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Radeon R9 270X and R9 280X lead new pack of AMD graphics cards

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday named the prices for several new Radeon graphics cards, including the R9 270X, R9 280X, and a trio of new R7-class products.

AMD is billing the Radeon R9 270X as the "new $199 GPU king" and it's easy to see why. Built for 1080p gaming, this graphics card beats the company's older, more expensive Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 6870 products hands down in key benchmarks.

The Radeon R9 270X sports AMD's TressFX technology, kicks games into gear at better than 60 frames-per-second, and, per the chip maker, beats out rival Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 discrete graphics cards at games such as Battlefield 3, Hitman Absolution, and Tomb Raider.

With the 270X, you're getting 1,280 AMD Stream processors, a GPU clock capable of hitting 1.05GHz, 2.69 teraflops of compute performance, 2GB of GDDR5, 256-bit memory with throughput capable of racing along at 5.6 Gbps, and support for PCIe 3.0, DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle, all in a 180-watt package. You'll also be able to get a 4GB version of the 270X for $229 (£142), AMD said.

The new Radeon R9 280X lands in the $299 (£142) price slot, where AMD noted it handily outperforms older-gen cards like the Radeon HD 5870 and the Radeon HD 6970, while costing on average $75 (£46) less than those products.

AMD is positioning the R9 280X with 3GB of DDR5 memory for high-quality gaming on 2,560-by-1,440 resolution displays, and making some pretty bold claims about the soon-to-be released discrete cards performance in key games compared with Nvidia's GTX 760. All of that memory support, by the way, equips the R9 280X for Battlefield 4, due out on 29 Oct.

This 250W card has 2,048 Stream processors, a 1GHz GPU clock, 4.1 tFLOPs in compute performance, 3GB of GDDR5, 384-bit memory with 6.0 Gbps of memory speed, and support for PCIe 3.0, DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle.

Those two discrete GPU products will be made generally available this Friday, as will a trio of new cards in AMD's R7 family. Those are the $139 (£86) Radeon R7 260X, the $89 (£55) Radeon R7 250, and the Radeon R7 240, for which AMD hasn't yet named a price.

The last pair are obviously value entries in AMD's discrete graphics lineup, but you're still getting a nice amount of bang-for-the-buck thanks to the chip maker's redesigned GPU architecture and ultra-competitive pricing.

The R7 250 and R7 240 both support 1GB of GDDR5 memory and 2GB of GDDR3 memory. The 65W R7 250 has 384 Stream processors and a GPU clock which can rev up to 1.05GHz, while the R7 240 sports 320 Stream processors and a 780MHz clock—and with a typical power draw of just 30W, this is one discrete card that won't overheat a desktop rig.

Those two cards, along with the Radeon R7 260X, support PCIe 3.0, DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle. Meanwhile, the R7 260X has the fastest clock out the five new AMD discrete offerings at 1.1GHz. Its 896 Stream processors and 2GB of GDDR5, 128-bit memory deliver 1.97 tFLOPS of compute performance at a pretty attractive price.