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VisionTek Radeon R7 260X 2GB Overclocked Video Card Review

VisionTek Radeon R7 260X 2GB Overclocked Video Card Review

Not a name that pops up a lot, but we check out the VisionTek R7 260X 2GB and overclock it. Let's see how it performs right now.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Dec 4 2013 4:01 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: VisionTek

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 32 IMAGES

VisionTek isn't a name that we hear a lot, but we've seen a couple of cards from them in the past and always been fairly happy with what the company has bought to the table. Today we're checking out the new R7 260X and instead of just running the card at its out of the box clocks, we'll be overclocking the new mid-range model to see just what it's capable off.

The new mid-range model from AMD has performed well since inception, but after looking at the R9 270 2GB which just launched, we could see that it did lag a little in a number of areas. We often saw it just fall under that 60 FPS range that we always aim for to consider a game playable.

It will be interesting to see not only what kind of overclock we're able to get out of the model but what kind of performance increase it brings with it. What will be really interesting as well is to see how the model when overclocked compares to its new big brother, the R9 270 2GB.

Package

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Looking at the package, you can see we've got a very colorful setup with the brand and model name on the front. You can see the card carries with it a Lifetime Warranty, which is awesome, and we've also got U.S. Tech Support. Turning it over, we've got a rundown of the main AMD features like GCN Architecture, CrossFire, Zerocore Power, and HD3D.

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Taking a look inside, you can see we've got a very standard bundle with a quick install guide, driver CD, DVI to VGA connector, and a Molex to 6-Pin PCIe power connector to round things out. Nothing too fancy, but very typical these days.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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Taking our first look at the card, you can see there's not too much to see thanks to the large dual fan cooler covering most of it. You can see behind the two fans we've got a big heat sink that covers almost the entire card and you can see we've got a couple of copper heat pipes coming out the top of the card.

Something else that also catches our eye though, is the black PCB. Of course it's only aesthetics, but we always love when companies opt for a black PCB on components.

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Taking a quick look around the card, you can see we've got the standard 6-Pin PCIe power connector sitting at the back of the card. Moving across to the top of the card and closer to the front, you can see we've got a single CrossFire connector in the event you want to run two cards together for added performance.

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Looking at the I/O side of things, you can see the typical setup which includes two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort to round things out. You can also see we've got a bit of a vent that helps some of the hot air escape out the back of the case and keep the card cool.

Specifications

The VisionTek R7 270X 2GB we're looking at today actually comes overclocked out of the box. Looking below, you can see the core has been boosted from the standard 1100MHz to 1160MHz. As for the 2GB of GDDR5, that has seen a small increase which sees the clock go from 6500MHz QDR to 6600MHz QDR.

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As we mentioned in the introduction, we'll be overclocking the VisionTek R7 260X 2GB today. Looking above you can see we managed to push the core clock up to a strong 1270MHz, while we managed to push the 2GB of GDDR just slightly higher coming in at 6800MHz QDR.

This is a strong core clock and should yield some good gains over the reference card.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, and Corsair.

Two of the main setups that we want to compare the overclocked VisionTek R7 260X 2GB to include the reference clocked R7 260X 2GB that we looked at when the model launched; the other main card we want to compare against though, is the new R9 270 that has just been released in the form of the stock clocked HIS R9 270 IceQ X2. This is of course the next model up from the R7 260X 2GB, so we really want to see how close we can get to it.

Along with those two cards we've also got the reference R9 270X 2GB, ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP, which is overclocked to 1225MHz on the core and 6800MHz QDR on the 3GB of GDDR5. We round off the collection of AMD cards with the reference AMD R9 290 4GB and R9 290X 4GB. As for the NVIDIA side of things, we've just included the reference GTX 770 2GB.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious, and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks come to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders, and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting out with 3DMark 11 we can see a nice boost in performance when compared to the reference card. We really want to see what happens when we get into our games in just a few moments.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark

Buy It Here

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

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Fire Strike sees a nice little boost at both resolutions as we get into the 4000 point range in the standard preset and the 2000 point range in the higher Extreme one. You can see though, even with the strong overclock, we're still a decent chunk behind the R9 270 2GB.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Heaven sees a little bump at both resolutions. Let's move away from the synthetic benchmarks though, and get into the gaming ones to see just what we can get out of the card.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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PSO2 sees a bit of a boost, but you can see we're still sitting at the low-end of that 2000 - 5000 score that is labeled as "The game runs fine at these settings". The good news is the game is maxed out and at 2560 x 1600 so we really do have a lot of room to move.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game: "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Lost Planet 2 manages to see a bit of a bump across the board. At the lowest resolution though, you can see the extra 6 FPS isn't quite enough to hit that 60 FPS mark as we fall just 2 FPS shy.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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As you'd expect, we see some extra FPS across the board and at 1920 x 1200 you can see we jump out of the 60 FPS range and into the 70 FPS range, giving us a bit more breathing room, which is always appreciated.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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F1 2012 looks great and you can see the extra MHz on offer helps push our 2560 x 1600 numbers into the 60 FPS range, which is fantastic. This is exactly the kind of stuff we love to see when overclocking.

Benchmarks - Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://enterthemetro.com/ /

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it, while Ranger leader Colonel Miller wants to kill the creature due to its potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

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While Metro: Last Light manages to see a boost across the board, the numbers are just too low at all resolutions on this card and even the higher-end R9 270 and R9 270X.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

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Dirt Showdown really benefits from the overclock, and you can see we manage to achieve playable FPS now at both 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200. At stock, you can see that the R7 260X 2GB falls short of the 60 FPS average we need at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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Just like Metro: Last Light, the numbers under Nexuiz are just too low at all resolutions that even overclocking doesn't help.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 manages to find some extra performance across the board, but unfortunately you can see the extra 4 FPS at 1680 x 1050 still isn't enough for us to break into that 60 FPS range that we're always-on the hunt for.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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Sleeping Dogs gets a nice bump at all resolutions and you can see we get some more breathing room at the lower resolutions with the 79 FPS at 1920 x 1200 looking fantastic. While we also see a 10% increase at the highest resolution, the 48 FPS average is just still too low.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by I/O Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on I/O Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

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Looking at Hitman: Absolution, you can see that we've got a nice little increase at the lowest resolution, which sees our averages average jump from 54 to 57 FPS. While we're short of that 60 FPS number we're always-on the hunt for, the fact that we're got such a strong minimum at 48 FPS makes us feel comfortable with this result.

While the 1920 x 1200 minimum looks good, the 50 FPS average is a little lower than we'd like.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

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While we indeed do see a bit of a jump across the board, the increases aren't where they need to be for Tomb Raider to become playable at any resolution with the settings so high.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it is being developed by Irrational Games and was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

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Even overclocked we can see BioShock Infinite continues to struggle getting the FPS we need for the game to be playable.

Benchmarks - Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Custom 60 Second Run with FRAPS

Developer Homepage: http://dice.se/

Product Homepage: https://www.battlefield.com/games/battlefield-4

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 features several changes compared to its predecessor. The game's heads-up display is much the same, composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it; the lower right includes a compact ammo counter and health meter. The mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols marking three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and red/orange for enemies.

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Battlefield 4 numbers look good and we've got playable numbers at both 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200. The only time we see the numbers drop lower than where we'd like is at the highest resolution.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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With AA and AF on, the R7 260X 2GB at stock or overclocked never stood a chance under Metro: Last Light.

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Just Cause 2 sees a bit of a performance boost, but overall you can see the number are still a good chunk below that 60 FPS number we're on the hunt for.

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Finishing off our AA tests with Sleeping Dogs, you can see we again fall short of the numbers we need for the game to be playable.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Heat levels sit in the middle of the pack at 66c, which is good considering that we've also thrown overclocking into the mix today.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels on the card sit a little higher. You can see while the idle isn't bad at load, we do start to climb towards that 70dB area, which we see on some higher-end cards.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated video cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Power draw on the model is low as you'd expect, coming in at the mid 300 watt range. We'd recommend something in the 500 Watt+ range when it came to power supplies for this kind of setup.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

Coming in at $149.99 at the time of writing, the card does carry with it a $10 premium over some of the other brands available now. What we really like about the VisionTek offering is the fact that it brings with it a Lifetime Warranty and U.S. Tech Support. This can be a real draw card for some people, especially if you're not the kind of person who upgrades their card regularly.

When it comes to performance, the overclocking ability was strong and you do see it manages to bring a consistent boost in performance across the board. We also see at times performance moves from unplayable levels to playable ones. This is exactly what we like to see when it comes to overclocking.

As for the cooler, the performance of it is strong when you look at the temperature numbers; even more so when you consider that we're also overclocking the card. Noise levels though, are a little higher than we'd like them to be. Saying that though, we didn't really notice just how loud it was. So even though we're climbing towards that 70dB range, it's not an aggressive 70dB. While that might make little sense to some people, if you've dealt with smaller fans, you'd understand exactly what we mean as they tend to offer a more high pitch noise.

The R7 260X 2GB on a whole is a good model from AMD, and if you're looking for something at that mid $100 price point, it's an excellent option. The release of the new R9 270 2GB though, gives us another option for people who are willing to spend a bit more. Although the jump could be more than you're happy to spend.

VisionTek has brought to the table a R7 260X 2GB that is an all-round product with a few features that stand out via the Lifetime Warranty and local tech support. If you're looking to spend around that mid $100 mark for a video card, and you're not upgrading too often, this is a fantastic option as you can buy with confidence knowing that your warranty isn't going anywhere.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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