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AMD launches new R9 and R7 graphics cards aimed at best bang-for-buck

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AMD today launched its brand new series of R7 and R9 desktop graphics cards in time for Christmas and the undoubted rush for upgrades to play the latest PC games, not least of all Battlefield 4, that will come bundled with orders of the top end card.

The R9 series is the cream of the crop and is aimed squarely at enthusiasts wanting 4K and/or multi-display gaming, while the R7 caters for the budget conscious gamer. Leading the way is the R9 290X and the line goes all way down to the price-aware $69 R7 240.

AMD has not announced any details for the R9 290X but we expect it to cost $400-$500. The next in line is the R9 280X that will retail at $299 and provides 4.1 TFLOPS of compute performance with 3GB of GDDR5 384-bit RAM. It is aggressively priced and provides more performance than the 3.2 TFLOPS the $400 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 can muster. The R9 270X comes in two iterations, one 2GB and one 4GB retailing at $199 and $299 respectively and offers 2.69 TFLOPS. AMD made it clear that it is aiming to beat NVIDIA in the bang-for-buck stakes at every level and, on paper, it looks like that may well be the case.

The R7 series comes in 3 versions and is aimed at 1080 resolution gaming. The R7 260X leads the pack with 1.97 TFLOPS for $139, the R7 250 0.8 TFLOPS for $89 and the baby of the group is the R7 240 with 0.5 TFLOPS for $69. UK pricing has not yet been confirmed.

Along with the new graphics cards AMD announced a new API called Mantle that will enable game developers to access PC hardware in a much more efficient manner. Click here for more details on Mantle or carry on to the next page for the specification details of all the AMD graphics cards announced today.

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