AMD's answer: the Radeon R7 265 and friends
If you're wondering how AMD is going to respond to Nvidia's brand-new architecture, well, we already kind of know. From their lofty perch just outside of Toronto, AMD's graphics honchos saw Maxwell coming ahead of time and decided to form a greeting committee.
Last week, the red team unveiled the Radeon R7 250X, a rebadged version of the Radeon HD 7770 for $99. That was just the beginning, though. A few days later came the proper response to the GM107. First, AMD dropped the price of the Bonaire-based R7 260X to $119, placing it directly opposite the GeForce GTX 750. Then it made a classic move, pulling a larger chip with a 256-bit memory interface down into this price range. The Radeon R7 265 is a hotter-clocked version of the Radeon HD 7850, and AMD expects it to sell for $149.99 when it hits stores at the end of this month.
I'm pretty sure the R7 265 review sample AMD sent us is just a Sapphire 7850 card with a new BIOS flashed to it. Have a look.
The R7 265 is a 150W card that requires an aux power input, so it's almost an entirely different class of solution than the GTX 750 Ti. As long as it's selling for the same price, though, the R7 265 should present some stiff competition for Nvidia's much lower-spec offering.
How they match up
When you take all of the specifications and do the math, here's how the various contenders in this space match up in key graphics rates.
|GeForce GTX 650||17||34/34||0.8||1.1||80|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti||15||59/59||1.4||1.9||86|
|GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost||25||66/66||1.6||2.1||144|
|GeForce GTX 750||17||35/35||1.1||1.1||80|
|GeForce GTX 750 Ti||17||43/43||1.4||1.1||86|
|Radeon R7 250X||16||40/20||1.3||1.0||72|
|Radeon R7 260X||18||62/31||2.0||2.2||96|
|Radeon R7 265||30||59/30||1.9||1.9||179|
From a chip-nerd perspective, the most intriguing comparison here is the Radeon R7 260X—the full-fledged version of Bonaire—versus the GeForce GTX 750 Ti—the full-fledged implementation of the GM107. On paper, the 260X has an advantage in nearly every category even though it's roughly the same size of chip, likely because it has almost double the power envelope of the 750 Ti. The GM107 will have to make much more effective use of resources and its power budget in order to match the R7 260X.
From a product perspective, the mismatches are even more striking. The R7 260X faces off against the GTX 750 at $119. The GTX 750 has just over half the peak texture filtering rate, half the flops, and half the triangle rasterization rate of the 260X. The R7 265's edge on the 750 Ti is similarly unfair.
So... this ought to be interesting.