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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

Test System Setup




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 always, we have a bunch of cards in our graphs here today, and thanks to having a look at a few video cards over the past few weeks, we're also seeing our newer benchmarks start to slowly fill up, which is fantastic.


As for the cards we have here today, sitting next to our overclocked Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC, overclocked to 1145MHz on the core and 6300MHz QDR on the memory, we have the lower-end R9 280X IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 2GB OC and the Vapor-X version of the R9 280X 3GB OC from Sapphire.


Moving into the 290 range of cards, we have the recently looked at HIS versions of the R9 290 4GB IceQ X2 Turbo and R9 290X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo 4GB running at 1100MHz on the core and 5700MHz QDR on the memory. As for the NVIDIA side of things, we have the reference GTX 770 2GB and the ASUS GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum 3GB OC.



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 which 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 drama.


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 have 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 comes 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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