ASUS R7 265 DC2 & GTX 750 Ti DC2 OC 1080p Review

Today we continue our quest at finding the best value for 1080p gaming at less than $200. We are looking at two video cards from ASUS, the R7 265 DirectCU II and the GTX 750 Ti DirectCU II OC. We will compare across a variety of 1080p gaming, and draw our conclusion on the best value between the R7 260X, R7 265, and GTX 750 Ti.


Today's evaluation is the second part, and conclusion to our look into finding the best value for gameplay performance at 1080p under $200. In the first part of this in-depth look into various video cards under $200 for 1080p gaming we started with the ASUS Radeon R7 260X DirectCU II video card in comparison to an ASUS GeForce GTX 750 Ti DirectCU II. The AMD Radeon R7 260X is a re-branding of a previous generation GPU (but based on GCN 1.1 Bonaire), and was one of the first released in the new re-branded R7 line. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti is a newer GPU based on NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture, but is priced in competition with the AMD R7 260X. However, the AMD R7 260X was not the only trick AMD had in its bag.

Recently, this year, AMD released another video card, again a re-branding, but with specifications that are quite appealing for a sub-$200 video card. The AMD Radeon R7 265 was born. This sub-$200 video card is also in competition with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 750 Ti, as both are priced exactly the same as far as MSRP goes.

In today's evaluation we are going to go head-to-head with an R7 265 and GTX 750 Ti with both overclocked to their maximum potential. We will find out once and for all what really is the best value under $200 for 1080p gaming, will it be the R7 260X? The R7 265? or the GTX 750 Ti? Read on to find out.

Let's start with the first card, on our test bench today is the ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II (R7265-DC2-2GD5) video card.

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A few weeks ago we evaluated the ASUS R7 260X DirectCU II OC video card. That GPU was based on the "Bonaire" GPU architecture, often called GCN 1.1. This means it supports features from the "Hawaii" GPU architecture of the AMD Radeon R9 290/X like TrueAudio and some improvements to the shaders and function support.

The ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II OC Video card is based on the older "Pitcairn" GPU architecture, or GCN 1.0. You know these to have been the Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 video cards. This can still support Mantle, but we don't have TrueAudio and the improved shader function features. The AMD R7 265 utilizes 1024 stream processors compared to the R7 260X that uses 896. The R7 265 also has 64 texture units and 32 ROPs. The R7 260X only has 56 texture units, and 16 ROPs. The R7 260X has much faster memory running at 6.5GHz, but it runs on a 128-bit memory bus. The R7 265's memory runs at 5.6GHz on a 256-bit memory bus. The R7 265 also has a superior transistor count at 2.8 Billion, compared to 2.08B on the R7 260X. The R7 265 has an MSRP of $149, which is $10 more than the R7 260X. On paper, the R7 265 should fair much better than the R7 260X due to the improved memory bandwidth, which will help gaming at 1080p.

When we look for competition from an NVIDIA based GPU we have to look toward the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti. This is equally priced to the R7 265 at $149. We will be using the ASUS 750 Ti DirectCU II OC video card in this evaluation, and will break it down in depth on the next page.

In our conclusion we will draw together our thoughts and experiences with the ASUS R7 260X DC II OC, R7 265 DC II, and GTX 750 Ti DC II OC video cards. These are the premiere sub $200 video cards, well suited for gaming at 1080p in today's latest video games. We will determine which video card provides the best performance, image quality, and overall value in this price range.

ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II Video Card

The ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II video card does not ship with a factory overclock. It will ship at the reference R7 265 operating speed of 925MHz, with a memory clock running at 5.6GHz GDDR5. Even though there is not factory overclocked performance, we have access to ASUS GPU Tweak and should be able to squeeze a hefty manual overclock out of it.

We hope to get a strong overclock because the ASUS R7 265 DC II is equipped with the DirectCU II cooling system. For this particular video card, this includes two copper heat pipes that are directly contacting the GPU. These heat pipes stretch to the front and back end of the heatsink. The heatsink is rather small, but is a finned array setup, so there is plenty of surface area for heat to spread. The two lightweight fans are mounted on the face of the video card, directly over the GPU and the copper heat pipes. This allows for maximum heat exhaustion off the video card.

ASUS is also very well known for the quality components it equips its custom boards with. We are assured stability and longevity with ASUS' Super Alloy components. The chokes are designed to eliminate buzzing under load, and the capacitors are viable for up to 50,000 hours. The Super Alloy Power components reduce the power loss, help achieve cooler operations, essentially boosting its performance and overclocking capability.

The ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II video card can be yours for $149 at Newegg after a $10 rebate card. This also includes an AMD Silver gift card for 2 free games, valued at $100. The ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II video card comes with a 3 year limited parts and labor warranty. You can read more about the ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II here.

ASUS R7 265 DirectCU II Pictures

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The ASUS R7 265 DC II ships in a fairly small box, but is well secured in the packaging. 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.

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The ASUS R7 265 DC II is mostly black, and printed on a black PCB. The overall video card is fairly small, and fairly light weight. It feels sturdy and all components are well mounted. One of the small to blow directly on to the two copper heat pipes.

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The 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 along the top part of the video card.

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At the rear end of the ASUS R7 265 DC II video card, along the top is the 6-pin PCIe power connector which ASUS recommends a 500W minimum power supply to function properly. It measures 9 inches in length, 1.5 inches wide, and 4 and 7/8th inches in height.