Of course being a reference card combined with the fact that it's also a mid-range one, we don't expect to see a whole lot. We've got a standard fan design, and the new shroud looks great. It almost looks like the red bits would light up, but they don't.
We've got a single 6-pin PCIe power connector to get the card up and running. While we've noticed the lack of CrossFire connector on some new high-end models, this isn't a feature that is carried through the whole line up. As you can see, we've got a single CrossFire connector at the top of the card giving us the ability to run two of these cards together.
The connectivity side of things hasn't changed too much. We've got two Dual Link DVI connectors, alongside a HDMI and DisplayPort connector. As you'd expect with most mid-range cards these days, it's a dual slot setup and you can see we've got some vents across the top part that help some of the hot air escape out the back of the case.
Moving into the specification side of things, you can see above we're dealing with 896 Stream Processors with a GPU clock of 1100MHz. We've got 16 ROPs, PCIe 3.0 support and Direct X 11.2 support, all sitting on a 28nm core. Typical Board Power on the reference design is quoted as 115W from AMD.
When it comes to the memory side of things, we've got 2GB of GDDR5 sitting on a 128-bit memory bus. The memory clock speed comes in at 6500MHz QDR, which is massive. Specification wise, the R7 260X is a good looking card. While we won't find out today, it will be interesting to see how the overclocking side of things go.
One of the most major features that AMD is bringing to the table, though, is the new AMD TrueAudio Technology. This really is an awesome piece of technology that is supported on this model. The biggest issue is that it's not something that we're able to really show you. It was of course something that AMD pushed heavily at the event in Hawaii, and the ability to really use the features was truly amazing. It feels like long term, if not even short term, though, this is the kind of technology that could affect audio manufacturers with Creative being the first to come to mind.
On the API support side of things, we've got DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and Mantle with the latter being the big one. Everything about Mantle continues to really feel like quite the mystery. AMD is of course pushing the fact that it's "Game Changing", but that's marketing more than anything else. Until we really see it implemented in a number of areas that is when we will really start to have faith in it.
With that said, though, what we're hearing about it so far is exciting. It's implementation into the Frostbite 3 engine, which has over 15 games being developed around it, makes us get a little wiggly and giggly. Especially when you talk about franchises like Need For Speed, Battlefield, Mirrors Edge, Command & Conquer and Star Wars to name just a few. The collaboration between developers and AMD is what's ultimately going to make the technology.