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

Test Setup And Benchmarks

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
CPUIntel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V
MotherboardAsus P8Z77-V LX. LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M
NetworkingOn-Board Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryCorsair Performance Memory, 4 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
GraphicsSapphire Radeon R7 260X1100 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1625 MHz (6500 MT/s)XFX Radeon HD 7850860 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHz (4800 MT/s)Sapphire Radeon R7 265925 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz (5600 MT/s)Reference Radeon R9 270925 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1400 MHz (5600 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GTX 650 Ti925 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 1350 MHz (5400 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Boost980/1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s)Reference Nvidia GTX 660980/1033 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz (6008 MT/s)
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s
PowerXFX PRO850W, ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriversAMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta 6, Nvidia GeForce 334.67 Beta

(Image credit: Game Gavel)

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 LightVersion 1.0.0.14, Built-in Benchmark
Grid 2Version 1.8.85.8679, Built-in Benchmark Scene D6
Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagVersion 1.05, Custom THG Benchmark, 40-Sec
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, Custom THG Benchmark, 90-Sec
BioShock InfiniteVersion 1.1.24.21018, Built-in Benchmark
  • yankeeDDL
    I think the pricing issue is a moot point.If There's an Nvidia card at $190, an equally-performing (or slightly slower) car will be sold for $180 making a good profit, not at $150 to kill Nvidia.Card manufacturer won't benefit from Nvidia being pushed out of the market.
    Reply
  • Novuake
    Compelling card, but sad that a price hike on the 270 had to force it. So seems useless now.
    Reply
  • meluvcookies
    A 25% increase on the R9 270 was, essentially, a betrayal of consumer trust by AMD. I was totally excited to get in at the $180 price point, but now I'm waiting for Nvidia's offerings in that neighborhood to see if they can offer anything as compelling as the 270 was a couple months ago when it was still at its original price.
    Reply
  • huilun02
    War on the high end segment over.Now Jihad style attack on mid end.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Wow, If it beats the 7850, I wonder how it stacks up against my overclocked 6850. I have two in crossfire but being limited to 1GB vram can be a hindrance. When I bought my original 6850, it was only $150 and my second was $100. I wonder what AMD has for $250 that could smoke my current setup / aka be a good single card upgrade.
    Reply
  • Tzn
    i am not impressed at all, if it was under 100w then yes.
    Reply
  • huilun02
    12670915 said:
    Wow, If it beats the 7850, I wonder how it stacks up against my overclocked 6850. I have two in crossfire but being limited to 1GB vram can be a hindrance. When I bought my original 6850, it was only $150 and my second was $100. I wonder what AMD has for $250 that could smoke my current setup / aka be a good single card upgrade.

    http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/amd_radeon_r9_280_in_the_works.html
    Reply
  • TechnoD
    All these price hikes are really becoming an issue. This card is launching at the same price I paid for my 7950 ~5 months ago.
    Reply
  • jin_mtvt
    And what does using more than 100W at full load has to do with this card? First we have someone complaining about not having enough " additional power pins " than someone compains about more than 100W usage on a "desktop" GPU. You are lame.Onto the pricing problem, i should not have to remind you that the prices in most of the world ( you know everywhere out of north america ) haven't followed the same trends as here . the 290 never went bozo up to 650$ in Europe ( if you use the exchange rate in position before december when the price was set ) . I would like to read more about who is really "jacking" up the prices . This card needs to be 150$, not 180$ of course , else it would be m00t .
    Reply
  • selvakumar13
    so you are saying that R7 265 is best GPU in this price range?
    Reply