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

Rebrands or more performance?



Today AMD introduced three new graphics cards. The R7 260X, R9 280X and R9 290X are indeed based on existing GPUs, but they're very affordably priced which make them pretty interesting options. 

The R7 260X will cost around € 130, which is about € 20 cheaper than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. When you compare their benchmark results (see here), you can see that the Nvidia card is slightly faster on average, but that the price differential remains bigger. It's difficult to say what Mantle and TrueAudio will turn into, but at least the R7 260X has both new features. Either way, the R7 260X is a good card for an even better price. You can game in Full HD resolution with it, as long as you're ok with medium settings. Some games will run fine with High and Ultra settings, but if you want to highest possible quality you should probably spend a little more for a faster card. 

The R9 270X, for example. With a recommended price of around € 190 it's 30-40 euros cheaper than the GTX 760. That's not an insignificant difference. When you compare their performance (click here), it's pretty equal. That means that AMD offers more bang for your buck. In most games you can max out the settings in Full HD resolution. 

The third and last new card of today is the R9 280X, priced at around € 280. This is a considerable amount less than what the 7970 GHz Edition (which it's based on) used to cost (now retailers are getting rid of their stock at extreme prices). More importantly, it's about € 70 less than what the comparable Nvidia GTX 770 costs. When you compare their performance, they are also fairly close, which again means that AMD has the better deal. With a 280X you can play most games in Full HD with maximum settings and anti-aliasing. That means that 2560x1440 will run fine, even if you'll need to use medium settings at times. Even 5760x1080 EyeFinity resolution is possible with this card in medium settings. If you want three monitors and maximum settings you'll need to invest more.   

All three of AMD's new cards are currently the fastest at their particular price point. The new Mantle feature can potentially have a lot of added value in the future, but of course that's only speculation for now. In December we'll have a more conclusive answer after the Mantle patch arrives for Battlefield 4. However, even if Mantle doesn't pan out, these three new cards are very good for what you pay.  

We're eagerly awaiting AMD's new flagship card, the 290X, and it's not too far off now. It will also be interesting to see how Nvidia reacts to today's product launches. We're already hearing rumours that Nvidia is preparing a major price drop. Will Nvidia lower the prices of the GTX 650 Ti Boost, GTX 760 and GTX 770 so much that they're on the same level as AMD's new cards? 


three products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

AMD Radeon R7 260X

Bonaire, 896 cores, 1100 MHz, 2048 MB, 128 bit, DirectX 12 fl 12_0, PCI-Express 3.0 x16

Specifications Test results Reviews

AMD Radeon R9 270X

Curacao, 1280 cores, 1050 MHz, 2048 MB, 256 bit, DirectX 12 fl 11_1, PCI-Express 3.0 x16

Specifications Test results Reviews

AMD Radeon R9 280X

Tahiti, 2048 cores, 950 MHz, 3072 MB, 384 bit, DirectX 12 fl 11_1, PCI-Express 3.0 x16

Specifications Test results Reviews

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