Looking at AMD’s range of entry-level and mid-range graphics cards, there’s a noticeable gap in both performance and price between the Radeon 260x and the Radeon R9 270; a gap AMD is filling this month with the introduction of the R7 265, a new card that rounds out the company’s R7 series.
“We find that around the $150 price point is the sweet spot for gamers,” AMD’s Worldwide PR Manager Antal Tungler stated during a brief interview. “It’s that one extra notch of performance that you get at 1080p that will allow you to run at higher image quality settings, maybe turn on some AA [Anti-aliasing].”
With 2GB of GDDR5 memory running on a 256-bit bus, the Radeon 265 will offer up 1.89 TFLOPS of compute performance and a memory speed of 5.6Gbps, making it AMD’s best-performing R7 series card. It launches in late February for a suggested MSRP of $149.
Reviewers don’t have the new card in hand yet, but AMD is touting a FireStrike score of 4717 and a 25% performance boost over the Radeon 260x. To give you an idea of how that stacks up in real-world gaming, I ran a few benchmarks using the 260x and AMD’s latest Catalyst 14.1 Beta driver:
- FutureMark FireStrike: 3782
- BioShock Infinite (High Preset, 1080p): 60fps
- GRID 2 (High Preset, 4xMSAA, 1080): 105fps
- Metro Last Light (Medium Preset, PhysX Off, 1080p): 51fps
- Sleeping Dogs (High Preset, 1080p): 48fps
Your $150 investment should realistically deliver 60 frames per second gameplay for most mainstream titles at High (or better) graphics quality presets, provided you’re rocking a 1080p monitor. I’ll have comprehensive benchmarks and impressions to share closer to the Radeon 265′s launch. Don’t worry, miners — I’ll test hashrates as well.
Of course, the Radeon 265′s presence at the top of the R7 ladder for $149 brings welcome news for gamers looking to spend less: The 260x will shed $20 to an MSRP of $119 at or before the Radeon 265 launches later this month.
With that, it appears AMD’s kitchen sink approach for the Rx 200 series of graphics cards is complete, though I suspect there’s still room to sneak in a Radeon 275x or 285x. Don’t take that as an insult to their strategy. The company now has a wide range of cards to fit every budget, from beginning PC gamer to high-end enthusiast. Right now it’s these entry-level and mid-range cards that garner the most appeal, since AMD’s enthusiast GPUs (think 280x, 290x) are being gobbled up the cryptocurrency mining crowd as quickly as they’re manufactured, resulting in significantly inflated price tags at retail.