15 AMD Radeon R7 260(X)/265 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 (Ti) cards review

Gaming on a budget

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Introduction

Nvidia recently introduced the GeForce GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti. AMD responded by lowering it's prices for the R7 260 and the 260x and introducing the R7 265. As a result you can now buy more performance than ever for under £140. 


 

2014 started with plenty of activity from both AMD and Nividia. In February Nvidia introduced the GeForce GTX750 and the 750 Ti. Both of these cards are are based on the GM107 GPU, the first chip in the new Maxwell generation. This is different from the usual strategy at Nvidia of introducing the high end chip first and subsequently releasing cheaper, less complex versions of that chip. Thanks to the improved internal layout Maxwell is a lot more energy efficient, despite still being produced on 28nm as with the previous generations. Maxwell was originally designed to be produced at 20nm, but Nvidia's production partner TSMC is still having difficulty producing these new state-of-the-art transistors. We suspect that we won't see any high end Maxwell chips until these problems are ironed out. For this reason Nvidia is callen the GM107 a first generation Maxwell chip, the second generation is scheduled for later this year. 

Positioning

The GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti are being positioned right between the GTX 650 and GTX 660. Both the GTX 650 Ti and the GTX 650 Ti Boost are end-of-life. In terms of performance the GTX 750 Ti is right around the same level as the old 650 Ti Boost, but it has lower power consumption and a slightly lower price tag. 

From the first documentation released by Nvidia they state that the GTX 750 and the GTX 750 Ti were originally intended to compete with the Radeon R7 260 and the 260X from AMD. Compared to those cards the new Nvidia cards are indeed faster. When we look at the average framerates between all 11 tested games at medium/normal settings the Radeon R7 260 reaches 76 fps, GTX 750 80 fps, the R7 260X 83 fps and finally the GTX 750 Ti 93 fps. It's clear that these cards are very suitable for gaming at Full HD resolution with medium settings. If you want to crank everything up to maximum you will have to spend slightly more. 

Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti
The GTX 750 Ti turned out to be very energy efficient.

Spoiled introduction party

Keeping the upcoming releases of graphics cards a secret isn't the strongest suit of GPU-manufacturers. This meant that AMD was already aware of the introduction of the GTX 750 and 750 Ti which Nvidia had planned and they decided to introduce the R7 265 one week before the date set by Nvidia. This new AMD card is based on the Pitcairn-chip which can also be found in the R9 270 and R9 270X. By disabling some of the shader units and limiting the clock frequency AMD was able to create a card which is substantially faster than the GTX 750 Ti but still very competitive in price. If we take a look at the average framerate the R7 265 is a good 10% faster than the GTX 750 Ti with 104 fps at full HD with medium settings, while the price is virtually the same. In order to keep the R7 260X and 260 competitive AMD has lowered the prices. 

AMD Radeon R7 265
The Radeon R7 265 was a "pre-emptive strike" against the GTX 750 Ti.

Performance score

In this review we focus purely on the differences between the various GeForce GTX 750 (Ti) and the Radeon R7 260(X)/265 cards.If you want to know more about the performance relative to other GPUs you should take a look at our review archive for 3D chips. In order to give a brief idea of the performance differences there is a chart below showing our performance index for different cards in this price segment. The Hardware.info performance index is based on the framerates of the 11 tested games and therefore gives a general idea of the average performance of graphics cards.


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