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Sapphire Radeon R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC Overclocked Video Card Review

We check out the massive Radeon R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC video card from Sapphire and find out what it is capable of doing under our tests.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Mar 7 2014 9:12 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:00 PM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 31 IMAGES

The other day, we got the chance to have a look at an R9 290X 4GB from MSI and found ourselves quite impressed with the Twin Frozr Gaming OC variant of the model. Today, we've got another R9 290X 4GB on our hands. This time it's from Sapphire. The particular version of the R9 290X 4GB we're looking at today comes in under the TRI-X name, which is one we've seen in the past.

The TRI-X and Dual-X series are two of the more recent additions to the Sapphire line up, and they've both done a great job of impressing us. The latter series is reserved for more mid-range models. There isn't a whole lot for us to say about the R9 290X 4GB or just the R series in general. Since the launch of the series last year, we've found ourselves extremely impressed with what AMD has been offering us.

The company has been able to offer not only cards with excellent performance and a fantastic set of features, but they've also managed to do this at an excellent price point. Today, we'll be finding out if Sapphire is able to keep that trend going with the TRI-X version of the card.

While normally we'd move from here to a look at the box, today we don't have the cover for the outside of the box. Saying that, though, we do have the full bundle. So while we won't be looking at what the exterior of the package offers us, we will be able to dive into the bundle to see just what Sapphire is offering. So with that all said and done, let's see just what's going on with the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC bundle.

Package

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Checking out the bundle, you can see all the standard inclusions that you'd expect to get. We've got our Sapphire registration card along with a Quick Install Guide and Driver CD to round off the normal paperwork.

From a cable perspective, you can see we've got a Dual-Molex to 8-Pin PCIe power connector along with a Molex to 6-Pin PCIe power connector. Along with that, you can also see the standard HDMI cable that Sapphire includes on a lot of their mid-range and up models.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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Moving away from the bundle and onto the card, you can see the massive TRI-X cooler that Sapphire uses. Of course, the "TRI" in the name refers to the three fans that are used on the cooler. You can see it's simply massive and takes up the entire PCB and then some, as the cooler hangs over the end of the PCB.

You can see behind the massive heat sink setup that's going on, and, behind the middle fan, you can see a number of copper heat pipes that are designed to draw the heat away from the core. This is a great looking cooler and let's hope it does a good job of cooling our R9 290X 4GB core today.

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Moving away from the front of the card and taking the time to take a quick look around it, you can see that power comes in the form of two power connectors: one is a 6-Pin PCIe and the other, an 8-Pin PCIe one. Here you can also see just how much the cooler overshoots the PCB while also getting another look at the copper heat pipe setup that's present.

Heading to the front of the card, you can see that we've, of course, got no CrossFire bridge present as it's not needed on the R9 290 and R9 290X models. The only noteworthy mention down here is the Dual BIOS switch that is present on all R9 290X cards.

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Looking at the connector setup, you can see it's all a very standard affair. We've got two Dual-Link DVI-D connectors along with an HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round things off. You can also see that Sapphire has tried to vent the I/O plate as much as possible so the hot air can escape out the back of the case.

Specifications

As the OC in the name suggests, the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC is overclocked out of the box. Looking below, you can see that the core comes in at 1040MHz, which is just 40MHz higher than the default 1000MHz clock.

Because the core increase is quite small, it seems that Sapphire has chosen to increase the memory clock as well, something we see most companies ignore these days. Looking below, you can see the memory clock has been increased from 5000MHz QDR to 5200MHz QDR.

Both clocks aren't big in any sense of the word. Because of that, we've decided to fire up Sapphire TRI-X and see just what kind of performance we're able to get out of the Sapphire model today.

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Looking above, you can see we got a fairly decent overclock with the core being pushed up to 1160MHz. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that has been increased to a solid 6000MHz QDR. This is a nice overclock and should bring with it some nice performance gains.

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.

One of the main comparisons we want to see today is the performance increase the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC gets when overclocked compared to the reference-clocked R9 290X 4GB running in "Uber Mode".

Along with that, we've got a number of NVIDIA cards, including the heavily overclocked MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB with a core clock of over 1000MHz.

We round off our collection of cards with the EVGA GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked and reference GTX 780 Ti 3GB.

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, we see some great performance, and you can see above that the overclock we're able to achieve on the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC is enough to push us ahead of the pack in both the Performance and Extreme preset.

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 continues the trend of strong performance from the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC. Just like 3DMark 11, you can see the score in both presets is ahead of all the other setups here thanks to that very strong overclock.

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//

This 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.

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Heaven has always favored the NVIDIA offerings due to the strong Tessellation performance from them. While you can see a nice little performance increase from the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC when compared to the reference-clocked card, it's not quite enough to put us ahead of the top NVIDIA offerings.

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 world's 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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While PSO2 normally sees a strong performance boost when overclocking, you can see we don't really have that here. For that reason, we're sitting a little behind the top NVIDIA offerings. The good news is, though, with a score of over 17,000 and the game maxed out at 2560 x 1600, playability isn't going to be an issue.

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. It takes place ten years after the events of the first game on the same fictional planet. 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, after 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 a bit of a performance boost across the board. The heavy emphasis on Tessellation, though, means that our NVIDIA offerings do sit ahead. Fortunately, performance on a whole at all resolutions is very strong on the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC when overclocked.

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, ranging 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 interesting. You can see above we manage to take a bit of a performance dive in overall FPS. The good news is that the numbers are still extremely playable at all resolutions with a strong 100FPS average at 2560 x 1600. A performance hit when overclocking, though, isn't always unusual, especially when such high FPS are being seen.

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 is one game that always tends to take a hit when overclocking. Just like we see in Just Cause 2, though, the numbers on a whole continue to still be very strong. You can see at the highest resolution we still manage to see an extremely strong 126 FPS average.

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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Metro Last Light sees a slight performance boost across the board with a little bit more breathing room seen at the lower resolutions and enough of a bump to put us ahead of the GTX 780 Ti 3GB. At the highest resolution, though, you can see like most of our setups here we don't get the FPS we need.

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. 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 sees a slight boost in performance across the board and strong FPS at all resolutions. At the highest 2560 x 1600 resolution, you can see we manage to just outpace the GTX 780 Ti 3GB.

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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Nexuiz sees a nice performance bump at all resolutions, and you can see at 1920 x 1200 the overclock manages to give us an extra 7 FPS, which brings us to a solid 60 FPS and that magical playable number that we love to see.

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 that take into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability, and more. It is guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 sees a nice performance bump at all resolutions, which helps continue the trend of strong performance at all resolutions here. You can see that the overclock isn't quite enough to put us ahead of the NVIDIA offerings, though. Of course, the main thing is that we've got playable FPS, and, with an 87 FPS average at 2560 x 1600, you can see that's clearly not an issue.

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 a slight performance boost at all resolutions, and you can see the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC is able to extend the R9 290X's lead on the NVIDIA offerings. Most importantly, we've got some fantastic FPS at all resolutions with a solid 122 FPS being seen at the highest resolution.

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 sees a slight performance increase at the highest resolution, but you can pretty much see we're hitting an FPS wall with the reference-clocked card. As we've mentioned in the past, we're never happy about an FPS wall. But looking above, you can see that we hit that FPS wall at a much later stage than what our NVIDIA cards do.

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 manages to see some great performance gains across the board. You can see at the highest resolution that the overclock on the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC manages to push our average FPS to a solid 62 FPS from the 53 FPS number seen on the reference-clocked card. We also see the minimum get a strong increase from 41 FPS to 47 FPS.

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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BioShock Infinite sees some great little gains. At the highest resolution, though, the overclock on the Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X 4GB OC gives us an average of 60 FPS. 4 FPS up from the 56 FPS average seen on the reference card.

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 a first-person shooter video game developed by 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.

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Battlefield 4 seems to take a bit of a hit across the board like we saw under a couple of other games. While we're never happy about any kind of performance hit, you can see we continue to see strong playable FPS at all resolutions with a minimum of 54 FPS being seen at 2560 x 1600.

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 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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While Metro Last Light manages to see a slight performance increase, the numbers on a whole are just too low for the game to be playable.

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Just Cause 2 sees a slight performance increase, and, on a whole, you can see that we just continue to see very strong numbers at both resolutions.

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While not a huge increase at either resolution, the extra 3 FPS at 1920 x 1200 gives us a 66 FPS average, which is appreciated as we manage to get a bit more breathing room.

Temperature Test

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

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With extra voltage and an increase in both the core and memory clock, the 80c load temperature is strong. It's about 10c lower than the reference-clocked card.

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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Noise levels on the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC are quite good. You can see that we manage to come in slightly quieter then the reference card when it's running in "Quiet Mode," and, if we compare the temperature numbers, we're 14c cooler at load. It's a real testament to the quality of the TRI-X cooler that Sapphire offers.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01--or "Power Thingy" as it has quickly become 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 that 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 percent more. We test at the exact same stage every time, so tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum--only an 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 will result in a higher draw.

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At near 600 watts under load, the heavily overclocked Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC manages to draw some power. We'd be recommending a quality power supply in at least the 750 watt region for this kind of setup.

Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts

The Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC is going to set you back roughly 10 percent more than a reference designed card. For that money, we would recommend spending the extra, especially when you're already spending in excess of $650. The extra money is getting you a card that is not only offering you more performance out of the box, but a much higher quality cooler.

The TRI-X fan really is fantastic and, while it's big, it's efficient. Not only does it manage to keep our card running cooler, but it also manages to do it at a lower noise level, all while the card itself is having more voltage ran through it giving us higher clock speeds. When it comes to non-reference cooling, the TRI-X fan on the Sapphire R9 290X 4GB offers everything you'd want and expect.

As for the actual performance of the card itself, it's strong. The overclock we managed to receive was much higher than we've managed to get out of other R9 290X 4GB cards, and you can see in some situations the overclock made a real difference, whether it be in the way of finally breaking that 60 FPS number we need or just a bit more breathing room to make us feel more comfortable.

While we did see some weird drops at times, which is something we're never happy about, the new 14.2 beta drivers could have something to do with that. We also see that while we do see a drop in performance in some benchmarks, the overall FPS continue to remain playable. We're taking the cup-half-full approach to this. Hopefully it's something that gets fixed in further driver releases.

As for the bundle, it's all very Sapphire. You've got all the typical inclusions along with the HDMI cable that we mentioned Sapphire often includes on most mid-range and up models. While it's not something that you might make use of right now, we must admit there's nothing wrong with have a spare HDMI cable around. Especially since a lot of devices don't offer an HDMI cable when you buy them.

All in all, the Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X 4GB OC is a great variant of an already great card. If you're happy to pay extra, then this is what you're looking at. If you're not so interested in paying extra, we'd suggest that maybe you have a second think about it. As great as the reference R9 290X 4GB is, the cooler is its downfall with high noise levels and high load numbers. If you're already spending so much, trying to justify the extra associated with the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC might not be too hard at all.

PRICING: You can find the Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC retails for $769.95 at Amazon.

Canada: The Sapphire R9 290X TRI-X 4GB OC retails for CDN$849.00 at Amazon Canada.

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

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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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