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Test Setup And Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R7 265 Review: Curaçao Slides In At $150

We tested all of the cards in today's story with each company's latest beta drivers: Catalyst 14.1 beta 6 from AMD and 334.67 beta from Nvidia. Moreover, we used medium- to high-detail settings at 1920x1080 to give the Radeon R7 265 and its competition a realistic workload, which should strike a good balance between image quality and performance for this class of card. I'm also including screenshots to demonstrate how these detail levels appear in-game.

Test System
Intel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V
Asus P8Z77-V LX.
LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M
On-Board Gigabit LAN controller
Corsair Performance Memory, 4 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
Sapphire Radeon R7 260X
1100 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1625 MHz (6500 MT/s)

XFX Radeon HD 7850
860 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHz (4800 MT/s)

Sapphire Radeon R7 265
925 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz (5600 MT/s)

Reference Radeon R9 270
925 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz (5600 MT/s)

Reference Nvidia GTX 650 Ti
925 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 1350 MHz (5400 MT/s)

Reference Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Boost
980/1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s)

Reference Nvidia GTX 660
980/1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s)
Hard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s
Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64
DirectX 11
Graphics Drivers
AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta 6, Nvidia GeForce 334.67 Beta

We've almost completely eliminated mechanical storage in the lab, and instead lean on solid-state drives to alleviate I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our offices 256 GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.

Naturally, discrete graphics cards require a substantial amount of stable power, so XFX sent along its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12 V rail rated for 70 A. XFX claims that this unit provides 850 W of continuous power (not peak) at 50 degrees Celsius (a higher temperature than you'll find inside most enclosures).

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Metro: Last Light
Version, Built-in Benchmark
Grid 2
Version, Built-in Benchmark Scene D6
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Version 1.05, Custom THG Benchmark, 40-Sec
Battlefield 4
Version, Custom THG Benchmark, 90-Sec
BioShock Infinite
Version, Built-in Benchmark
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