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Sapphire Radeon R9 280 Dual-X 3GB OC Video Card Review - Test System Setup & FPS Numbers Explained

Sapphire Radeon R9 280 Dual-X 3GB OC Video Card Review
Floating under the radar, AMD released the Radeon R9 280 (non-X) 3GB to the world. Let's see what Sapphire is offering and if it's worth buying or not.
| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Apr 3, 2014 2:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 60%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Test System Setup

 

TweakTown image content/6/2/6210_99_sapphire_radeon_r9_280_dual_x_3gb_oc_video_card_review.png

 

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

 

As we've just finished mentioning, the new R9 280 3GB from AMD is a rebadged version of the much loved HD 7950 3GB that we saw launched in 2012 along with a bit of a speed bump.

 

The main comparisons we have here today against the Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X 3GB OC is the reference AMD R9 270X 2GB, which sits directly below it, and the XFX R9 280X 3GB Double D Black Edition OC, which sits directly above it.

 

Along with these two cards, which are the main ones we're going to be looking at today, we've also got the reference R9 290 4GB to round off the AMD side of things. For good measure, we've also included the reference GTX 770 2GB from NVIDIA.

 

 

The FPS Numbers Explained

 

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS that we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

 

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

 

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better, and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

 

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it, you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

 

 

Why are some graphs incomplete?

 

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious, and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason, we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

 

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer, more intensive games with benchmarks come to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

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