Sapphire Radeon R7 260X: A Great Linux Graphics Card

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 29 January 2014. Page 8 of 8. 32 Comments

The Sapphire Radeon R7 260X 2GB GDDR5 graphics card with dual DVI connectors (plus HDMI and DisplayPort) is currently retailing for $130~140 USD, which given these positive Linux results, makes this graphics card very attractive for the casual gamer or someone not wanting to spend much more than $100 on a graphics card.

These results showed the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X generally running ahead of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650, which is a graphics card selling for $120 USD or even more than the Sapphire R7 260X depending upon the AIB and graphics card configuration. The Sapphire Radeon R7 260X on Linux with the Catalyst driver in some of the tests was also running faster than the Radeon HD 7850, which is an older GCN graphics card but still retailing for more than the R7 260X (~$170+).

This graphics card was tested on AMD's official, high-performance Catalyst Linux graphics driver but for open-source fans it will work with the open-source Radeon graphics driver. Just be advised for the best results you will want to be running very recent (a.k.a. ideally Git) Linux kernel, Mesa for RadeonSI Gallium3D, xf86-video-ati, and LLVM. Tests in a follow-up article will look at the latest open-source RadeonSI Linux graphics performance with this Sapphire Radeon R7 260X and other recent Radeon GPUs.

In summary, the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X is a very nice graphics card that doesn't cost too much and will happily run on Linux with either the Catalyst driver or open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. The performance stands its ground against the competition, the performance-per-Watt is good, and Sapphire equipped this graphics card with a cooler that gets the job done well and isn't noisy. With a price of around $130~140 USD, I would happily recommend this Sapphire graphics card for those looking towards a modest Radeon Linux upgrade.

Thanks again to Sapphire Technology for providing Phoronix with this review sample. If you wish to see how your system compares to the selection of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards tested in this Linux hardware review, simply install the Phoronix Test Suite on the Linux distribution of your choice and then run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1401297-PL-AMDRADEON49 for a fully automated comparison from test downloading and setup to execution and result analysis. It's straightforward, completely reproducible, and will immediately let you know what you can expect from an upgrade.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via