Sapphire AMD Radeon R7 265 Dual-X 2GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

AMD’s R7 265 launch preceded that of the GTX 750 Ti by about 5 days. AMD’s R7 265 aimed to do what many of the current RX 200 series products already do – bring HD 7000 product rebrands into the latest generation at reduced prices with some minor software tweaks. The R7 265 is simply a rebranded HD 7850 but it does bring some new software features to the table like improved thermal/power management and easier Eyefinity that doesn’t require DisplayPort. At $150 the R7 265 aims to make up for what it lacks in power efficiency with all-out performance. Sapphire’s R7 265 Dual-X graphics card that we have here today typifies that value for money philosophy. With stock clocks and Sapphire’s renowned Dual-X cooler this graphics card is more or less sticking to reference pricing while still offering a significantly better cooler. While GTX 750 Ti graphics cards start at about $160-170 Sapphire’s Dual-X R7 265 can be easily found for $160 and $150 at some places if you hunt around.

Specifications Analysis

As we mentioned Sapphire haven’t done much with the base R7 265 design except add their own custom Dual-X cooler. The clock speeds are all stock but we expect there will be plenty of overclocking headroom to access. At $160 street price this Sapphire card is on par with Nvidia’s GTX 750 Ti in terms of affordability but how does the performance and power consumption shape up? All will be revealed soon!

Packaging and Bundle

The product comes with Sapphire’s usual “Crysis-style” packaging.

The back details most of the usual AMD features but also Sapphire’s Dual-X cooler.

Included is a molex to 6 pin adapter, DVI to VGA adapters, driver CD and some documentation.

AMD R7 265 Is Made Official At $149, An Overclocked HD 7850

AMD is today launching the Radeon R7 265 graphics card, which confirms rumours we heard just yesterday. As expected the AMD Rade0n R7 265 is going to be based off the HD 7850 graphics card from the HD 7000 series. It is thus not a new GPU but a GPU that uses the existing 28nm first generation GCN architecture.

The R7 265 offers about 25% more performance than the R7 260X according to AMD’s internal figures. The full specifications of the R7 265 can be seen below:

Here’s how the AMD Radeon R7 265 fits into the rest of the R7 series. As you can see the clock speed is quite low in comparison so there is likely to be buckets of room for overclocking to bring this card closer to the R9 270.

The R7 265, along with the recent additions of the R7 250X and R7 260 completes AMD’s R7 series line up. With six cards to choose from there is now a graphics card to cover every price point. Talking of price points the R7 265 is coming in at $149 MSRP.

Images courtesy of AMD

AMD Preparing R7 265 To Fight Upcoming Nvidia GTX 750

AMD’s HD 7850 that the R7 265 is rumoured to be based on

This article is definitely one to take with the relevant precautions because put simply it is a rumour based on a rumour. According to VR-Zone AMD are preparing an R7 265 graphics card to take on Nvidia’s GTX 750 graphics card. Both graphics cards are yet to be released to the market but we’ve seen one of the graphics cards before. AMD’s R7 265 is expected to be a rebrand of the HD 7850 and it will take on Nvidia’s new Maxwell based GTX 750. We have no idea of how this will compare to the GTX 750 because we don’t know how Nvidia’s GTX 750 will perform. All we do know is the GTX 750 has to be slower than the GTX 760 and everyone knows how fast the HD 7850 is so it will be an interesting battle.

The R7 265 should have 1024 GCN cores, 64 texture mapping units (TMUs), 16 compute units (CUs), 32 ROPs and 2GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256 bit bus. The clock speeds of the R7 265 are not known but if they mirror the HD 7850 they will be 860MHz on the core and 4800MHz effective on the memory. In terms of pricing the R7 265 should fall between the R7 260X which costs $139 and the R9 270 which costs $179. Therefore we should expect pricing of $159.

There are no indications of when we should expect to see the R7 265 but presumably AMD will release it shortly before or shortly after Nvidia release their GTX 750. The GTX 750 is rumoured to be launching this month.

Image courtesy of AMD

ASUS AMD Radeon R9 270 Direct CU II OC 2GB Graphics Card Review


Another day, another graphics card release. It feels like I’ve been saying that a lot recently as AMD have gone a bit GPU-crazy with all their new RX 2XX products. Today we have another one of those releases from AMD and it is the R9 270. The R9 270 is the non-x variant of the R9 270X which we reviewed not that long ago. This means it is the spiritual successor to AMD’s HD 7850 from the previous generation series. What’s nice is that the R9 270 isn’t going to be a straight up rebrand of the HD 7850, it is actually physically different but we will get onto that in a moment… first I want to draw attention to the particular R9 270 we’re reviewing today. Sadly AMD couldn’t provide us with a reference R9 270 graphics card (which is always ideal for far comparison purposes), but we’ve still got a pretty sweet looking ASUS Direct CU II OC variant of the R9 270 instead. ASUS have fitted the R9 270 with their renowned Direct CU II cooling solution and given it the OC treatment which means it comes with a high factory overclock – 50MHz more than the reference design, as shown below in the GPU-Z screen shot. The memory frequency is kept at the stock level of 1.4GHz/5.6GHz actual/effective.

As we’ve briefly mentioned the R9 270 replaces the HD 7850 but it isn’t an identical GPU. The R9 270 actually comes with 256 more GCN stream processors and 4 more compute units (CUs) while being within that same 150W TDP board power envelope.

In terms of the raw specifications the 1280 stream processors and 20 compute units make this unit virtually identical to the HD 7870. The only difference is a lower clock speed of 925MHz, compared to 1GHz on the HD 7870, which means the R9 270 is capable of 2.37 TFLOPS versus the 2.56 TFLOPS on the HD 7870. There’s also only a single 6 pin power connector on the R9 270 compared to dual 6 pin connectors on the HD 7870. Despite a lower core engine clock there is a much higher effective memory speed of 5600MHz compared to 4800MHz on the HD 7870 which should balance out some of that lost performance due to the lower core clock. The R9 270 isn’t that different to any other current high-end R9 2XX series GPU as it has Direct X 11.2 support, OpenGL 4.3 support and Mantle API support.

AMD says that upon launch there will be a wide selection of R9 270s available from its board partners, you can see those below.

The R9 270 will cost $179 which is $20 less than its bigger brother the R9 270X. If we compare the R9 270 to the pricing of the HD 7850 and HD 7870 when they launched, $249 and $349 respectively, we can see the R9 270 is a dramatically more affordable graphics card. The result is that consumers will be able to pick up the R9 270 for $179, which is cheaper than the HD 7870 GPU this is essentially based on (even taking into account current clearance pricing deals that can be had on HD 7870s).

ASUS’ packaging boasts that the Direct CU II OC version of the R9 270 is 20% cooler and 3X quieter than the reference AMD board and cooler design.

The back details some key ASUS features like their Direct CU II cooling solution and Super Alloy Power VRM components. You can also download ASUS’ own GPU Tweak software to overclock your ASUS (or non ASUS) graphics card.

Included with the retail package was a speed set up guide, driver and software CD, DVI to VGA adapter and CrossFire bridge.

AMD R7-260 Mid Range Graphics Card Spotted

WCCFTech reports that AMD’s mid-range R7-260 graphics card has been spotted. The card looks pretty unique by AMD standards and isn’t really like anything we’ve seen before in terms of a reference design cooler.

The internal cooling solution of a coiled copper heatpipe interlaced with aluminium fins with a central fan blowing air through is very similar to what we’ve seen on a lot of HD 7790s including one we reviewed from Club3D. The outer shroud is pretty unique and is a design AMD hasn’t really used before, it boasts a load of ventilation inlets for improved airflow. Considering this card will probably be based on a rehashed HD 7850 or HD 7790 GPU it seems likely the new outer shroud design has been prepared to make the card seem new and different from existing HD 7000 series cards.

Images courtesy of

XFX FX7850 Double Dissipation HD 7850 2GB Graphics Card Review


When it comes to AMD graphics cards XFX are one of the biggest vendors by far and are known for their loyalty to AMD. XFX have been a big player with AMD graphics cards since I can remember – which is probably around the early days of the HD 4000 series, though I am relatively young so some of you may remember their earlier cooperation with AMD. In terms of the HD 7000 series as of late the XFX style of graphics card is becoming more popular as XFX’s competitive pricing and excellent warranty service is giving them the cutting edge over some other AMD AIB partners.

Today we have with us a relatively unique card because at the time of writing there is no XFX website listing or any retailers currently selling the specific card we have. We have with us an XFX FX7850 Double Dissipation 2GB card that uses a special dual 10cm fan cooling solution. The part number of this unit is “FX-785A-CEF V2.V” or “FX-785A-CE” for shortened reference. We are pretty sure that this card is an extension of XFX’s budget “Ghost” series of HD 7850 coolers, as this information is on the products serial sticker, but the dual 10cm fans give it a more premium design that make it a bit more high end than the current XFX Ghost branded HD 7850s. While the card runs at stock clocks it does have a rather special feel to it that oozes from both the card and the bundle it comes with.

The box the product comes in is “unique” to put it politely, I myself think it looks a bit tacky. It points out the shining feature of this product which is a pair of 100mm/10cm fans to cool. This means it is using XFX’s “Double Dissipation” style cooler. I have yet to see a HD 7850 with such a beefy cooling solution as it is normally reserved for more high-end cards, aka the HD 7870 and upwards.

The back is filled with all of the marketing stuff that you’d expect to find on a graphics card box. These marketing selling points include solid core chokes, solid capacitors, a dust free fan bearing and up to 7 degrees cooler than the reference design – all good stuff.

The XFX HD 7850 DD comes with quite a lavish accessory pack. Included is a Far Cry 3 coupon code for a free digital download, an XFX keyring and an XFX T-Shirt which for your reference is in size XL (but from my observations that appears to be “Chinese” XL which is like UK Large).

Additionally there is documentation and a driver CD.

VTX3D Announce V Champ Series Of Graphics Cards

VTX3D have just announced a new series of graphics cards based on AMD GPUs. The V Champ series of graphics cards will initially launch to encompass the AMD HD 7850 and AMD HD 7790 graphics cards. The main feature of these new graphics cards from VTX3D is the use of the V Champ cooler which uses Vapor Chamber technology and offers 20% better performance than the regular cooling solutions. 

First up is the VTX3D V Champ HD 7850 which features a factory overclock to 1000MHz as well as a dual 80mm fan cooler. The card also uses a black PCB design.

Next is the VTX3D V Champ HD 7790 which is factory overclocked to 1075MHz with its own dual 80mm fan cooler, something that is rare for such a budget card.

More details can seen at the respective product pages:

Pricing and availability is TBA but these should be available at most large retailers in the very near future as VTX3D will want to capitalise on the HD 7850 and HD 7790 GPUs before they are replaced by AMD’s next generation. No doubt the V Champ series of coolers will carry over into whatever AMD produces next.

Images courtesy of VTX3D

PowerColor HD 7850 SCS3 Passive Graphics Card With 120mm & 140mm Fan Review

Passively cooled components are becoming ever more in demand these days as people are looking for quiet solutions that are still high performance. Recently we took a look at one of those as we reviewed Powercolor’s HD 7850 SCS3 passively cooled graphics card and if you haven’t already seen that then we encourage you to check that review out here. However, we had some feedback about the product with readers and Powercolor themselves enquiring whether we could test it with fans to show how effective the heatsink design really is. Today we are going to do exactly that as we put the PowerColor HD 7850 SCS3 through its “thermal paces” in passive mode, with a 120mm fan and with a 140mm fan.

We will be using a Prolimatech Vortex 12 Blue LED Fan at 1200RPM for the 120mm fan test and a Noctua NF-A14 ULN fan at 800RPM for the 140mm fan test. This way we have high performance fans but tamed at an RPM that most users would still find very quiet or near-silent which is what you will really want if you’ve bought a passive graphics card and just want to give it a little extra “helping hand” with airflow.

But without any further ado let us proceed and take a look at the temperature and noise results!

Club 3D Announce ’13Series Graphics Cards With UK Availability

Club 3D have just revealed a new series of graphics cards. The ’13Series of graphics from Club3D is a new product line designed to target a much cheaper and more mainstream price point. These cards all use the premium CoolStream VGA cooler design, except the HD 7790 which uses a rather more modest VGA cooler.

Since Club3D recently made a move recently to be an exclusive AMD-only partner, it comes as no surprise that the ’13Series of graphics cards is comprised of entirely AMD GPUs. The ’13Series includes the following graphics cards:

The new ’13Series is part of Club3D’s “black label/”white label” product segmentation strategy. These new ’13 series cards are part of the white label segment while Club3D’s PokerSeries cards are part of the black label segment. The white label segment is going to be aggressively priced and aimed at value for money, while the black label segment is going to be more feature packed and designed for the more premium market.

Availability should start immediately and UK customers should be able to find these popping up soon across a wide variety of retailers such as Amazon, Ballicom International, Kikatek, LambdaTek and so on.

Image courtesy of Club3D

Computex: Powercolor Display Passive SCS3 HD 7850 Graphics Card

Passive cooling is quite a specialist market and a lot of us will find that we never really need passive cooling because we can get by just fine with some fans running at low RPMs. Yet for those crucial environments where fans are just not an option for whatever reason, then passive cooling has its place. Powercolor have developed one of the highest performance passive GPUs on the market in the form of the SCS3 HD 7850. As the name suggests it is an AMD HD 7850 graphics card with a totally passive cooling solution.

The Powercolor SCS3 HD 7850 uses a 1GB HD 7850 GPU at stock clocks with a rather dense aluminium heatsink cooler that uses four 6mm heat pipes. Everything is cooled passively and all that is required is that your case does have a decent amount of ventilation. We have actually reviewed this card right here so be sure to check out our review where the Powercolor SCS3 HD 7850 walked away with our innovation award.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Passive Cooled Powercolor HD 7850 Out Now

Powercolor has finally released their latest HD 7850 graphics card, a passively cooled and very stylish looking number that may be perfect for HTPC, or silent builds that don’t want to sacrifice on GPU performance.

The card if pretty well designed under the cooler too, with some high efficiency VRMs, Gold Power Kit PCB, Ferrite Core Choke and Solid Capacitors that should all add up to a really clean pull in terms of power usage and a really stable card overall. All this power management is backed up by their SCS3 passive cooler which features four 6mm heatpipes that feed that huge heatsink on the bottom of the card.

The card runs at stock but it still packs a fair amount of performance and given that it runs completely silent, that’s not a bad trade off.

  • PowerColor SCS3 HD7850 1GB GDDR5
  • Core Speed 850MHz
  • Memory Speed 1200MHz (4.8Gbps)
  • Memory 1GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface 256 bit
  • Eyefinity Yes
  • DirectX 11.1
  • Output DL-DVI-I / HDMI / DisplayPort

Best of all, the card should be available at retailers from this week and should only set you back around $20/£20 over the standard card and that’s not a bad deal at all in my opinion.

Gaming at 0dB Noise Level

“The HD7850 strengths passive cooling solution with PowerColor patent G-shape heat pipes, which provides the same cooling effect as dual U-shape heat pipes, efficiently cooling down the temp. through enlarging the cooling surface. Also, armed with 6 X 6 ø heat pipes can easily dissipate the heat through the solid cooling based which fully cover GPU and key components, providing an absolutely silent and excellent cooling performance without any compromise. Furthermore, the HD7850 uses intensive and enormous surface of aluminum cooling fins can double the dissipation efficiency of heat away from copper based which fully covers GPU.”

Solid built with Gold Power Kit

“PowerColor SCS3 HD7850 is built by solid combination, the exclusive Gold Power Kit. PowerPAKSO-8 inside can provide stable voltage and high Peak Efficiency up to 82%; Ferrite Core Choke offers 33% extra power for GPU; Solid Capacitor secures 50,000 hours operating time. All these firm ingredients make PowerColor SCS3 HD7850 undefeated, and bring absolutely no-compromise gaming experience to every gamers.”