Both AMD and NVIDIA are in the midst of launching new budget GPUs, but neither of them affect the position of the Radeon R7 260X – a great thing as I have Sapphire’s take on the model to tackle. With a boost of 50MHz to the core clock, and an improved cooler, should Sapphire’s R7 260X OC be on your sub-$150 shortlist?
At the moment, both AMD’s and NVIDIA’s top enthusiast offerings hover around the $700 price-point, and as the title of this article suggests, I’m going to be taking a look at both of them in some depth here.
But before I go further, there are a couple of things that need tackling. First, the GTX 780 Ti is not NVIDIA’s highest-end offering; that distinction belongs to the TITAN Black. However, that card isn’t targeted at the same sort of consumer that the 780 Ti is; those who opt for TITAN Black will be using multiple monitors (or a 4K monitor) and perhaps be able to take advantage of the vastly-improved double-precision performance the card offers. So, ignoring TITAN Black entirely, both AMD’s and NVIDIA’s top-end cards cost about $700; and thus begins the theme for this article.
There’s a reason I didn’t use the word “versus” in the title. The suggested retail price for AMD’s R9 290X is $549, but that’s been inflated to ~$700 in response to coin-mining enthusiasts snatching up AMD’s GCN-based cards as if one lucky card contained a map to the fountain of youth. Etailers don’t want to run out of cards (or, perhaps more accurately, they want to price gouge given the insatiable desire for the cards), and so actual gamers that happen to be AMD fans are the ones feeling the pain.
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