Meet The Sapphire Radeon R7 265

Since the R7 265 is a variant of the existing R7 270 series, AMD isn’t creating a reference card this time around. In lieu of that they have been sending the press Pitcairn cards reprogrammed to the 265 specification, which gives us something suitable to test but doesn’t necessarily represent what the final retail products will look like. For our sample we received a board based on Sapphire’s Radeon R9 270 Dual-X design.

Because we don’t know at this time whether this specific card will be a retail product or not, we’re not in a position to talk about it in depth. But we did want to discuss it briefly, as we expect most (if not all) retail R7 265 cards to be built in a similar manner, especially for the board partners reusing their existing R9 270 designs as was the case here.

Sapphire’s design is fairly typical for a 150W AMD card. Here Sapphire utilizes a compact form of their Dual-X cooler, relying on a pair of 75mm fans mounted over an aluminum heatsink, with a pair of copper heatpipes providing a connection between the heatsink and the Pitcairn GPU underneath. A baseplate brings the package together, providing cooling for the RAM and VRMs, relying on small grooves at various areas to function as a quasi-heatsink and improve convection. This means that it is of course an open air design, and while 150W is not trouble for most cases these days it does bear mentioning.

Sapphire’s Dual-X cooler runs 8.5” long, causing it to slightly overhang the 7.9” PCB. The card doesn’t feature a dedicated stiffening mechanism of any kind, but the baseplate is just large enough to provide the necessary rigidity on its own. Elsewhere the required 6pin PCIe power socket is located at far end of the PCB, orientated parallel to the PCB itself and slightly obscured by the card’s shroud; so you’ll need a bit more room behind the card to work in the necessary power cabling.

Finally, at the front end of the card we find half slot vent, coupled with AMD’s current generation I/O layout of 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, and 2x DL-DVI. Notably, Sapphire has also added themselves to the pool of board partners with this design by using a wider grating spacing in an attempt to improve airflow, subdividing their vent into just 6 relatively large segments.

The AMD Radeon R7 265 & R7 260 Review Meet The Asus Radeon R7 260
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  • Death666Angel - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    Who is surprised by that? No one that is following GPU reviews since multi-monitors became a thing for the consumer crowd. The first few generations had issues with monitors flickering in a multi-monitor setup because of too aggressive down clocking, so now they are being very conservative there and increase the clocks quite a bit.
  • Solid State Brain - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    I don't think it's acceptable, though. AMD might have reduced idle consumption when a single monitor is being driven, but is still neglecting other usage scenarios that are becoming increasingly common. It's not even just a small power difference, especially with medium to high-end video cards.
  • Da W - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    Anandtech had no problem calling 290 - 290X a terrible card because of its blower and the NOISE and crowning Nvidia once again. Much more now with AMD price hike.

    The only biased guy here is YOU Nvidia fanboy.
  • silverblue - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    I don't think the price hikes are AMD's fault per se, however considering the inflated prices due to bitmining, you'd definitely want a better cooler than the stock one. The third party cards handle this nicely.
  • Da W - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    My last post was directed to HisDivineOrder but the reply button doesn't seem to place my reply below his post.
  • formulav8 - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    They always complain when something good is said about AMD whether the good is justified or not justified. They don't care either way.
  • SolMiester - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    If this is just the 7xxx rebadge, then I guess it has the same multi GPU frame pacing issues....LOL, why dont they fix the damn thing FFS! CF Eyefinity, no DX9 pacing.....still shit!
  • fiasse - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    Typo 'and R7 270 holding at $179 (MSRP)'
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    With the naming of the card being so close to the 260X, I was really hoping this would be a faster GN1.1 part. How does AMD expect TrueAudio to catch on if they keep releasing card that don't support it? Hopefully the 300 series will sort this out and I can grab one to play Thief on.
  • fiasse - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    looks like another typo on Asus R7 260 page, 'but this is an especially treacherous position if R7 260X prices quickly come down to $199.'

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