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Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB TOXIC Video Card Review

Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB TOXIC Video Card Review

We check out the brand new and very sexy looking R9 280X 3GB TOXIC from Sapphire. Let's see how our first custom 280X review sample performs.

@ShawnBakerTW
Shawn Baker
Published Mon, Oct 14 2013 11:11 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 36 IMAGES

We've already had the chance to check out two of the new R series cards from AMD in the form of the AMD Radeon R7 260X 2GB and AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB reference models, and both did an excellent job of impressing us. The R7 260X really hits at the right price point and the R9 270X comes in also at a strong price point. Performance, though, is slightly better than we expected on the model when compared to the more expensive GTX 760, and for that reason, we felt it was a more all-round model.

Today we get to step it up in two ways. First we get to see the model that sits above the just looked at R9 270X. Along with that, we also get to look at our first retail card, and we've got to say that from first glance, we've started off with quite the looker.

The Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC is a great looking card as you can see above in our introduction image. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, though, as they say, so we won't read into it too much. If past experience is anything to go by, though, we should have quite the card on our hand.

Mentioning again that this card is our first retail one it also means that instead of going straight into the card like our previous R series cards, we'll be checking out the bundle that Sapphire is offering. So, let's get into that before we get into the real fun stuff and see just what the brand new Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC is capable of achieving.

Package

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Checking out the box, you can see that Sapphire has got a new design which looks good. You can see across the top that we're dealing with the R9 280X and this particular one is part of the popular TOXIC series. We can also see across the bottom of the box some of the main features which include 3GB of GDDR5, pre-overclock, along with the new Tri-X Cooler. Turning over, we see some of the main features again, with a bit more detail.

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Diving inside the package, you can see a typical Sapphire setup, which includes the normal array of paperwork and driver CD. Along with those, we've got a CrossFire bridge, Mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort connector, two Dual-Molex to 8-pin PCIe connectors, and a HDMI cable to round things out.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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The new Tri-X cooler looks awesome. Of course, the Tri name comes from the fact we're dealing with three fans. You can see the massive heatsink that sits behind it and hangs off the back of the card, along with the copper heat pipes that run throughout the heatsink. While we can't see much of the PCB, you can see that Sapphire has opted for a great looking matte black PCB.

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Turning the card over, we can see the heatsink again hanging off the back. The main reason we're looking at the back of the card here, though, is because of the awesome looking plate covering the card. You can also see the little heatsinks at the back of the card for the memory. This really is an awesome looking card.

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You can see we've got two power connectors in the form of two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. While we haven't yet had a chance to look at a reference R9 280X, this power connection setup is up on the standard setup, which includes a single 8-pin and single 6-pin PCIe power connector.

Staying across the top and moving to the front, you can see we've got two CrossFire connectors, giving us the ability to run up to three cards. Also here we have a switch that lets us swap between two BIOS's. This gives us the ability to switch between a UEFI and Non-UEFI BIOS depending on your platform. If you've using a UEFI based system, though, you shouldn't have to touch this button.

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Finishing up our look at the card, we move to the I/O side of things, which is also improved on the reference design. We've got two DVI connectors, one in the form of a Dual-Link DVI and the other a Single-Link DVI connector. Along with that we've also got a HDMI connector and two Mini-DisplayPort connectors. This differs to the reference design which sees two Dual-Link DVI connectors, along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector.

Specifications

When it comes to taking a look at the specifications, we have to remember that we're dealing with an overclocked card. Before we go into the exact details of just what we have here, we'll quickly cover what a reference card will carry.

Out of the box, a reference clocked card will see a 1000MHz core clock, alongside a 6000MHz QDR memory clock. Looking below, you can see that Sapphire is offering us quite the overclock, with the core being pushed up to 1150MHz and the 3GB of GDDR5 which sits on a 384-bit memory bus coming in at 6400MHz QDR.

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Some of the other key specifications for the card include the 2048 Stream Processors and 32 ROPs. Including this we've also got a number of other features that are new to the R7 and R9 series. Instead of repeating them again if you didn't read our first review on the R7 260X 2GB, we'd recommend you head over to page two of it to learn more about TrueAudio and the new API features and over to the R9 270X 2GB review to read a bit more on the new Eyefinity features that are brought to the table.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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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're starting to test the higher-end offerings from AMD, we've got more and more cards that we can compare the new models against, since a lot of the recently reviewed cards have been in the upper mid-range to higher-end area.

We've got a number of cards in our graphs today with the main ones of course being the other R series based video cards we've looked at including the reference R7 260X 2GB and R9 270X 2GB.

Along with those cards, we've also got the PowerColor PCS HD 7950 2GB, which is overclocked to over 1100MHz, along with the reference HD 7970 GHz Edition. When it comes to the NVIDIA side of things we've got the MSI GTX 660 HAWK 2GB, Colorful GTX 760 iGAME 2GB OC and the reference GTX 770 2GB.

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 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 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.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11, you can see that performance out of the box is strong.

Looking above, you can see that performance on the R9 280X 3GB TOXIC is ahead of everything else here at both presets, including the more expensive GTX 770 2GB.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark

Buy It Here

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

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While our Fire Strike results continue to be limited at the moment as it's one of the newer benchmarks compared to the cards that have been tested here, you can see the numbers are again strong across the board.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Looking at Heaven, we can again see some fantastic performance again out of the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB, with it again coming out ahead of the GTX 770 2GB at both resolutions.

It really goes to show us how well AMD has done in tessellation, an area that they've really improved in each generation over the years.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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Looking at PSO2, you can see that again the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC comes out ahead of all the other video cards here, including again the more expensive GTX 770.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Lost Planet 2 performance is extremely strong at all resolutions. While we do fall behind the GTX 770 2GB in this instance, the most important thing to note here is that we're above 60 FPS at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Just Cause 2 performance is strong, and you can see that the card again comes out ahead of the GTX 770 2GB.

We've again also got playable numbers at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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Moving into F1 2012, performance is strong at all resolutions.

Compared to the GTX 770 2GB, you can see we're ahead of that at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200. Moving to 2560 x 1600, though, you can see the card falls slightly behind by a few FPS.

Benchmarks - Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://enterthemetro.com/ /

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it, while Ranger leader Colonel Miller wants to kill the creature due to its potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

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For the first time we see a card that breaks through the 60 FPS barrier.

Looking above, you can see at 1680 x 1060 that the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC offers a strong 69 FPS. Moving to 1920 x 1200, while we fall short of that 60 FPS number, the 59 FPS number we get is strong and playable.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

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Here we see strong numbers again across the board under Dirt Showdown, and we again see the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC come out ahead of the GTX 770 2GB at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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We continue to have issue running Nexuiz on the new R series based cards. As we've mentioned before, we hope that a driver comes out soon, and we can continue to add it into our arsenal of benchmarks.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 performance is strong across the board at all resolutions. Compared to the GTX 770 2GB, you can see in this case both cards perform close to each other, with little separating them at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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Sleeping Dogs number are great at all resolutions. Not only do we have playable numbers, we have numbers that are clearly ahead of all the competition.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Far Cry 2 numbers, as you'd expect, are extremely strong at all resolutions. Playing Far Cry 2 on this card at any resolution isn't going to be an issue.

Please Note: We still include Far Cry 2 in our benchmarks (we know it's old) as a way for our readers to get a general representation of how older games perform on new hardware.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by I/O Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on I/O Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

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Hitman Absolution numbers are fantastic coming out ahead of the GTX 770 2GB at all resolutions. More importantly, though, we've just got playable numbers at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

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Getting into Tomb Raider, you can see strong performance that is again ahead of the GTX 770 2GB at all resolutions.

Moving to 2560 x 1600, though, we would say while the minimum is strong, the average isn't where we want it to be with 46 FPS being too low for solid gameplay.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it is being developed by Irrational Games and was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

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When it comes to BioShock Infinite, we can see that this Sapphire card sits slightly ahead of the GTX 770 2GB at all resolutions.

At 2560 x 1600, you can see even though it does come out ahead of the GTX 770, it is unable to hit the 60 FPS number that we're on the hunt for to provide smooth gameplay.

Benchmarks - Battlefield 4 Open Beta

Battlefield 4 Open Beta

Version and / or Patch Used: Open Beta

Timedemo or Level Used: Custom 60 Second Run with FRAPS

Developer Homepage: http://dice.se/

Product Homepage: https://www.battlefield.com/games/battlefield-4

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 features several changes compared to its predecessor. The game's heads-up display is much the same, composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it; the lower right includes a compact ammo counter and health meter. The mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols marking three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and red/orange for enemies.

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Battlefield 4 Open Beta is our newest benchmark to be added and for that reason you can see we just have two cards in the graph.

While you can see that at the highest resolution we don't have the average we want, moving below that to 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050, we have strong minimums and averages.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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With AA and AF on, you can see at both resolutions that the new Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC has no problems getting playable FPS.

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Looking above, you can see as soon as we turn AA and AF on, we're just not able to get the FPS we need for Metro Last Light to be playable.

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Just Cause 2 performance at both resolutions is strong and ahead of the GTX 770 2GB here. More importantly, though, the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC manages to bring us playable FPS at 2560 x 1600 with AA and AF turned on, thanks to the 65 FPS average.

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While the numbers here for the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC are strong against the competition, at both resolutions, you can see we do fall shy of that 60 FPS number we want at both resolutions for solid gameplay.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Checking out the temperature of the core, you can see we're sitting in the middle of the pack for the most part.

These are good numbers, but the noise levels are what we're really interested in.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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A little over 62dB sees the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC again sit in the middle of the pack, which makes its overall cooling solution quite reasonable.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Coming in at just below 450 Watt during load, we see the new AMD offerings perform extremely strong in the power rating department, considering the performance of the model.

A good quality and branded 650 Watt power supply isn't going to be an issue for this kind of setup.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

While not showing up on Newegg yet, the price of Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC is going to sit somewhere between the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB Dual-X which comes in at $319.99 and the most expensive R9 280X 3GB, the ASUS MATRIX version, which comes in at $349.99.

Considering the $400 starting price point of the GTX 770 2GB, the new Radeon R9 280X 3GB from AMD really manages to hit at an awesome price point. Of course, we can't really mention on how the model compares at stock due to the fact that this particular offering from Sapphire is overclocked by a decent chunk from the factory. Coming in at least $50 cheaper than the GTX 770 2GB is really good news for AMD and buyers of mid-$300 level video cards.

Getting a bit more specific on the Sapphire offering here today, you can see they've done a fantastic job. The new cooler is awesome and does an excellent job of keeping the core cool, while not producing too much noise. There's not much else you could ask for, but aesthetically the cooler also looks great, especially with the black PCB and the massive plate that is at the back of the card. Sapphire has put together a really sexy card here.

While we don't have the price on the card yet, we're sure that even if it sat up there with the ASUS MATRIX, which is $349.99, the value of the card is still extremely strong. Anything below that price and the value becomes even better again. Sapphire has done a fantastic job with the R9 280X 3GB TOXIC.

It's clear that AMD has given its partners an excellent starting platform. Sapphire has really come out of the gate swinging strong with the new model, and we really look forward to seeing what other companies offer us in the coming weeks and months.

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PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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