AMD Radeon R7 260X 2 GB Review 16

AMD Radeon R7 260X 2 GB Review



AMD Logo

Alongside the Radeon R9 280X and R9 270X, AMD launched its entry-level Radeon R7 260X graphics card fit for visually-intensive desktops with some mild gaming thrown into the mix. The specifications of the R9 280X and R9 270X may dwarf those of the R7 260X, yet it deserves to be taken seriously from an academic standpoint. The graphics core inside the SoC that drives the Microsoft Xbox One entertainment system isn't all that different from the Radeon R7 260X, at least on paper.

Priced at $139, the Radeon R7 260X makes building gaming-ready desktops under $400 possible. It succeeds either the Radeon HD 7670 or the HD 7770, depending on how you interpret AMD's new nomenclature. The R9 290 series will succeed the HD 7900 series in the product stack. The R9 280 series succeeds the HD 7800 series (sub-$300 class) and the R9 270 series succeeds the HD 7700 series (sub-$200 class). But such an arbitrary product stack repositioning would create unreal price-performance increments at the points AMD's various HD 7000 series products launched, which is why AMD tweaked pricing a little to give buyers a different and equally valid way of looking at AMD’s new product stack by using price points.

As with the other two GPUs launched by AMD today, the Radeon R7 260X isn't based on any new silicon. It has quite a few things in common with the Radeon HD 7790 launched just this March, but differs from the HD 7790 by running higher clock speeds and double the standard memory amount. Its GPU core is clocked at 1100 MHz (compared to the 1000 MHz on the HD 7790) and memory runs at a scorching 1625 MHz (6.50 GT/s effective), which yields over 100 GB/s of memory bandwidth on even this relatively narrow 128-bit wide memory bus. The bandwidth is then comparable to what GDDR5-enabled GPUs with 256-bit wide interfaces managed before the 4 GT/s GDDR5 era. The other big difference is in its memory amount: it is now at 2 GB as opposed to the 1 GB on the HD 7790. Based on the 28 nm "Bonaire" silicon, the Radeon R7 260X features 896 stream processors based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture, 56 texture memory units (TMUs), and 16 raster operations units (ROPs).

In this review, we put an AMD Radeon R7 260X reference design through its paces.

Radeon R7 260X Market Segment Analysis
HD 7770
GTX 650 Ti
HD 6870
HD 7790
HD 7850
R7 260X
GeForce GTX
650 Ti Boost
GTX 660
HD 7870
GTX 580
R9 270X
GTX 660 Ti
GTX 760
Shader Units640768112089610248967689601280512128013441152
Graphics ProcessorCape VerdeGK106BartsBonairePitcairnBonaireGK106GK106PitcairnGF110PitcairnGK104GK104
Memory Size1024 MB1024 MB1024 MB1024 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB1536 MB2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB
Memory Bus Width128 bit128 bit256 bit128 bit256 bit128 bit192 bit192 bit256 bit384 bit256 bit192 bit256 bit
Core Clock1000 MHz925 MHz900 MHz1000 MHz860 MHz1100 MHz980 MHz+980 MHz+1000 MHz772 MHz1050 MHz915 MHz+980 MHz+
Memory Clock1125 MHz1350 MHz1050 MHz1500 MHz1200 MHz1625 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz1200 MHz1002 MHz1400 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz

Packaging & Contents

We only received a card from AMD. Retail products will include the usual accessories, like driver CD and adapters.

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

AMD's reference design cooler is simple, but follows the new style we've seen on the new Radeons.

Graphics Card Height

Installation requires two slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor surround gaming is possible with one card.

The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.

The CrossFire connector allows you to combine up to two R7 260X cards in a CrossFire configuration.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods, etc., please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.

A Closer Look

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

The heatsink uses a very basic, cost-effective design that works without any heatpipes or a fancy copper base.

AMD has also added a little heatsink that cools the voltage regulation circuitry to the card.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The card requires a single 6-pin PCI-Express power connector. This configuration is good for up to 150 W of power draw.

The R7 260X uses the same GPU as the HD 7790, and NCP81022 controller specifically designed to handle the dynamic clock algorithm in the Bonaire GPU. The controller supports I2C monitoring, and voltage control is also possible.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

The GDDR5 memory chips are made by SK Hynix and carry the model number H5GQ2H24MFR-R2C. They are specified to run at 1750 MHz (7000 MHz GDDR5 effective).

Graphics Chip GPU

AMD's Bonaire graphics processor is built on a 28 nm process at TSMC, Taiwan. It uses 2.08 billion transistors on a die size of 160 mm².
Our Patreon Silver Supporters can read articles in single-page format.
Discuss(16 Comments)