AMD Makes Surprising Move with R7 370

With the reveal of AMD’s Rx 300 lineup at E3 today, more details about the specifications have been revealed. One of the most surprising moves was the chip AMD chose to power the R7 370. Among all the cards AMD has launched so far, the R7 370 will be the sole member still running GCN 1.0., and has now been twice rebranded. Rebranding is fine but 3 years later, it’s pushing it.

While most of the attention has been focused on Fury, the rest of the Rx 300 series have been rebrands. The most important clue to the 370’s origin is the features or lack thereof the card supports. As expected the up and coming APIs of DirectX® 12, OpenGL® 4.58, Vulkan, Mantle and OpenCL 2.0 are all supported. However, VCE (Video Codec Engine), TrueAudio and the much vaunted FreeSync are all missing. These features are tied to GCN 1.1/1.2, meaning the 370 is GCN 1.0. This point is hammered home by the presence of a Crossfire finger, a requirement that GCN 1.1/1.2 forgoes.

Another point is the branding for the card. With 1024 SPUs (Stream Processing Units) across 16 CUs (Compute Units), the R7 370 is the successor to the 2012 HD 7850 and the R7 265 with a speed bump to 975Mhz core and memory bandwidth improved to 172.2 GB/s. Even with the speed increase, the 370 will likely still be slower than the R9 270 it sounds similar to. Buyers may very well be more fixated on the 370 part of the name rather than the more critical R7/R9. Those thinking the 370 is the successor to the 270 are going to be disappointed.

AMD now has a sizable gap between the R7 370 and the R9 380 in their product line. While an R9 370 to fill in the gap might make sense under AMD’s logic, that will only serve to confuse buyers. With a lack of features the rest of the lineup boasts as well, AMD has made a surprising choice with the R7 370. One good move though is cutting down Bonaire for the 360 which helps diffreniate the cards as the cap between the R7 260X and 265 was sometimes too narrow. Despite all this, these handicaps won’t be too important as long as the price is right.

Cube Raptor Gaming PC Review

Introduction


It is no secret that there are a lot of people who are interested in gaming PCs but do not have the time or the experience to build their own. It is also no secret that PCs made by gimmicky system builders like Alienware are over-priced and are not good value for money, you are mainly paying for the brand name and reputation and get very little hardware for your money. So what other options do you have? Buying from a system integrator is rapidly becoming a popular alternative, with the constant year-on-year growth in the PC gaming industry it is no wonder that there are more system integrators to choose from than ever before.

Today we are taking a look at a gaming system made by the system integrator called Cube. We are checking out their Cube Raptor Gaming PC which offers up a sweet-spot balance of components at a fairly attractive sub-£700 price point. The Raptor boasts the latest Core i5 Haswell Refresh CPU from Intel with the flagship Z97 chipset as well as a 2GB AMD R7 265 overclocked graphics card and 8GB of DDR3. Interestingly, there’s no either/or rubbish going on with the storage – Cube have equipped a hybrid drive so it can bring the benefits of an SSD and large capacity HDD to an attractive price point. All in all this system has an interesting mix of components and is finished off nicely with In Win’s GT1 gaming mid tower case. Check out the full specifications of this system below:

Specifications

  • Name: Cube Raptor Gaming PC
  • Case: In Win GT1 Mid Tower
  • Motherboard: MSI Z97-G43 LGA 1150 socket
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4590 “Haswell Refresh” Quad Core (3.3GHz Base 3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1150 socket
  • Processor Cooler: Stock Intel Heatsink
  • System Memory: 1 x 8GB DDR3 Kingston HyperX Fury 1866MHz (Blue)
  • Main Boot Drive: Seagate 1TB Hybrid Solid State Hard Drive with 8GB SSD Cache
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Not included
  • Graphics card: MSI R7 265 OC 2GB GDDR5
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master Elite 500W
  • Optical DriveSuper WriteMaster DVD RW
  • Wireless: TP-Link TL-WN781ND PCIe 150mbps 2.4GHz WiFi card
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 2 Year Warranty (14 Day Swap Out,1st Year collect and return, 2nd Year Return to Base)
  • Price: £669.99 including VAT (accurate at the time of writing)

Packaging & Accessories

We received the Cube Raptor Gaming PC in the usual format: a large cardboard outer box within which we find the system in the box that the In Win case came in. There’s some additional protective polystyrene to protect the inner box from bumps and on top of it all is the motherboard box which contains all the manuals, documentation, cables and adapters that came with components in the system that you might need.

As we can see the inner box is in perfect condition and has sustained no damage in transit, this means it was packaged well.

Inside the motherboard box we find lots of documentation for the system components, a power cable for the system, various CDs, a VGA to DVI adapter and the wireless antenna for the WiFi PCI express card.

Before we get stuck in to looking at the product let’s just take a minute to familiarise ourselves with the stars of the show; the Intel Core i5 4590 and the AMD R7 265 OC.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

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 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

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