ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC Video Card Review

We want to find out what the best deal is today for 1080p gaming under $200. What does it take for value priced 1080p gaming? We start by looking at the ASUS Radeon R7 260X DirectCU II OC. This $139 video card is a bargain price, but is it bargain performance? We will break down 1080p gameplay against an ASUS GeForce GTX 750 Ti.

Introduction

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. is one of the largest and most successful computer hardware manufacturers in the world. A Taiwan-based company, it manufactures a wide variety of computer hardware, including motherboards, video cards, optical drives, notebooks, networking equipment, barebones desktop, and server systems, among many others. In 2008, it sold over 24 million motherboards, grossed 8.1 billion U.S., and won 3,056 awards from various enthusiasts and IT related outlets.

On our test bench today is the ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC (R7260X-DC2OC-2GD5) video card.

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The ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC video card is based off of AMD’s Radeon R7 260X GPU. The AMD Radeon R7 260X is a re-brand of the Radeon HD 7790. The re-brand was was announced in October of 2013. The re-branded AMD Radeon R7 260X debuted with a lower MSRP than the HD 7790, AMD lowered the MSRP to $139.

The AMD Radeon R7 260X is based on the "Bonaire" GPU architecture, often called GCN 1.1. This means that the AMD Radeon R7 260X shares the same features from the "Hawaii" GPU architecture of the AMD Radeon R9 290/X. For example AMD R7 260X supports TrueAudio, Mantle and the same DX11.2 features as the AMD R9 290/X series along with other improvements to shader architecture. Just like the Radeon HD 7790, AMD R7 260X utilizes 896 stream processors, 16 ROPs and a 128-bit memory bus. However, AMD R7 260X improves upon Radeon HD 7790 by doubling the RAM from 1GB to 2GB and upping the core clock speed and memory speed. The AMD R7 260X’s clock speed is 1.1GHz by default. Compared to the Radeon HD 7790 this is 100MHz faster. The memory on the R7 260X runs by default at 6.5GHz. This is .5GHz faster than the HD 7790’s memory. The TDP is also higher at 115W on the R7 260X compared to 85W on the HD 7790. You basically get a faster HD 7790 with more memory, but for a cheaper price, out of the R7 260X.

When it comes to the competition for the AMD R7 260X at $139 we have to look toward the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti from NVIDIA. Until the GTX 750 Ti existed, the closest price competition was GeForce 650 Ti Boost. However, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, based on the "Maxwell" architecture is out now and it is the closest priced competitor to the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC video card at $149. The MSRP for the GTX 750 Ti is only $10 more than the R7 260X, and is the newest GPU from NVIDIA in this category, so it makes perfect sense to compare these two GPUs.

We find that we can get factory overclocked GeForce GTX 750 Ti's right at the same price as the ASUS R7 260X and ASUS' own 750 Ti OC costs around the same with a rebate. The GTX 750 Ti also has 2GB of memory. This will allow us to directly compare price and performance of these two video cards to find the best deal.


ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC Video Card

So as its name implies, the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC has overclocked performance straight out of the box. A R7 260X generally runs at 1.1GHz on the core, however ASUS’ has taken the liberty to increase this up to 1188MHz, or 88MHz faster than the reference speed. The memory of a R7 260X by default runs at 6.5GHz, however the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC’s memory operates at 7GHz. This provides us immediate performance without having to manually overclock the video card.

ASUS has designed and geared this bargain video card to be as efficient in its overclocking as possible. ASUS provides us ASUS GPU Tweak, which is its overclocking utility that gives us control over the core and memory frequencies, as well as the voltage level and power target. With this software we hope to push the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC to its capable limits.

The ASUS R7 260X DC II OC is really built around assuring users the best experience if they choose to overclock their video card. Even if manual overclocking isn’t an interest, users should know that ASUS fits its board with the finest Super Alloy Power components and its DIGI+ VRM. These components help deliver precise, clean, quiet power. This is great for your hardware, and can vastly improve longevity.

The crown jewel so to say of the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC is undoubtedly its DirectCU II cooling system. This not only allows top of the line performance in cooling and noise out-of-box, but equips us with the cooling necessary to push our overclocking to the next level. This system uses copper heat pipes that directly contact the GPU, and spread to various areas along the heatsink. The two fans quietly, but efficiently remove the built up heat. ASUS claims that this cooling system will have the video card running 3X quieter and 20% cooler than the reference model.

The ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC video card can be yours for $140 at Newegg, and this includes an AMD Silver gift card for 2 free games, valued at $100. It is also available on Amazon for $140 without the added game bundle. The ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC video card comes with a 3 year limited parts and labor warranty. You can read more about the ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC here.


ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC Pictures

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The ASUS R7 260X DC II OC ships in a somewhat small box, but is well insulated. The accessory package includes one CrossFire connector, and one DVI to D-Sub adaptor. There is also a quick install guide and a driver CD which did not come with our model.

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The ASUS R7 260X DC II OC is mostly black, and printed on a black PCB. The overall video card is fairly small, and extremely light to the touch. The two small fans are placed to blow directly on to the two copper heat pipes. There are only two of these contacting the GPU on the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC.

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The rear I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI-I connector, a dual-link DVI-D connector, a DisplayPort connector, and an HDMI connector. The two copper heat pipes run up along the top side of the video card.

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At the rear end of the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC video card, along the back edge is the 6-pin PCIe power connector which ASUS recommends a 500W minimum power supply to function properly. It measures 8.5 inches in length, 1.5 inches wide, and 5 inches in height.