Close up with the Sapphire R9 280X Dual-X 3GB OC Video Card
Pulling the card out of the box and getting our first look, you can see that the overall design isn't too unfamiliar to us. You can see we've got the two fans in the middle of the card with a massive heat sink sitting behind them.
Across the bottom, you can see a number of copper heat pipes coming out the bottom. This isn't the first time we've seen the cooler; we recently saw it on the R9 270 from Sapphire as well. It did a good job on that card, and we're hoping it continues to perform well on the higher up GPU.
Taking the time to look around the card, you can see that power comes in the form of two 6-Pin PCIe power connectors. This is slightly down from the R9 280X 3GB, which also uses two power connectors but instead opts for a single 6-Pin and single 8-Pin PCIe power connector to get up and running.
Heading to the front of the card, you can see we've got our two CrossFire connectors in the event that you want to run more than two of these cards together. Across here, you can also see a switch that lets us switch between two BIOSes that are installed. For the most part, you'll probably find yourself not needing to use it.
Finishing our look at the card, we head to the I/O panel. Here we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors, one a DVI-D and one a DVI-I. You can also see an HDMI 1.2 connector and a DisplayPort connector to round things off. You can also see in the corner that we've got some vents to let the hot air escape out the back of the case.
If you're familiar with the HD 7950 3GB that was released in 2012, then you'll find yourself fairly comfortable with the new R9 280 3GB. It sports 1,792 Shader cores along with 3GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit bus; this means that we're dealing with a rebranded HD 7950 3GB.
For the core, Sapphire has bought that in at 940MHz via Boost. The 3GB of GDDR5 carries with it a clock of 5,000MHz QDR. Just because the model is a rebadge, though, it doesn't make it any less important.
If the performance sits well against the current crop of cards and fills a gap in both performance and price, then the model can be successful. So saying that, let's check out the test system and see just exactly what we're dealing with.