Introduction of the Sapphire R9 285 2GB Dual-X OC
Sitting here writing the first sentence of this Sapphire R9 285 2GB Dual-X OC video card review, I find myself already annoyed at AMD. This is because while I'm only just starting to write the review now, I've already tested the card and have come to a conclusion on it in my head. I found myself having a conversation with an AMD partner, which was a conversation I've had with them so many times before. What are AMD doing?
I don't want you to now think that this is a bad video card and you should stop reading. I don't think I've ever really written my final thoughts about a product in an introduction, but the last thing I want you to do is stop reading and give up on the card. The Sapphire R9 285 Dual-X OC is a good card and you'll see that as we move forward today. As for my annoyance with AMD, that's also something I'll cover when I wrap things up.
For now let's talk about what's going on with the new model that is launching today. Because AMD thought that everyone wasn't busy enough with a new Intel platform that brought with it new CPUs, motherboards and RAM modules, they thought they'd throw a spanner into the works and make everyone else work a little bit harder then they need to.
The second I heard about this model, I this instant feeling that it would never get off the ground. If we've learnt anything over the years, it would be that as soon as AMD release a model that ends in the number "5" or has a "XT" label on it, it's destined to not get off the ground - especially when AMD have got a series that is as tight packed as they do right now.
Get ready to be confused. The R9 285 2GB is designed to sit above the $199 R9 270X, but below the $299 R9 280X. It sits smack bang in the middle at $249. Of course that's not going to confuse anyone..... Outside of that, AMD weren't happy with how we reviewed the R9 280 originally. We called them out for setting the model at a terrible price point and when they finally dropped the card down to a more aggressive price point, they wanted us to look at the model again. We did... four of them actually!
That's fine. I don't mind it at all. I like to review video cards and the price drop they offered on the cards was great and made the model look a whole lot more attractive. Awesome! But looking below. Where does the R9 280 sit?
A model that AMD all of a sudden wanted to suddenly re-promote isn't even in the main PowerPoint when it comes to covering the new R9 285 2GB. Priced anywhere from $199 - $278, though, why would it? The R9 280 3GB is a good model and we really liked the performance that was offered from the model. I feel like I could honestly go on and on and on here. Instead of that, though, let's move forward and take a look at the card we have here. Today we're looking at the Sapphire R9 285 2GB OC. It came direct from AMD and didn't include a package, so we're going to simply be moving on from here to the card.