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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2013, 15:10 
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AMD has recently relaunched and rebranded its Radeon line of graphics cards. The first step of this was setting the "baseline" of the new product series with the launch of the Radeon R7 260X, R9 270X and R9 280X. These are a rebrand of the Radeon HD 7790, 7870 GHz and 7970 GHz - respectively. Outside of a few upward frequency tweaks, the real big news is a drastic price cutting of each card in the new product stack.

The R9 280X now has a street price of $299, down from the $499 7970 GHz. The R9 270X now sells for $199, versus the previous $349 of the 7870 GHz. A 4GB R9 270X will also be available for $229. The R7 260X will sell for $139 and come standard with 2GB of RAM. The HD 7790 1GB version sold for $150, and a 2GB variant sold for $170.

The two high end cards have massive price drops of $200 and $150 respectively. This puts high end graphics and Eyefinity well within the reach of many gamers. One additional improvement in the new boards comes from easier Eyefinity configuration. If you use three matching monitors, you no longer need to use at least one DisplayPort connector. With three matching monitors you can use 2x DVI-D and 1xHDMI connectors for Eyefinity. I have personally tested this on a Sapphire R9 280X using 2xDVI and one HDMI>DVI cable. It worked without a hitch. Just make sure you find a board that has both 2x DVI-D and an HDMI connector, and you're good to go.

In this article we'll run the cards through a series of quick tests in Metro Last Light, DiRT Showdown and Unigine Valley. To showcase the similar performance I tested the HD 7000 series with the 13.4 WHQL driver, and the 13.11 Beta driver (released for the R7 and R9). I then tested the new R7 and R9 cards with the same 13.11 Beta driver. Everything was tested in 1080p HD and Eyefinity.

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Specifications





Card GPUs Transistors Memory Bus Width Shaders Clock (MHz) TDP (Watts)* Power MSRP
Core Mem Idle Max
AMD R9 280X 1 4.3B on 28nm 3GB 384-bit 2,048 1,050 1,500 <3 250* 8+6-pin $299
AMD R9 270X 1 2.8B on 28nm 2GB 256-bit 1,280 1,050 1,400 <3 180* 6+6-pin $199
AMD R7 260X 1 2.08B on 28nm 2GB 128-bit 896 1,100 1,625 <3 115* 6-pin $139
*These values represent the maximum wattage allowed through the AMD PowerTune. Idle is based on a "long idle" scenario.





Testing



System Specs


I have updated my testing rig, and moved from an Intel Core i7-2600k to an AMD FX-8350. As before, everything runs at stock clock speeds.
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • ASUS Formula V CrossFire
  • AMD FX-8350 at 4.2GHz
  • 8GB G.Skill DDR3 RAM
  • 1x 480GB SanDisk Extrme SSD
  • 1x Samsung 500GB T-Series HDD
  • LG Super Multi Blu (HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Player)
  • Onboard audio
  • Corsair HX1000
  • My Open PC PCI ProCase
  • Corsair K90 Keyboard and M90 Mouse
  • Ergotech Heavy Duty Triple Desk Stand - WSGF Edition
  • 3x Dell U2211H IPS 16:9 1920x1080 Displays





Radeon R9 280X



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Metro Last Light: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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DiRT Showdown: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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Unigine Valley: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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Radeon R9 270X



A8>


Metro Last Light: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
A8A8


DiRT Showdown: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
A8A8


Unigine Valley: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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Radeon R7 260X



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Metro Last Light: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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DiRT Showdown: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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Unigine Valley: 1080p HD & 3x1080p Eyefinity
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Conclusions


The new R7 and R9 cards are without a doubt re-releases of the previous flagship models in each tier. The performance is almost identical across each test - just now at a greatly reduced price. If you have an HD 7000 card, there is really nothing to see here. If you have an HD 6000 or HD 5000 card, this is a great time to upgrade. If you've got one older DVI monitor, check to see if you can get two matching models on the cheap. There's never been a cheaper or easier time to get into Eyefinity.


Last edited by skipclarke on 11 Jan 2018, 17:16, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013, 12:52 
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Sweet on the fix for DVI, DVI, HDMI setups. Quick question, did AMD fix DVI, DVI, DP or DVI, HDMI, DP for tearing in this latest release? I haven't yet got a straight answer from any reviewers yet. I think I want to get 2 x 290x and drop down to only using one DP adapter, but only if the tearing issue has been fixed. :P

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013, 14:06 
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My guess is that this is a driver-related fix. I've only seen tearing on the 2D desktop, on my rig. I'll reach out to AMD to see if they have any sort of official response.


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