We'll once again wrap things up with a couple of value scatter plots. In both plots, the performance numbers are geometric means of data points from all the games we tested. The first plot shows 99th-percentile frame times converted into FPS for easier reading; the second plot shows simple FPS averages. Prices were fetched from Newegg, the GPU vendors, and the card makers, depending on what was appropriate.
The best deals should reside near the top left of each plot, where performance is high and pricing is low. Conversely, the least desirable offerings should be near the bottom right.
So, yeah. The Radeon R7 260X may not be the best deal out there right now.
As our 99th-percentile average shows, the R7 260X doesn't really distance itself from the more affordable 7790, and it's a fair bit slower overall than the Radeon HD 7850 1GB—a card you can find online for just $5 more (or $15 less, if you count the mail-in rebate). Not only does the 7850 1GB deliver better performance for the money, but it also comes with two free games as part of AMD's Never Settle Forever promotion. The R7 260X ships with no freebies whatsoever.
It's true that the R7 260X has more memory. That may help it close the gap with 1GB cards in upcoming next-gen titles. However, at 1080p, a 1GB memory capacity doesn't seem to be much of a hindrance in current titles. Even Crysis 3, which is rather graphically intensive on the PC, runs better on the 7850 1GB.
To those who would prefer a 2GB card, it's hard not to recommend the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB. This freshly discounted offering may cost $10 more than the R7 260X, but it's also substantially faster, and mail-in rebates can knock it down to $129.99. It also comes with $75 of free-to-play game credit, which isn't much, but is still better than nothing.
Given the current competitive landscape, the R7 260X would be much more compelling as a $130 card. Had AMD priced it at $120, I would recommend it in a heartbeat. As it is, though, the R7 260X seems a tad overpriced. Perhaps AMD thinks TrueAudio warrants a price premium, but that's hard to justify with no games using the technology yet.
41 comments — Last by Coran Fixx at 11:12 AM on 10/13/13
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