Club3D Radeon R7 260X royalKing 2GB Review
Since AMD launched their Radeon R9 and R7 200 series last week we have been working our way through the range. Starting with some 280X’s, moving to the 270X and then most recently covering the R7 250 which is the AMD offering at $80/£69 or so. When we looked at the 280 level AMD offered the best performance to price ratio when compared to the GeForce equivalents. That swiched round at the 270X price point with NVIDIA offering a better GPU for the outlay but when we moved down to R7 250 vs GT 640 the AMD solution took the lead again. So what about the $139/£110 price point? Well that is where todays review product sits.
The R7 260X from Club3D and AMD takes on the GTX 650 Ti in terms of price. We will be putting both through a range of tests including F1 2014 and Total War: Rome 2 to determine which offers the best performance without breaking the bank.
Our sample of Club3D’s R7 260X is the royalKing version however it arrived without any packaging due to being an early sample. The box is shown above and if buying it you can expect a basic bundle which includes a door hanger, software disc and product documentation.
Club3D use a black PCB for their R7 260X and attach to it their dual slot CoolStream cooler to the front (total size 224x127x39 mm). It features dual fans, aluminium fins beneath and dual copper heatpipes running through those. Club3D also use a copper GPU block and the shroud used is plastic. At the top edge of the PCB we find a single CrossFire connector and it, like the other outputs and connectors, has a dust cover.
Club3D opt for the standard AMD configuration of Dual-Link DVIs, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 connector. On the face of things this would mean setups such as 3-Screen 5760×1080 Eyefinity however this card, like some other 200 series products, also has the ability to take advantage of MST hubs which split the single DisplayPort connector into three. It is also possible to run 3 screens over 2xDVI and HDMI without the need for an active convertor and the HDMI output is capable of 4K output. A single 6pin power connector is required for this card and it uses approximately 105w at load.
Looking at the key specifications Club3D go with a Bonaire XTX core peaking at 1050MHz and 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1160MHz (4600MHz). Being based on the Bonaire GPU, for the Stream processors AMD/Club3D have gone for a 896 "core" design and our memory bus is 128-bit. PCIe 3.0, DirectX 11.2 and DirectCompute are all supported on this card as is acceleration of high definition content and the card can output 7.1 audio over HDMI including DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.
The 260X also adds AMD TrueAudio which is also present in 290X. 280X/270X don’t support TrueAudio and to be fair current games don’t take advantage of it either. For that we need to wait on some upcoming titles and when utilised the TrueAudio tech takes the gaming audio processing task away from our CPU, uses graphics card resource to provide more advanced audio effects (such as improved virtual surround sound), and then passes it to our output device.
Using Thief, one of the first TrueAudio titles as an example of how the tech impacts game development the above slides show what Yves Breton, EIDOS Montreal’s Lead Sound Designer had to say.