For those in the market for an affordable mid-range graphics card that will run just fine on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions while having the choice between the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and the binary but high-performance Catalyst driver, meet the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X. Our Linux hardware review for today is looking at the Sapphire 100366L Radeon R7 260X 2GB graphics card.
Sapphire kindly sent over the Radeon R7 260X earlier this month and it's been running great with Linux. Sapphire's Radeon R7 260X features 2GB of GDDR5 video memory, dual DVI connections, HDMI, and DisplayPort connectivity. Sapphire equips this mid-range gaming graphics card with an effective dual-slot cooler that keeps the graphics card running well at a low temperature while not being noisy.
AMD released the Radeon R7 260X in October with the "Bonaire XTX" core. The R7 260X can be paired with either 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 video memory but Sapphire opted for the lesser amount in making this a budget-friendly graphics card. The R7 260X is clocked at 1100MHz for its core while the video memory is running at 1625MHz, but with being a cost-conscious graphics card, there is no boost frequency for the GPU's core. The R7 260X boasts 896 Stream processors. AMD rates the Bonaire XTX with as capable of 1971 single-precision GFLOPS or 123 dual-precision GFLOPS. Being one of the newer GCN GPUs, the Radeon R7 260X supports both AMD TrueAudio and Mantle, but the latter isn't yet important to Linux users.
Included with the graphics card was the Windows driver installation CD, Sapphire product registration information, quick install guide, DVI to VGA adapter, CrossFire bridge, and 4-pin molex to 6-pin PCI Express power adapter.
Not that it's important, but just pointing out, that Sapphire lists Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Vista as supported operating systems. The increased Linux gaming activity, Valve's SteamOS and Steam Machines work, and other high-profile Linux gaming news hasn't yet taken its hold on AMD's partners. Going back to the RV770 launch event several years ago, AMD marketing executives were telling me we would start seeing Tux and "Linux-supported" on some graphics card packaging (it's ultimately left up to the AIB partner to decide), but to date I've only ever seen Linux or the Tux logo appear on a few graphics card packages from AMD or NVIDIA.