Sap­phire R7 260X 2GB GDDR5 OC

X Marks the Spot

HWM (Malaysia) - - LAB TEST - TexT // Bryan Chan

For many, pur­chas­ing a high-end graph­ics card that costs more than RM1,000 is some­thing that’s out of the bud­get. If you’re one such per­son, then get­ting your hands on an over­clocked, en­try-level graph­ics card is much more sen­si­ble. Sap­phire’s R7 260X 2GB OC is one card that would fit your bill.

The Sap­phire R7 260X 2GB OC card is one of four cards by Sap­phire that’s based on AMD’s R7 260X GPU. Be­ing the top op­tion, this card of­fers the most amount of per­for­mance, giv­ing you the best value for money. In terms of spec­i­fi­ca­tions, this card is fac­tory over­clocked to 1150MHz, over the stan­dard 1050MHz. Trans­lated into real-world per­for­mance, we ex­pect that you’ll be look­ing at five to 10 ad­di­tional frame rates per sec­ond over the stan­dard R7 260X, which is a rather good deal.

Tak­ing a look at the cool­ing so­lu­tion on this card, there’s noth­ing much to shout about. This card sports a sin­gle fan cool­ing so­lu­tion, which is un­der­stand­able be­cause the com­pany’s Va­por-X cool­ing tech­nol­ogy is usu­ally re­served for cards with higher per­for­mance. That be­ing said, the fan on this card does its job well, as we no­ticed that the card was never hot to the touch. It’s also whis­perquiet, so we’re not com­plain­ing about this cool­ing so­lu­tion.

To get a bet­ter idea of the per­for­mance of this card, we in­stalled it on our test­bed and ran our stan­dard suite of bench­marks, in­clud­ing 3DMark Fire Strike and 3DMark Fire Strike Ex­treme. In Fire Strike, the sys­tem man­aged to pro­duce a score of 3,822, which is ac­tu­ally rather good for an en­trylevel card. In Fire Strike Ex­treme, on the other hand, it man­aged a score of 1,891, which is again quite good. Cu­ri­ous to see if we could get more per­for­mance out of this card, we headed to AMD’s Cat­a­lyst Con­trol Cen­tre and added an ad­di­tional 100MHz to the clock speed. When we ran our bench­marks again though, we were greeted by a blue screen. This isn’t sur­pris­ing, as a clock speed of 1,150MHz is al­ready sig­nif­i­cantly high.

For some real-world per­for­mance, we ran Bat­man: Arkham Ori­gins and Cr­y­sis 3 to see just how well this card would han­dle th­ese games. In Bat­man: Arkham Ori­gins, set to Full HD res­o­lu­tion, 8x MSAA, and all DirectX 11 fea­tures en­abled, the game ran at an av­er­age of 30 frames per sec­ond, which is just about the bare min­i­mum playable frame rates. For bet­ter per­for­mance, we’d rec­om­mend set­ting the game to 2x MSAA, where it runs at an av­er­age of 40 frames per sec­ond.

When it comes to Cr­y­sis 3, we were sur­prised that this card was ac­tu­ally able to run the game at High vis­ual set­tings. We had to dis­able AA be­fore we man­aged to ex­pe­ri­ence any playable fram­er­ates though. For op­ti­mum per­for­mance, we’d run this game in 720p res­o­lu­tion and Medium vis­ual set­tings.

Hav­ing spent a good deal of time with this card and see­ing its per­for­mance up close, we’d have to say that this card is re­ally a tempt­ing of­fer, es­pe­cially if you’re plan­ning on run­ning a CrossFireX con­fig­u­ra­tion.

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