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AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X and R7 260X Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: AMD

Power Consumption and Overclocking

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The R9 280X continues to draw more power than the GTX 770 and GTX 760; the Kepler architecture has been very efficient at the high end since its introduction.  Still, the differences are pretty minimal and gamers looking at the $300 price point won't mind the 18 watt difference between the 280X and the GTX 770 considering the $100 price delta.

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The R9 270X is a much better solution in terms of power as it is only drawing 10 watts more than the GTX 660 yet outperforms it dramatically. 

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At the low end though, the GTX 650 Ti Boost is using quite a bit more power than the R7 260X which kind of explains the performance advantages that NVIDIA saw in some games.

 

Overclocking the ASUS R9 280X

I spent a little bit of time with the ASUS Radeon R9 280X TOP to see if the GPU would overclock in any substantial way.  By simply using the control panel based AMD OverDrive settings, I was able to push the 280X up to 1175 MHz GPU clock and 1700 MHz memory clock while remaining completely stable. 

For a quick performance check I re-ran our Metro: Last Light benchmark to compare it to stock speeds. 

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These results show an average frame rate increase of about 13% on average with lower frame time variance as well.  Not too bad for as little effort being put in as we had time for.

As we review the retail models of these cards (including the ASUS model we used for this review) we'll spend more time on the overclocking, sound levels and cooling considerations. 

October 7, 2013 | 09:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

isn't it 512 bit for Memory interface (or something)??

October 7, 2013 | 09:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's the 290x which will be unveiled a little later on.

October 7, 2013 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Eradikation (not verified)

Has anyone not figured out that Bioshock uses more then 2 gigs of ram yet at ultra? Those performance hitches are the ram swapping constantly. I have gtx 670 sli 2gb and a single gtx 770 4gb in two different systems. The gtx 770 plays completely hitch free on ultra using over 2.4 gigs at times smooth as butter. I have to drop texture quality and ambient occlusion to even get close to the same smooth results with my gtx 670 sli even though framerate is almost doubled. Why nvidia is even bothering with 2gb on high end cards is beyond me.

October 7, 2013 | 10:05 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks for the tip - hopefully this is something NVIDIA can address sooner rather than later.

October 10, 2013 | 10:00 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

Yes, memory is becoming a bigger issue all the time. In my case Rome Total War II. The rendering of myriads of objects has gotten to the point where the game points out the graphic memory inadequacy of my 1.5GB board and degrades the battle rendering accordingly. A title like this would invalidate some of these tests.

October 7, 2013 | 10:13 PM - Posted by biohazard918 (not verified)

The skip the skip the frame rating explanation link on page 5 takes you to the 7990 review.

October 7, 2013 | 10:30 PM - Posted by biohazard918 (not verified)

Also the transistor count on the 7970 and the 280X is wrong is should be 4.3 billion not 2.8

October 8, 2013 | 01:06 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Fixed this last night, thanks!

October 8, 2013 | 04:58 PM - Posted by ea1985 (not verified)

Also on the 3DMark page, last sentence...

"...it gets beat at the Normal preset by a $100 more expensive GPU."

LESS expensive??

October 7, 2013 | 10:42 PM - Posted by jake (not verified)

any release date specified yet?

October 8, 2013 | 09:37 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Looks like 10/11.

October 7, 2013 | 11:05 PM - Posted by capawesome9870

this will be my first crossfire build. i currently already have a FX8350 and a HD7870. i will not be able to buy a second 7870 for at least 4 months;

If newegg is not selling the 7870 anymore could i pickup a R9 270x and crossfire it to a 7870?

they are the same GPU or is it locked to the same generation of card?

October 8, 2013 | 12:34 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

Why not just buy another 7870? They're identical.

October 8, 2013 | 06:42 AM - Posted by snook

his question is related to the fact that 7870 may not be available by the time he has the money. discontinued basically.

October 8, 2013 | 06:48 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I believe in the article Ryan says that you can CrossFire the different generations of cards.  So the R7 270X will be compatible with the HD 7870.

October 8, 2013 | 01:30 PM - Posted by capawesome9870

thanks, after you said this i went and read the pages i did not read. i found it on page 3.

October 8, 2013 | 12:01 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

Noticed your value for money graphic doesn't have the 7970?

An opps we forgot moment or Amd are big advertisers and we will help them make this relaunch of old cards seem exciting.

Clearly people with older cards not in the know could well purchase these cards as an update, when they are not.

You should be shouting from the roof tops this is a con job of the highest order.

Having said that there is no doubt they are a value option in their respective segments and as such should stand alone on that point alone. Not Rehashed.

This comment is in memory of my 7990 which caught fire and died three days ago. (Yes I do mean caught fire, flames and all)

RIP

October 8, 2013 | 06:50 AM - Posted by snook

you didn't read the article. Ryan: "(BTW, you will likely find deals on Radeon HD 7000-series cards while inventory is cleared, so you might want to jump on them.)"

that is after clearly stating they are essentially the same card. with a different eyefinity setup.

Nvidia did the same thing: GTX760, GTX770 are not new.

but, at least you are accusing them of pay-offs from AMD, while most claim it's Nvidia.

October 8, 2013 | 12:37 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, we must be dong something right if we are being accussed of pay offs from both sides hah!

October 8, 2013 | 03:04 PM - Posted by Irishgamer01

Since you didn't answer the question then I take it the answer is yes?

October 8, 2013 | 08:57 PM - Posted by snook

it was answered, in the article

October 8, 2013 | 11:07 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

What was the question? The 7970s are being EOLed so they will not be available at retail after stock is depleted afaik. It is detailed on the first page that the 280X is essentially the same card as the 7970...

October 8, 2013 | 12:03 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

As an AMD fan I was expecting too much from these new cards. It turns out that we have nothing new and I would have to wait for Nvidia hopping that they will do something better. Disappointed....

October 8, 2013 | 12:38 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

A true AMD fan would know these are refreshed cards. Nothing new has come out as of yet.

Dayum, step up your fanboyism.

October 8, 2013 | 01:15 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

A true AMD fan is expecting more from his favorite company. If not better hardware at least a price war. Nothing happened. Now Nvidia is lowering the prices of Ti boost and 660. Instead of AMD being on the offensive you have Nvidia doing that. I guess AMD can not give fast HD7000 cards at lower prices than.... yesterday AND Mantle together to the PC user. It will be a disaster for Sony AND Microsoft in the end a disaster for AMD.

October 8, 2013 | 01:48 AM - Posted by Remon (not verified)

The R9 280X is competing with the 770 and is 100$ cheaper. The 270X is competing with a card that costs 50$. Were you expecting them for free maybe?

October 8, 2013 | 02:11 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

R9 280X is the same as 7970, 270X is the same as 7870, 260X is the same+audio as the 7790 and the smaller cards are worst than 7770/7750/7730.
Also this is 2013, not 2012.
If you like buying last year's cards with new names at the same prices they where yesterday, well, it's your money, no problem for me.

October 8, 2013 | 06:53 AM - Posted by snook

again, Ryan stated that the 280X is lower in price than the 7970 Ghz edition it replaces, compared to last months pricing.

it's like you guys just want to hate, fuck reading

October 8, 2013 | 09:43 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

I am not talking about 280X only, but you are write, F%^& reading just go and find hate in a post that you don't approve.

October 8, 2013 | 09:01 PM - Posted by snook

understood, the 280X was an example. the article lays out, how and what, they match up to (280X, 270X, 260X) from the previous cards (7970...etc.)

the article is clear that these are rebrands and that the 290X is the real card we are waiting on.

hence, RTFA

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