Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
I think the first thing you think when you come to the end of all the graphs is that we're ultimately dealing with a HD 7790 here when it comes to the performance side of things. The HD 7790 is of course one of the more recent additions to the HD 7000 series, but sits still at six months old. From a performance perspective, though, the two models are nearly identical in a lot of areas. Sometimes we see the new R7 260X get a bit of a win, other times we see it fall slightly behind. Ultimately, if you're sitting on a HD 7790, this new model isn't something you would buy for the obvious reasons.
Coming in at a similar price point, you could argue why AMD would even bother releasing the model if it's just a HD 7790 with a new cooler. The new model brings with it some really exciting technology, though, as we mentioned earlier. The new AMD TrueAudio Technology is something we love. We're so glad we had the chance to demo it in Hawaii. The implementation of this technology is going to be really awesome long term, especially as more and more companies make use of it.
You've then also of course got the implementation of the new "Game Changing" Mantle API. As we mentioned earlier in the review, this is something we're excited about. The communication between AMD and game developers is what's really going to make the technology, though. AMD also need to push built-in benchmarking into these programs to show people easily what the real benefits are of the technology. AMD really does need to do a better job of showing people what their technology is capable of, instead of just telling people. The easier they make it to do this, the more people can show it off.
We've been told that AMD has gone through a number of changes recently, and for the better apparently. We hope this is true, AMD has always been company that we've liked, but they've also been a company that has been weak in a number of areas. The R7 260X is only one piece of the new series of video cards that the company has put together and going off what we saw in Hawaii, it's not the most exciting one either. As we get a chance to test more of the higher-end cards, along with offerings from partners, we'll get to see just what the company has really been able to achieve.
The bottom line, though, is that if you're in the market for a video card that is going to be in the low $100 price range, the new R7 260X is a good option. With NVIDIA having the GTX 700 series, most people will feel that buying a GTX 600 based product is just buying old technology. If NVIDIA had GTX 700 series card in this price bracket, the fight would look a little different. The bottom line is that NVIDIA don't, though, and people are going to prefer saying they own a R7 based card verse a last generation GTX 600 series based product.
AMD seem to be looking pretty good at the moment with what they've done. Considering how plagued the HD 7700 series was at launch when it came to being extremely overpriced, they have instead seemed to hit at a strong price point this time around. As the HD 7700 series continued to get price cuts, the product saw better and better value over time - first impressions last, though, and you can't deny it was always an uphill battle for those HD 7700 series cards.
The first piece to quite a large puzzle from AMD is looking good at this point. As we not only get to see more and more models under the new naming scheme, but also more and more games and applications that can make use of the technology that AMD has on offer, the video cards are only going to become better and better over time.