AMD Reveals DirectX 12 Performance Stats in 3DMark Benchmark

Futuremark has released a new update for 3DMark that adds 3DMark API Overhead benchmark. It didn’t take long for AMD to get straight into showing its performance stats for the Radeon R9 290X graphics and the FX-8370 octa-core CPU scaling.

Futuremark has added draw calls on different APIs in its Overhead benchmark, having it support DirectX 11, DirectX 12 and Mantle on a single system. While AMD was keen on showing its performance on Mantle as well as the other APIs, it eventually followed Futuremark’s notes in not comparing GPUs from different vendors and stuck with only DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 performance statistics on the Radeon R9 290X and R7 260X.

DirectX 12 looks like it will also have a certain impact on multi-threaded CPU performance scaling, having the FX-8370 CPU managing to get DirecX 12 to scale with six cores compared to the limed two cores of the DirectX 11 API.

Though AMD’s statistics look very promising, these are still just benchmark results and real-world performance is usually something completely different. Even so, DirectX 12 and games powered by the latter API should be available by the end of the year.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Sapphire R7 260X OC 1GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


Gaming on a strict budget has become easier in recent years as entry level offerings from AMD and Nvidia have become increasingly more affordable with increasingly more power. The $100 price point is a good example of this with the R7 250X, R7 260 and R7 260X all being around that level alongside Nvidia’s GT 740 and GTX 750. Today we are looking at Sapphire’s R7 260X OC 1GB graphics card which can be had for as little as $115~ and as we already know the R7 260X offers an incredible amount of performance for the money since AMD dropped the pricing on it. As we note with all our non-AMD and non-Nvidia graphics card review what we are looking for is what the vendors have done with AMD’s reference platform. Right off the bat we can see Sapphire have changed quite a few things with the R7 260X reference design, Sapphire have halved the GDDR5 memory to 1GB, equipped a custom cooler and downclocked the GPU and memory frequencies despite claiming this to be an “OC” GPU. As we can see in the specifications below this allows Sapphire to offer a more competitive price, but how good is the card’s performance with these modifications? It is worth noting Sapphire aren’t the only ones doing this, most other vendors offer R7 260Xs with frequencies between 1000 and 1100MHz and memory between 6000 and 6500MHz, finding ones with 1100/6500 or higher frequencies is more the exception than the norm, but they can be found.

Packaging and Bundle

The packaging is compact and cost effective. The front of the packaging points out that this is an OC version despite having lower actual clocks than the reference design.

On the back we find a list of features about the R7 260X GPU.

The accessory bundle is basic but appropriate for the price range of the card.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


AMD’s R7 260X graphics card has become infinitely more popular since AMD reduced initial launch pricing down from $140 to $120. Of course the competitiveness of the R7 260X has been helped by the fact its biggest rival, Nvidia’s GTX 650 Ti Boost, has been discontinued and is now hard to find. This leaves Nvidia’s newly released Maxwell based GTX 750 to fight the R7 260X instead of the GTX 650 Ti Boost which is problematic for Nvidia as the GTX 750 is a much slower card that costs a similar price.Today we have an R7 260X from HIS Digital, their HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 graphics card. The R7 260X is known for being quite a hot running graphics card because AMD took the HD 7790 design, overclocked it even more and rebranded it. Therefore HIS’ implementation needs to effectively deal with the heat of the R7 260X and keep noise under control. If you haven’t read our launch day review of the R7 260X you can do so here.

Specifications Analysis

Out of the box the HIS R7 260X is just a stock R7 260X in terms of its clock speeds so quite honestly we should expect within margin of error performance of the reference card as there are no thermal limitations a non-reference design can overcome. I am disappointed HIS haven’t overclocked the card and that they are charging more than reference pricing, in my opinion this card is priced too close to the R7 265 and GTX 750 Ti to be truly competitive, we hope HIS are just delayed in reducing their prices in response to AMD’s February price cuts….although February was an awfully long time ago.

Packaging and Bundle

The box points out what some of the HIS features mean such as iPower and iTurbo.

The rear details some of the components used and some of the generic AMD features.

Included with out sample was just a DVI to VGA adapter and warning document. The retail version will also get a driver CD, quick install guide and HIS sticker.

AMD Drops R7 260X Pricing With R7 265 Launch

With AMD introducing lots of new cards to the R7 series they’ve decided it is time to readjust pricing. Today the R7 265 has been launched and with a price of $149 it makes the R7 260X uncompetitive at $139. As a result AMD have made the wise decision to drop the price of the R7 260X to $119. AMD’s R7 Series now has the following MSRP pricing:

  • R7 265 – $139.99
  • R7 260X – $119.99
  • R7 260 – $109.99
  • R7 250X – $99.99
  • R7 250 – $89.99
  • R7 240 – $69.99

Of course the pricing of these cards will vary by retailer and by the model in question as AMD’s board partners will choose to modify the cards in many ways. Either way we can say that the AMD R7 series looks a significant amount more attractive than it did when it was first released. What do you think of AMD’s complete R7 series and the product pricing?

Image courtesy of AMD

Battlefield 4 Graphics Performance Overview With Current Generation GPUs

Introduction


Battlefield 4 has been one of the biggest game releases so far this year for gamers on all gaming platforms. The FPS title from EA and DICE has got off to a relatively shaky start with numerous audio, graphical and gameplay problems across the various platforms it was released on. In fact for many Battlefield 4 owners the game is still in a dysfunctional or buggy state, but you can expect (or hope) that EA and DICE will begin to patch and fix the majority of the problems within the coming weeks as they have said they will. The shaky launch aside, what most PC owners/gamers want to know, if they haven’t already found out, is how do current generation GPUs perform in Battlefield 4 on the PC?

Today we put that question to the test with an extensive, albeit not entirely complete, range of current generation AMD and Nvidia GPUs. On the AMD side we have the R7 260X, R9 270, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290 and R9 290X while on the Nvidia side we have a few more offerings with the GTX 650 Ti Boost, GTX 660, GTX 760, GTX 770, GTX 780, GTX 780 Ti and GTX Titan. All of the aforementioned graphics cards are current offerings and to the sharp-minded readers you will notice some graphics cards are missing. Mainly the current generation lower-end graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia are absent, that includes the Nvidia GTX 650, GT 640 GDDR5, GT 640 DDR3 and the AMD R7 250 and R7 240. The main reason for not testing these graphics cards, other than that we didn’t have most of them, is because they simply aren’t that capable of running such a high end gaming title. Of course that’s not to say they can’t but given the nature of the resolutions we test (mainly 1080p or above) and the quality settings our readers like to see (very high or ultra) these GPUs simply aren’t cut out for the test. Arguably they are more aimed at gamers with 1366 x 768 monitors tackling medium-high details but I digress. The system requirements for Battlefield 4 reveal a similar picture, if you want a smooth gameplay experience then you need an AMD Radeon HD 7870 or Nvidia GTX 660 or better. However, those system requirements show you very little about what you can expect at different resolutions.  So without any further ado let us show you our results and show you exactly how AMD and Nvidia’s offerings stack up!

Nvidia Cut GTX 660 And GTX 650 Ti Prices In Response To AMD Launches

If you’re wondering why AMD’s R7 260X received such lacklustre reception both here at eTeknix and at many other review sites, well it is down to the fact that Nvidia have aggressively cut the prices of their cards which compete with the R7 260X – namely the GTX 650 Ti Boost but also to an extent the GTX 660.

Anandtech reports that the GTX 660 has been given a price cut from $200 MSRP to $179 meaning it can better compete with the R9 270X and the R7 260X by sitting in the middle of the two. Next the GTX 650 Ti Boost 1GB has been cut to $129 and the GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB has been cut to $149. This means Nvidia now has the GTX 650 Ti Boost available for cheaper than the AMD R7 260X, which costs $139, if you need less VRAM and only $10 more if you need 2GB of VRAM. Of course the GTX 650 Ti Boost is clearly a better card and these price cuts have made AMD’s R7 260X even more obsolete as our review showed.

If you were hoping for price cuts on other cards then you will disappointed. Nvidia thinks its GTX 760, GTX 770 and GTX 780 graphics cards are all priced competitively enough to compete at $249, $399 and $649 respectively – I would be inclined to agree with them and I think Nvidia’s line up is still very strong indeed. Though AMD’s new R9 280X does put some serious pressure on Nvidia’s GTX 770 which costs $100 more without delivering much more performance while the $199 R9 270X is capable of keeping pace with the $50 more expensive GTX 760.

Image courtesy of Nvidia

AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, R7 260X, R7 250 and R7 240 Launch Details

Introduction


Launch day is finally among us for AMD’s hotly anticipated RX 2XX series. Today AMD unveils the R9 280X, R9 270X, R7 260X, R7 250 and R7 240. That’s two cards from the enthusiast R9 series, shown above, and three from the entry R7 series, shown below. We’ve already got reviews ready for you to read of the R9 280X, R9 270X and R7 260X so be sure to click those links and check those out.

All the cards you see here today aren’t strictly new but are based on technology from the HD 7000 series. The only hardware difference is we’ve got higher performance from raised clocks and that is at lower price points. AMD have also introduced an updated feature set that includes Direct X 11.2 support, OpenGL 4.3 support, support for AMD’s new low-level Mantle API, improved audio with AMD TrueAudio and improved Eyefinity compatibility for Eyefinity 6 off most cards. This is only just the scratching the surface though so read on as we detail more about AMD’s new launches.

AMD Radeon R7 260X 2GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


Having already checked out the AMD R9 280X and AMD R9 270X for today’s launch it is now time to take a look at something from the mainstream R7 series and in particular we have the R7 260X with us in this review. The AMD R7 260X is another of AMD’s “new” graphics cards that is actually based on a rehashed card from the HD 7000 series. In particular the R7 260X we have here today is AMD’s $139.99 offering based on the HD 7790. In fact it is more or less identical to the HD 7790 which came to market at about $150 when it was released but can now be had for as low as $115. That said the R7 260X does bring some improvements such as 2GB of GDDR5 as standard (instead of that being a more expensive luxury like it was on the HD 7790) and higher clock speeds.

Those higher clock speeds are quite substantial with a boost from 1000MHz to 1100MHz on the core and 6000MHz to 6500MHz on the memory – that’s roughly 10% on both. That sees an increase in TFLOPS from 1.79 to 1.97. API support is also updated – going from DX 11.1 and OpenGL 4.2 to DX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and Mantle API support is also introduced. As mentioned previously the memory is now a standard 2GB configuration as opposed to the either 1GB or 2GB on the HD 7790.  This has come at a power cost according to what AMD say, the TDP has been uprated from 85W to 115W but will that show up in testing?

The R7 260X uses the same Bonaire GPU as the HD 7790 did with 896 GCN cores. Despite the seemingly “mediocre” specifications it’s worth noting that the R7 260X is still a great card. The R7 260X is more powerful than an AMD Radeon HD 5870 – the flagship of three generations ago (and a graphics card that I still run inside my own personal rig). However, let’s not dwell on the past and let’s see how well the R7 260X stacks up against the current market offerings.

Nvidia Preparing Two Sub-$250 SKUs And Price Cuts For GTX 700 Series

Digitimes reports that Nvidia is planning new GPUs and price cuts in its GTX 700 series to combat the launch of AMD’s R9 and R7 series of graphics cards. Firstly Nvidia is expected to provide price cuts across the whole range of GTX 700 series GPUs in order to compete with the new AMD graphics cards. Secondly, Nvidia is expected to released 1 to 2 new GPUs to defend the USD $149-249 market segment according to industry sources. That potentially means two new cards below the GTX 760 which comes in at around $249.

“The R7 250 is priced below US$89, the R7 260X is US$139, the R9 270X US$199 and the R9 280X US$299. The highest-end R9 290X is also expected to be at a competitive price point.”

The report also states that AMD’s highly competitive pricing should see them regain market share, that’s if Nvidia doesn’t respond well enough to prevent consumers jumping ship to AMD. AMD’s Matt Skynner believes AMD can regain 50% share in the graphics card market.

Image courtesy of eTeknix

AMD Reveals TrueAudio Technology To Improve Gaming Audio

AMD revealed a new technology at its GPU 14 press event which it will be launching for three of its new GPUs. The AMD R9-290X, R9-290 and R7-260X GPUs will all support AMD’s new TrueAudio technology.

AMD claims that its programmable audio engine will revolutionise gaming audio by giving game developers more flexibility to tweak and tune their audio to a new level.

AMD’s TrueAudio offers up more audio channels than conventional audio engines with increased accuracy.

The TrueAudio technology enables directional audio over any output….5.1/7.1/Stereo and so on.

Only three graphics cards support the new AMD TrueAudio technology – presumably these are the GPUs based on AMD’s new GCN 2.0 architecture while the cards that do not support it are presumably the rebranded cards from the HD 7000 series.

AMD will be working with a wide range of companies in the audio and game industries to maximise the success of the new TrueAudio technology.

Images courtesy of eTeknix via AMD LiveStream

AMD Details Improved 4K Support For RX 2XX Series GPUs

AMD has revealed at its GPU 14 LiveStream event that the new RX 2XX series will bring improved compatibility and support for 4K monitors.

AMD claims that in most cases there will be “out of the box” compatibility for 4K monitors with their new series of GPUs.

The new drivers for the AMD RX 2XX series will come with hardware level support for new 4K monitors. The RX 2XX series will also implement a new AMD proposed VESA standard that automatically stitches the two separate panels on a 4K monitor (as most 60Hz 4K monitors are formed from two 2K panels stitched together as current generation display controllers cannot run a single 4K display at 60Hz natively so two are required with two separate panels).

Images courtesy of eTeknix via AMD LiveStream

AMD Announce R9 2XX And R7 2XX Series Graphics Cards

At the GPU 14 event (which you can watch live coverage of here) AMD announced its newest series of graphics cards with the R9 290X, R9 280X and R9 270X all forming the R9 series and the R7 260X and R7 250 forming the R7 series.

AMD briefly details the amount of GDDR5 memory, the price point and the estimated 3DMark Firestrike score of all the new GPUs.

However, the star of the show is AMD’s Radeon R9 290X – the newest addition to the AMD Graphics card family based off a brand new GCN 2.0 architecture. This beast from AMD is revealed but sadly very few details have been disclosed so far. We will of course bring you those A.S.A.P, if AMD reveal them, as we continue our coverage.

Images courtesy of eTeknix via AMD LiveStream

HIS Website Leaks Details Of Upcoming AMD GPUs

The guys over at WCCFTech have managed to grab some details of AMD’s upcoming Volcanic Islands GPU family via the HIS website. We tried to explain the new GPU naming system a while back but now we can bring you the exact naming of these new graphics cards from AMD. The new naming system will be as follows:

  • AMD R9-290 (Replacing HD 7990 Flagship)
  • AMD R9-280 (Replacing HD 7900 Series)
  • AMD R9-270 (Replacing HD 7800/7700 Series)
  • AMD R7-260 (Replacing HD 7770 Series)
  • AMD R7-250 (Replacing HD 7700 Series)
  • AMD R7-240 (Replacing HD 7600 Series)

Based on currently available information the new graphics card line up is believed to look something like this:

Apparently the majority of the graphics cards from the new R-200 series are to be refreshed or rebadged versions of current AMD HD 7000 series graphics cards. These include the R9-270X and below. As you can see from the above table, if this is true, then AMD have knocked to HD 7970 (Tahiti XT) down 3 places in the product stack essentially meaning the HD 7850’s successor is a HD 7970. Nvidia’s rebranding exercise only saw products knocked down by a single place in the product stack, as the GTX 680 became the GTX 770.

AMD’s Hawaii GPU will be for the top three fastest single GPU cards while Vesuvius/Tonga will be the dual GPU graphics card to replace the HD 7990. This will probably be based on a pair of Hawaii GPUs.

WCCFTech also noted that the HIS 280X iPower IceQ X² graphics card was listed with the following specifications:

  • 3GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 384 Bit interface
  •  Dual LinkDVI-I/HDMI/2xMini DP

The R9-280X is said to be based on the Hawaii XT GPU.

Check out more details right here.

Image courtesy of WCCFTech