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Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 4GB Vapor-X OC Overclocked Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 5, 2014 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Close up with the Sapphire R9 290X 4GB Vapor-X OC




Taking a look at the card, you find yourself looking at a very familiar design. If you had a chance to look at our R9 280 4GB Vapor-X review, you'll see a setup that is pretty much identical. The massive three-fan heat sink covers the card from top to bottom and from left to right. The black and blue color scheme that Sapphire uses for the Vapor-X line is one of the best color schemes, and the overall quality of the heat sink is second to none.


The cooler has proven itself before on lesser models; today, though, it will really have its work cut out for itself as we take the time to overclock the card higher than the clocks Sapphire offers.






Taking a look around the card, you can see that Sapphire has upgraded the power setup from the single 6-Pin PCIe and 8-Pin PCIe power connector to a dual 8-Pin PCIe power connector setup to offer greater power to the card. Moving closer to the front of the card, we get a chance to see the quality of the heat sink that Sapphire has got going on.


At the front, you can see in typical R9 290 series fashion that we don't have any form of CrossFire connectors. We do have a button instead of the standard switch to swap between the two included BIOS that cover a legacy mode and a UEFI one.




Finishing our look at the I/O side of things, you can see we have two Dual-Link DVI-D connectors along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector. This is a typical setup when it comes to the connectivity side of things. You can also see some vents offered to help push the hot air out the back of the case.





As we mentioned already, the Vapor-X version of the Sapphire R9 290X 4GB comes overclocked out of the box. Being a Vapor-X version also means that Sapphire is slightly more aggressive with the clocks.


Looking below, you can see the default core clock is 1080MHz, while the 4GB of GDDR5 comes in at 5640MHz QDR. This is a really nice out-of-the-box overclock as a reference-clocked card carries with it a core clock of 1000MHz, and the 4GB of GDDR5 comes in at 5000MHz QDR. The fact that Sapphire has chosen to overclock the memory is awesome. It continues to be something most companies neglect.




As we mentioned in the introduction, though, we'll be overclocking the card even higher today. Looking above, you can see the final overclock finished at 1145MHz on the core, while the 4GB of GDDR5 was pushed to an extremely strong 6300MHz QDR.


This is a really strong overclock and should bring with it some excellent performance. We're really looking forward to seeing just what kind of performance we're able to get out of the card today.

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