the AMD Radeon R9 285 will usher in with its support for all of the features of GCN 1.1. This incorporates support for True Audio, support for bridgeless CrossFire. Not only this but R9 285 will also support GCN 1.1’s superior boost mechanism. In fact, the R9 285 will also hold up AMD’s upcoming FreeSync implementation of DisplayPort Adaptive Sync. 

Credit: Kotaku Australia


The AMD Radeon R9 285 deploys a 1792 stream processor Graphics Core Next GPU. Combined with these SPs are 112 texture units (in the standard 16:1 ratio). In fact, there are 32 ROPs on the backend of the rendering pipeline. Indeed, the card comes with a boost clock speed of 918 MHz. The memory is 2GB of GDDR5. This operates on a 256-bit bus. The card comes clocked at 5.5Hz for a total memory bandwidth of 176 GB/sec. 

The AMD Radeon R9 285 comes with a rated typical board power of 190W. Let us tell you that the rated typical board power is AMD’s analogue for TDP. You must take note of the fact that this is only 10W higher than the Pitcairn based R9 270X. 

Concluding lines…

If you are talking about GPUs, then it would be fruitful to take AMD Radeon R9 285 into consideration. Indeed, we all know that in a gaming set up,the GPU is the integral part. In fact, it is the most significant component that runs a particular game on a machine. You must not forget to tally it with your gaming requirements. 

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