VisionTek Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card Review

VisionTek Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card Review

Having just finished looking at the Radeon R7 260X 2GB from VisionTek, we today look at something a little higher-end. Let's see how it performs now.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Sun, Dec 8 2013 8:01 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: VisionTek

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 32 IMAGES

The other day we got a chance to check out the VisionTek R7 260X 2GB and took the time to overclock the model to see just what we could get out of the card. Today we're looking at another VisionTek card, although this one is part of the higher-end R9 series and is the 3GB 280X that we've grown to quickly love.

If you thought the amount of video cards we're going to be looking at in the coming weeks is going to slow down though, you'd be so wrong. AMD partners are extremely aggressive with the new models and there are just so many variations that we've got cards coming in on what almost feels like a daily basis.

We found ourselves pretty happy with what VisionTek did with the R7 260X 2GB and we're looking forward to seeing what they're doing with the larger and more powerful R9 280X 3GB. So, let's not delay any longer and get into the package to see just what VisionTek is offering us today.

Package

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Taking a look at the box, you can see the design is nearly identical to the lower-end R7 260X 2GB we looked at the other day. We've got a bright colored box which gives us the brand and model number on the front. You can also see some of the main features that in this case, again, include Lifetime Warranty and U.S. Tek Support - two features that really stand out to us. The back of the box then goes on to give us a bit more detail on the AMD specific features including: CrossFire, APP Acceleration, and Zerocore Power to name a few.

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As for the bundle, you can see there's not a whole lot going on. Outside of the manual and driver CD, you can see we've got a DVI to VGA connector and two power convertors; one a dual Molex to 8-Pin PCIe connector and the other a single Molex to 6-Pin PCIe power connector.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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Taking a look at the card you'd think the first thing we notice is the giant red cooler, but to be honest, that little bit of black PCB that shows up across the bottom is what caught our eyes first. We said it the other day and we'll say it again, while the PCB color is only aesthetic, we do love when companies opt for a black one. As for the cooler, you can see it covers majority of the card as you'd expect, with two fans and a massive aluminum heat sink sitting in the back ground.

If we look a little closer, we can see some copper heat pipes coming out of the bottom, along with a couple at the top of the card. The R7 260X 2GB cooler ran a little louder so we're looking forward to seeing if this one today runs a little cooler while being just as efficient.

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Heading to the top of the card, you can see power comes in the form of a single 8-Pin and single 6-Pin PCIe power connector; this is of course the standard power setup. Here we also get another sneak peek at the heat pipes coming out the top of the card. Sticking to the top of the card, and heading closer to the front, you can see we've got two CrossFire connectors along with our dual BIOS switch.

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We've seen a couple of different configurations when it comes to the R9 280X 3GB and the I/O side of things. Looking above, you can see we've got a single Dual-Link DVI connector, along with a single HDMI port and a pair of Mini DisplayPort connectors to round things off. As a DisplayPort fan, the connectivity setup that leans towards DisplayPort is always a healthy one.

Specifications

The VisionTek R9 280X 3GB card carries with it the reference clock speeds. While normally we'd take the time to overclock a card with reference clock speeds, the funny thing is, we are yet to see a R9 280X 3GB with the stock clocks.

Because AMD didn't sample a reference version of the card, we've seen pre-overclocked versions from companies. Because of that, we decided to take the time to test the card at its reference clock speeds.

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What are the reference clock speeds then? The core comes in at 1000MHz while the 3GB of GDDR5 carries a 6000MHz QDR memory clock. It will be nice to see just how a stock clock card compares to some other models we've already tested.

Benchmarks - 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 we just mentioned, because this is the first R9 280X 3GB that we've received carrying with it the reference clocks, we wanted to test it at those speeds.

Along with that, though, we've got the reference AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition and the quite heavy out of the box overclocked Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB TOXIC, which really impressed us.

We continue on with other R9 models including the reference R9 290 4GB and the R9 290X 4GB, which is shown running in both Quiet and Uber mode. We found on the AMD side of things, the CrossFire R9 280X Twin Frozr Gaming OC setup from MSI.

As for the NVIDIA side of things, we've got the reference GTX 770 2GB, the heavily overclocked MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB at over 1000MHz on the core, and the EVGA GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked card.

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 come 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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Coming out of the gate with 3DMark 11, you can see that performance sits just slightly ahead of the older AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB card, sneaking out just ahead at both present. You can also see that performance is similar to the reference 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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Fire Strike is one of our newer benchmarks and you can see our results aren't as complete as our 3DMark 11 graph. The main cards that we'd want to see the VisionTek R9 280X against (the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB and GTX 770 2GB) don't have results. The numbers on a whole do look good though.

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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Heaven Performance looks really good and you can see while 3DMark 11 saw the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB and the R9 280X 3GB sit quite close, here the new R9 has a much stronger lead.

Compared to the GTX 770 2GB though, you can see the NVIDIA offering manages to come out slightly ahead at both resolutions. Not a huge surprise, NVIDIA continues to perform very strong when tessellation is thrown into the mix.

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 performance, you can see that the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB, GTX 770 2GB, and VisionTek R9 280X all perform quite close to each other. As for the overall performance, coming in at around the 9,000 mark means that the game will run fantastic at these maxed out settings.

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 sees the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB and AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB perform very close to each other with the new R9 offering coming out a little faster at the highest resolution and giving us a bit more breathing room at 71 FPS.

The GTX 770 2GB manages to perform stronger across the board and that doesn't come as a huge surprise as Lost Planet 2 is heavy again on the tessellation side of things.

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 looks good at all resolutions with playable numbers coming from the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB. We see, for the most part, performance is just slightly ahead of the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB.

Against the GTX 770 2GB, you can see performance is strong across the board, with the most impressive performance difference being seen at the highest resolution with a strong 87 FPS being seen from the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB.

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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F1 2012 performance is strong across the board and you can see we've got good gains over the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB and we're ahead of the GTX 770 at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. The only time we fall behind is at the highest resolution, and with 113 FPS coming out of our VisionTek R9 280X 3GB, we're not exactly complaining.

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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At the lowest resolution, you can see the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB manages to just scrape past that 60 FPS average with 63 FPS. Above that resolution, you can see we don't have any luck. Also, being one of our newer games, we don't have results for the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB or GTX 770 2GB here.

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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Dirt Showdown performance is extremely strong and while the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB and GTX 770 2GB fall short of playable FPS at the highest resolution, our VisionTek R9 280X 3GB manages to put out a strong 70 FPS.

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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The incredibly intensive Nexuiz sees the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB fall short of 60 FPS at all resolutions. Not a huge surprise considering just how intensive this game is.

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 sees the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB score almost identical with the HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB at all resolutions.

The good news is that means we've got playable numbers at all resolutions, the bad news is it means that compared to the GTX 770 2GB, we're lagging behind at all resolutions. This includes a 9 FPS difference at the highest resolution, which would've been nice as we sit in the mid 60 FPS range with the AMD cards.

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 sees awesome performance at all resolutions and you can see that compared to the HD 7970 GHz Edition and GTX 770 2GB, we've got a decent lead. The numbers overall though, are very good with a solid 92 FPS being seen at 2560 x 1600.

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 performance is strong across the board. We've got some great numbers at all resolutions, including a 52 FPS minimum and 62 FPS average at 2560 x 1600. On the other hand, the GTX 770 2GB falls a little short at this resolution.

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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Tomb Raider numbers look strong at both 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050. We also see that the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB offers a strong boost over the GTX 770 2GB, which falls short at 1920 x 1200. At 2560 x 1600 though, we can see the 31 FPS minimum and 41 FPS average just aren't where they need to be.

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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Looking above, you can see that the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB and GTX 770 2GB perform quite close to each other. 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050 numbers are strong, but you can see at the highest resolution we fall short with both cards scoring around the mid 40 FPS range.

Benchmarks - Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

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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Our results are still quite limited for Battlefield 4 as it's our newest benchmark. The good news though, is that at all resolutions, you can see we've got 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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Cranking up the AA and AF, we can see that gaming under Metro: Last Light with these settings just isn't an option.

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Just Cause 2 on the other hand, looks good and you can see we manage to get an even 60 FPS at 2560 x 1600 with AA and AF on. The GTX 770 2GB on the other hand, falls short of that 60 FPS number with 55 FPS being seen.

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Moving back into something newer, you can see we fall short of playable numbers at both resolutions again when AA and AF comes into the picture. An issue is seen on a number of cards here.

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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Coming in at 68c under load, the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB sits in the middle of the pack. The number on a whole seems pretty strong; let's hope this comes with good noise levels as well.

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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Looking above you can see we're just shy of 60dB under load, which sees the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB sit in the bottom half of the pack. This is a good number that goes with a decent temperature number.

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 video 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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At a little over 400 watt under load, we're sitting towards the middle of the pack here. We'd recommend a quality 550 Watt - 600 Watt PSU for a setup like this.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

Heading over to Newegg, we see that most R9 280X 3GB variations come in between $299 and $319, depending on the cooler, overclock, and brand. The good news is that the VisionTek offering comes in at the lower-end of the scale, falling in at $299 at the time of writing. The fact that the model isn't overclocked means that we would expect that.

On the other hand, the card of course carries with it a custom cooler, but more importantly a Lifetime Warranty. Lifetime Warranties are a funny thing, with most cards seeing something around the 2 year mark; if you're a regular upgrader I personally feel that a Lifetime Warranty is pointless. On the other hand, if you're somebody who is looking to buy a video card and keep it for longer, the longer warranty can of course come in handy. This plays even a bigger part when you consider that a video card can quite often be one of the most expensive components in your system.

Moving away from the pricing side of things and talking about the card and its bundle a bit more, we can see that in typical fashion, the bundle hasn't got a whole lot going on. Most companies are pretty light on the bundle side of things these days and the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB is again no different. Saying that, you really do have everything you need to get up and running. As always though, we'd recommend you head on over to the AMD website to grab the latest drivers so you get the most performance out of your card.

As for the card itself, it's a pretty strong one. The price is good and the cooler does a good job of keeping the core cool without putting out too much noise. As for the performance of the card, it's that of a reference R9 280X 3GB since it's of course coming in at reference clocks. Talking about the specifics that are related to the reference clocks though, we can see that we're sitting in line with the HD 7970 GHz Edition, to ahead of it by a decent chunk at times.

Compared to the NVIDIA side of things, we can see it bounces a little all over the place against the reference GTX 770 2GB. Sometimes it falls behind, other times it comes out ahead and manages to offer playable FPS where the NVIDIA offering fails. Considering we're $30 - $100 cheaper depending on the brand though, you could say that the VisionTek R9 280X 3GB is an easy buy.

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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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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