Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
Coming in at around the $300 mark, the new Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X 3GB card is probably priced a bit too high when compared to the models that sit to either side of it. The Dual-X version of the Sapphire R9 270X 2GB comes in at around the low $200 level, while the R9 280X 3GB version of the model comes in around $30 to $40 more expensive.
I must admit that while sitting here, it's quite difficult to get excited about the Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X 3GB OC. While that's being a bit specific, the honest truth is it's hard to just get excited about the R9 280 3GB from AMD. This is simply an HD 7950 3GB and that alone is not a bad thing. The HD 7950 3GB was a great card and in its day; it performed exceptionally well and always hit us at a great price point.
The R series of video cards from AMD, though, truly brings with it a great step forward in the next generation of video cards. The R9 280 3GB isn't part of that step forward. The release of this model makes us almost feel like AMD has tainted the line of fantastic video cards that make up the R Series.
While the price is in between the R9 270X 2GB and R9 280X 3GB, it's too heavily weighted to the latter side. Performance is in between the two models...at best. For the most part, we find it leaning more towards its cheaper R9 270X 2GB little brother with it even falling short sometimes due to the way the new R series of cards have improved the GPUs in some key technologies.
By no means is the Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X 3GB OC a bad card. The R9 280 3GB in the line of R series based cards we have at the moment, though, is a horrible inclusion. AMD has really done a fantastic job with the new R series of cards, but rebranding the HD 7950 3GB with the R label is an unfortunate misstep in what has been a tremendous line up of video cards.
Sapphire has done what they can do with the model. When it comes to the cooler, the numbers are great as we saw on the previous pages. While this is our first R9 280 3GB, and more than likely our last after this review, we're sure that if you wanted to buy this model, then the Sapphire version would be a clear stand out as they normally are.
The simple fact is that we just can't recommend this card. If you're on a HD 7900 series card, this is going to be a side step or down grade. If you can't afford the extra dollars that are associated with a Sapphire R9 280X 3GB Dual-X, then save your money and get the Dual-X version of the R9 270X 2GB from them.
By no fault of Sapphire's is this card a model we wouldn't recommend. AMD has really put companies in a tough position with this new model. It taints what is a fantastic line up of video cards. It's obvious why AMD and most of their partners aren't promoting this model. Let's hope for their sake that it's forgotten about as quickly as it was known.
PRICING: You can find the Sapphire R9 280 3GB Dual-X for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Sapphire R9 280 3GB Dual-X retails for $344.00 at Amazon.
Canada: The Sapphire R9 280 3GB Dual-X retails for CDN$567.72 at Amazon Canada.