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Sapphire Radeon R9 285 2GB Dual-X OC Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 2, 2014 12:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Close up with the Sapphire R9 285 2GB Dual-X OC

 

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Pulling the card out of the box, we can see the Dual-X cooling solution. This isn't anything new from Sapphire. What is new, though, is the purple highlights, which look awesome. Sapphire has really gone outside of the box recently when it comes to adding color to their cards. The purple looks great and the blue that we see on the Vapor-X cards looks really awesome.

 

Outside of the purple highlights and two fans, though, you can see a massive heat sink underneath and a couple of copper heat pipes coming out the bottom of the card. Everything is sitting on a very sexy looking black PCB which kind of just finishes off the look in a very positive way.

 

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Taking a quick spin around the card, you can see that power for the card comes in the form of two 6-Pin PCIe power connectors. Moving closer to the front, you can see we've got a switch that lets us swap between two BIOSes that are installed. What we don't have is CrossFire bridges. This isn't because it's not supported, but because AMD has included the latest CrossFire technology which is seen in the R9 290 series cards. That means that you're able to CrossFire this card with another R9 285 2GB without a CrossFire cable.

 

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Heading over to the I/O side, you can see we've got a pair of DVI connectors that sit alongside a HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round things off. This is a fairly standard I/O setup.

 

 

Specifications

 

Taking a look below, we can see where the R9 285 sits when compared to other R9 28X cards. When it comes to the specifications, you can see we're pretty much dealing with an R9 280 with a 256-bit bus instead of the 384-bit bus. Stream Processors and Texture units are identical. Because of this, overall compute performance is nearly identical.

 

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When it comes to clock speeds, the reference core clock is up to 918MHz, while the 2GB of GDDR5 carries a 5500MHz QDR memory clock speed. Looking below, you can see that Sapphire has bumped both of these numbers up slightly on their Dual-X version of the card.

 

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The core has been increased to 965MHz, while the 2GB of GDDR5 has been bumped ever so slightly to 1400MHz, which translates to 5600MHz QDR. With AMD not really pushing the reference model, this is likely going to be one of those cards that most people will buy overclocked versions of.

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