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  • (26 June 2007, 07:28)
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Things are quickly heating up for what should prove to be an interesting February in the desktop video card market. AMD has already been up to bat once this week with the launch of the Radeon R7 250X, pushing AMD’s Cape Verde GPU back into the picture as the new anchor of their $99 price point. Now just 3 days later AMD is coming up to bat again, this time with the Radeon R7 265.

The launch of the 250X earlier this week and now the 265 are part of a larger refactoring of AMD’s mainstream desktop product family. AMD is cutting prices and launching new products both to maintain and enhance their competitive position, and to fill holes in their lineup – however small – to cover as many price points as possible. The end result is that along with a price cut for the existing R7 260X, which will see AMD’s flagship Bonaire part drop to $119, AMD is also using this time to launch parts above it and below it in order to fill the holes this refactoring is creating.

A key part of that refactoring strategy will be today’s launch of the Radeon R7 265. With R7 260X dropping to $119 and R9 270 holding at $179 (MSRP), AMD has a $60 gap that needs to be filled with a new product, and R7 265 is that product. Based on AMD’s venerable Pitcairn GPU, R7 265 will be filling this gap by bringing a variant of the Radeon HD 7850 back to the market, creating a 3rd tier Pitcairn product for the 200 series. Compared to the 7850 that it’s based on, R7 265 is receiving the same GPU clockspeed and memory clockspeed bump that the 7870-derrived R9 270 series saw last year that will make the R7 265 a bit faster than the 7850 it functionally replaces and making it better suited to fill the gap between the R9 270 and R7 260X.

Meanwhile we also have on hand AMD’s Radeon R7 260 (vanilla). First announced back in mid-December and finally reaching shelves towards late January, R7 260 is AMD’s 2nd tier Bonaire part, creating a lower cost, lower performance variant of the R7 260X. Given the close timing of these launches, and since we’re already looking at one 260 series part today in the 265, we’ll also be taking a look at the 260 so that we can take a complete inventory of AMD’s $100-$150 lineup.

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