Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The new Radeon R9 and R7 cards we tested performed right in-line with our expectations coming into this article. Considering the fact that the Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, and R7 260X are all based on GPUs previous available in the Radeon HD 7000 series, it's not surprising that the cards performed similarly to their most closely-related cousins, specifically the Radeon HD 7970, HD 7870, and the HD 7790.
Versus NVIDIA's offerings, the Radeon R9 280X performed somewhere in between the GeForce GTX 760 and GTX 770 in most of our tests, while the Radeon R9 270X typically fell in line somewhere between the GeForce GTX 760 and GTX 660. The Radeon R7 260X generally trailed the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, however, the R7 260X did manage to overtake the GeForce in the Sleeping Dogs benchmark.
AMD’s latest salvo of Radeons don’t feature new silicon or blaze new trails through our benchmarks, but rather are refinements of an existing architecture that improve upon the company’s previous generation products in a number of key ways.
As we, and likely many of you, expected, the Radeon R9 280X performed right about on par with the Radeon HD 7970 throughout our tests. Though somewhat faster, the Radeon R9 270X was in the same ballpark as the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, as was the Radeon R7 260X with the Radeon HD 7790. These new Radeon R9 and R7 series products were quieter overall, consumed slightly less power, and they also offer more flexible output configurations. Perhaps the best news, however, is that all of these new Radeons are arriving at very competitive price points.
The Radeon R9 280X will be priced around $299, the Radeon R9 270X at around $199, and the Radeon R7 260X at $139. At those prices, the R9 280X is priced in-line with the GeForce GTX 760, which the R9 280X handily outperformed. In fact, the R9 280X performed more like the pricier GeForce GTX 770. The Radeon R9 270X is priced in-line with the GeForce GTX 660, which it too had no trouble outperforming overall, though recent price drops have brought the GTX 660’s price down 10% or so. The Radeon R7 260X is priced on-par with the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, but this matchup easily went to NVIDIA according to our numbers. We should also point out that the GTX 650 Ti Boost’s price was recently lowered, which certainly helped NVIDIA’s value proposition at the card’s new price point (which has dropped to as low as $129 after rebates).
In the end, AMD has done some good with these new Radeon R9 and R7 series cards. They’re more refined than their Radeon HD 7000 series counterparts, offer similar or better performance, more features, and they’re quieter too. Oh, and their highly competitive price points make them all the more attractive.
We must admit though, we eagerly await the Radeon R9 290X, which will be the company’s true next-gen product. If the scuttlebutt turns out to be true, the R9 290X could inject some fire into the high-end graphics card space. We can’t wait to find out for ourselves...
Radeon R9 280X
Radeon R9 270X
Radeon R7 260X