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May 30, 2014

ASUS R7 260 Performance Review


Having a high-end graphics cards like the GTX780 Ti, R9 290X has always been the dream to many gamer and enthusiasts, but the cost might be out of hand to budget gamer whos unable to afford these beast. This is when middle-end graphics cards with a decent performance and affordable price comes to play. 

Introducing the ASUS R7 260, the middle-end budget graphics card that we will be looking into in today's review. Let's find out what the ASUS R7 260 is capable of, compared to what's above it - ASUS R7 260X.

*SRP for the ASUS R7 260 is set at RM479.00.*

Technical Specifications
Technical Specs
ASUS R7260-1GD5
Dimensions
220.9mm x 111.17mm x40.06mm
Stream Processor
768
Base Clock
1000 MHz
Bus Standard
PCI Express 3.0
Video Memory
1024 MB
Memory Clock
6000 MHz
Memory Interface
128-bit
Display Output
DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I)
Display Port : Yes x 1
HDMI Output : Yes x 1
HDCP Support : Yes

Detailed specifications on TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.7.8

Overview


The feature highlighted at the front of the packaging is the Dual Fan Cooling where ASUS boast to provide twice as much airflow and 3 times quieter that the reference design R7 260.


Back of the packaging comes with a brief introduction on the features of the ASUS R7 260 such as the display output, appearance of the card, cooling options, etc.


what's in the box - the ASUS R7 260, driver & software CD, User's manual, DVI to VGA converter and a Crossfire bridge.


The ASUS R7 260 looks pretty identical to ASUS R7 260X (ASUS classic Black-Red themed shroud and fans), except that it's cooled by a big chunk of Aluminum heatsink instead of the directCU II heatsink.


Display output wise, the ASUS R7 260 comes with 3 options:
  • 1 x DVI port
  • 1 x Display Port
  • 1 x HDMI port
AMD Eyefinity isn't supported on this card, which we find it a little disappointing.


Flipping the card around, we can see that the actual PCB size is shorter.


6pin power connector is required for the card to actually work and giving some extra juice for minor overclocking if user finds it as an absolute necessity. 

Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair H100i
CPU
I7 4770K @4.3 GHz
Motherboard
ASUS Sabertooth Z87
Memory
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB
Primary Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
Power Supply
Corsair AX650
Chassis
Bitfenix Ronin
Display Monitor
Dell U2312HM

We will be comparing the ASUS R7 260 with the ASUS R7 260X from our previous review as a quick comparison on both cards. Both cards is installed to our test rig with the above configuration and room temperature of 31C°.

Performance

The ASUS R7 260 is slightly overclocked where adjustments is as following:

1120 MHz on the base clock
6100 MHz on the memory clock
No adjustments is done to the voltage

We ran a quick test with several graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark in our possession at the resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 4x Anti-aliasing, with the result as presented on the graph below:


When overclocked, the ASUS R7 260 appears to be able to perform closer to a non-overclocked ASUS R7 260X in most of the test but there's isn't much improvement in terms of performance from what we have tested so far.

Temperature
Temperature wise, we're using FurMark GPU stress test utility for our stress test for maximum heat output. Do note that purpose of this GPU stress test is to check on the highest temperature both cards will reach and this doesn't represent the actual temperature you will be getting during gaming session.

the large aluminum heatsink seems to be performing quite well on load compared to the DirectCU II cooler on the R7 260X. When it comes to idle, R7 260X DirectCU II cooler leads by a 3C° difference, leaving the R7 260 large aluminum heatsink hovering at 41C°.



Final Thoughts
The ASUS R7 260 performs fairly decent as an entry-level graphics card but it's in an odd position where it doesn't comes with AMD Eyefinity support nor able to Crossfire with any of the current latest AMD APU, leaving us with a mixed feelings.

Pros
  • Good heat dissipation and quieter operation
  • Support AMD Crossfire for that extra performance 
Cons
  • No AMD Eyefinity Support
  • Limited models for Crossfire configuration
  • Not much performance increase after overclocking
At the price of RM 479.00, the ASUS R7 260 is still a decent entry-level graphics card for medium low settings for several graphics demanding games we've tested. If there's still a little budget to stretch, with a little extra of RM 50.00, you can access to at least the AMD Eyefinity and slightly better performance.

Still, its value is much doubted if it were to be compared side by side with the NVidia GTX 750,  it's not doing really well with the features offered and performance compared its rival that doesn't even requires external power source from the 6pin connector.

Based on its performance and features as what we have tested in this performance review, the ASUS R7 260 is hereby awarded with our Tech-Critter Bronze Award.


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