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AMD Releases $60 Radeon R5 230 Graphics Card

Posted on April 3, 2014 3:11 PM by Rob Williams
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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.

Sapphire Radeon R5 230 Flex

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.

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