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AMD Radeon R7 260X, R9 270X and R9 280X review: new name, better performance?

Rebrands or more performance?

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Introduction

Last week AMD unveiled its new series of graphics cards. We tested the first batch of new cards, consisting of the R7 260X, R9 270X and R9 280X. In this review you'll find all benchmark results, frametimes and – for the faster cards - EyeFinity benchmarks.

AMD announced seven new video cards in total: the R7 240, R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290 and R9 290X. The flagship cards, the R9 290 and R9 290X, are built around an entirely new GPU called Hawaii (guess where the launch event was held, it was a sunny place surrounded by water and there were coconuts). The other three, which we tested for this review, are based on chips used in the Radeon HD 7000 series. The R9 290 and R9 290X are set for release in the near future, so stay tuned.


The new AMD cards: the R9 280X, R9 270X and R7 260X.

This means that the entire Radeon HD 7000 series will very soon disappear from store shelves, at least according to Matt Skynner, head of AMD's GPU department. That would explain why we've seen some great deals lately on 7000 series cards. You can get a Radeon HD 7970 for € 249 already, or a Radeon HD 7990 starting at € 499. Both manufacturers and retails need to make space for the new generation. Since most of the new generation cards are basically rebrands, you can really make a steal if you need a new graphics card. Very soon you won't see Radeon HD 7750, 7870 and 7950 in stores anymore.

It's the first time in many years that AMD has changed the product names of it graphics cards. The reasoning behind the re-christening of the graphics cards is to make it easier to figure out what's what for the average consumer that's not as knowledgeable about computer hardware. The tech-savvy Hardware.Info reader of course knows that until now the first digit in the product name represented the generation and that the second digit indicated the positioning.

From now on the R9 cards will be aimed at gamers who want the best performance, enjoy maximum quality settings and use multiple monitors. R7 cards are for more casual gamers that don't need to play everything on maximum settings and only have a single monitor. That's how AMD explains it anyway, time will tell whether the performance of the cards follow these distinctions. We can assume that AMD will use the new names for its next generation of integrated GPUs as well.

Compare

three products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price
AMD Radeon R7 260X
REVIEW

Bonaire, PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 2048 MB, 1100 MHz, 128 bit, DirectX 11.2, 896 shading units

Specifications Test results Reviews

AMD Radeon R9 270X
REVIEW

Pitcairn, PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 2048 MB, 1050 MHz, 256 bit, DirectX 11.2, 1280 shading units

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

$126.32

Avg. $126.32
2 shops, 2x stock

AMD Radeon R9 280X
REVIEW

Tahiti, PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 3072 MB, 950 MHz, 384 bit, DirectX 11.2, 2048 shading units

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

$322.99

Avg. $322.99
2 shops, 2x stock


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