AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, And R7 260X: Old GPUs, New Names

Test Setup And Software

Test Hardware And Software

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Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) 3.6 GHz Base Clock Rate, Overclocked to 4.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardASRock X79 Extreme6 (LGA 2011) X79 Express Chipset, BIOS 2.50
MemoryG.Skill 32 GB (8 x 4 GB) DDR3-2133, F3-17000CL9Q-16GBXM x2 @ 9-11-10-28 and 1.65 V
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro SSD 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s
GraphicsAMD Radeon R9 280X 3 GB
Row 5 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon R9 270X 2 GB
Row 6 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon R7 260X 2 GB
Row 7 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3 GB
Row 8 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2 GB
Row 9 - Cell 0 AMD Radeon HD 7790 2 GB
Row 10 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2 GB
Row 11 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2 GB
Row 12 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2 GB
Row 13 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2 GB
Power SupplyCorsair AX860i 860 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 1 (All AMD cards)
Row 19 - Cell 0 Nvidia GeForce 331.40 Beta (All Nvidia cards)
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Benchmarks And Settings
Battlefield 3Ultra Quality Preset, v-sync off, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, DirectX 11, Going Hunting, 90-Second playback, Fraps
Arma 3Very High Detail Preset, DirectX 11, 2x FSAA, v-sync off, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, Infantry Showcase, 30-Second playback, Fraps
Grid 2Ultra Quality Preset, 4x MSAA, v-sync off, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, Built-In Benchmark, Fraps
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUltra Quality Preset, FXAA Disabled, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, Custom Run-Through, 25-Second playback, Fraps
BioShock InfiniteUltra Quality Settings with Diffusion Depth of Field, DirectX 11, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, Built-in Benchmark Sequence, 75-Second playback, Fraps
Crysis 3High System Spec, SMAA Low (1x), High Texture Resolution, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, Custom Run-Through, 60-Second Sequence, Fraps
Tomb RaiderUltra Quality Preset, FXAA Enabled, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, TressFX Hair, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, Custom Run-Through, 45-Second playback, Fraps
  • CaptainTom
    Wow what's with the AMD hate? As it stands they are doing the same thing Nvidia did except without the outrageous prices. The GTX 770 wasn't a great deal when the 7970 was $50 cheaper. Have fun trying to run BF3 with 2GB of VRAM...
  • slomo4sho
    Nothing revolutionary but better prices I suppose.

    The MSI R9 280X Gaming at $299 appears to outperform the GTX 770 at 1600P and is within margin of error at 1080P according to Techpowerup. Not a bad value at $100 less and still overclocks well:
  • jimmysmitty
    So long story short, if you have a HD7970GHz then these do nothing for you.

    Best to hold out till the reviews on the R9-290X I guess. But considering the specs I hope for at least 20% performance increases over a 7970.
  • Shankovich
    What happened to Chris? I didn't see this kind of hate with all of the 700 series rebrands. Also, to the Canadians here, grab the $270 7970 GHz edition cards while you still can.
  • BigMack70
    I don't like this new strategy AMD and Nvidia are taking of rebranding an old series at improved price points and then releasing only one new chip at a stupidly expensive price point.

    Are the days of (nearly) annual simultaneous full line GPU launches from $100-500 with a dual GPU chip to follow at $750-1000 really over?
  • cangelini
    Hate? The R9 280X won an *award*. I think Tahiti at $300 is pretty much brilliant.

    I wrote one of the least flattering GTX 780 stories out there. I only identified a couple of situations where a Titan made any sense at all. And although the 760 *did* change the balance at $250, that card still didn't get an award. I liked the 770 for the simple fact that it delivered better-than-680 performance for close to $100 less.

    The rest of AMD's new line-up is a lot like what exists already. Again, the 7870 is a better value than 270X. So what are you getting worked up over? The fact that I'm pointing out these aren't new GPUs? They're not. ;)
  • Shankovich
    Ok Chris, I agree with you, sorry for the over reaction. But I really don't like how nVidia made price increases for some of the rebrands. Looking forward to your 290 and 290X reviews :D
  • ingtar33
    i'll take a 7950 at $129 thank you very much (or two). There is a major retailer selling them for that this week. Best buy all year. two 7950s for the price of one r9-280x? yeah... i'll do that all day every day.
  • tomfreak
    Radeon 7790 has true Audio = but not enabled boooooo = as a 7790 owner I somewhat disappointed :( . Anyone have any idea if we can crossfire 1GB 7790 and 2GB 260x?
  • net_nakul
    By the time a R9 380X comes out, the GCN Tahiti XT achitecture may be 4 years old (assuming end of 2015). AMD better come up with an awesome new architecture by then, considering the R&D time they have.

    That goes to you too Mr. NVIDIA