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AMD Radeon R7 265 preview

The eternal competition between AMD and Nvidia is a game of having a graphics card available at every price point while offering a better price/performance ratio than your competition. Part of that game is the timely anticipation of product introductions and price drops. Although AMD denies it, today the manufacturer introduces a new graphics card that serves primarily as a pre-emptive answer to the upcoming introduction of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 and 750 Ti, next week. As the name suggests, AMD's new Radeon R7 265 will be positioned between the R7 260X and R9 270.

The R7 265 is based on the Pitcairn GPU, which can also be found in AMD's R9 270, R9 270X and earlier Radeon HD 7850 and 7870 graphics cards. In order to meet a lower price point, the chip has somewhat lower specifications than the 270 and 270X. Of Pitcairn's 1280 shader units, the R7 265 has 1024 enabled enabled. The GPU has a maximum clock frequency of 925 MHz, identical to the R7 270. Radeon R7 265 cards will come equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, linked through a 256-bits interface and clocked at 1.4 GHz, resulting in an identical memory clock frequency to the 270 and 270X's.

The card reminds us of earlier and popular products like the Radeon HD 7870 XT, equipped with chips that were originally meant for a higher segment but used in a slightly toned-down version to deliver superior performance at a lower price point.

The introduction of the Radeon R7 265 seems rushed, as AMD's partners haven't shown their take on the card yet. The sample we received from AMD is a model manufactured by Sapphire and is identical hardware to the brand's R7 270. It is quite possible we are dealing with an existing card with a different BIOS. In the official press documents, AMD pits its new addition against Nvidia´s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. One thing has to be made clear though: for the R7 265, the real battle won't start until a few days yet. You can read the rest of this preview on