AMD is expected to soon take the veil off of its latest ultra high-end graphics card, the Radeon R9 295 X2, so it’s almost humorous that to preface that, the company has released the lowest-end offering of its current-gen lineup. The model is the Radeon R5 230, and based on its naming alone, I’m sure it’s clear that it’s not a card for those who take gaming seriously. Instead, it’s a card for those who simply need a card, and would prefer it be modern.
Based on Caicos, first seen on the Radeon HD 6450, the R5 230 is a 35W part that bundles 160 cores under its hood, and utilizes DDR3 instead of GDDR5. Likewise, its memory bus is a modest 64-bit.
|AMD Radeon Series||Cores||Core MHz||Memory||Mem MHz||Mem Bus||TDP|
|Radeon R9 290X||2816||1000||4096MB||5000||512-bit||250W|
|Radeon R9 290||2560||947||4096MB||5000||512-bit||250W|
|Radeon R9 280X||2048||<1000||3072MB||6000||384-bit||250W|
|Radeon R9 270X||1280||<1050||2048MB||5600||256-bit||180W|
|Radeon R9 270||1280||<925||2048MB||5600||256-bit||150W|
|Radeon R9 265||1024||<925||2048MB||5600||256-bit||150W|
|Radeon R7 260X||896||<1100||2048MB||6500||128-bit||115W|
|Radeon R7 260||768||<1000||1024MB||6000||128-bit||95W|
|Radeon R7 250X||640||<1000||1024MB||4500||128-bit||95W|
|Radeon R7 250||384||<1050||1024MB||4600||128-bit||65W|
|Radeon R7 240||320||<730||1024MB||4500||128-bit||30W|
|Radeon R5 230||160||<625||1024MB||1800||64-bit||35W|
The low-end segment of any GPU lineup is a tough one to analyze, because it’s an area where if just a bit more money can be spent, the graphics horsepower dramatically increases. The R7 250, for example, can be had for about $80~$90, and it more than doubles the performance of the R5 230. The R7 260 costs about twice as much, but it quintuples the number of cores, and can deliver compelling gaming experiences at 1080p.
But of course, the R5 230’s biggest goal in life is to just help its user get by, a user who likely doesn’t need or care about performance in gaming. And for that, the R5 230 should suit that role just fine.
At the moment, I’ve only seen Club3D and Sapphire announce R5 230 models, but more are sure to follow. Sapphire in particular has a great-looking Flex model (seen above), which, believe it or not, is a two-slot offering. It’s two-slot because it adds an additional video port, allowing someone to easily setup three monitors in total.