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Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X OC Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jul 23, 2014 2:08 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Sapphire Technology

Close up with the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X OC




Moving onto the card, we are drawn straight to the blue and black color scheme that Sapphire is using on the card. I find this to be one of the best color combinations to show up recently. It's a nice change from the very common red and black color scheme that we often see. Unfortunately, we can't think of many motherboards this color scheme suits apart from one or two models from GIGABYTE that have a similar black and blue combination.


Moving away from the color combination, though, we have the actual heat sink fan design. The Vapor-X Tri-X cooler from Sapphire has always proven to perform well. Taking a look at the cooler, it should come as no surprise as to why it performs so well. The massive tri-fan heat sink setup sees a huge aluminum heat sink sitting behind three fans with a number of copper heat pipes helping pull the heat away from the core. We'll find out soon enough if the Vapor-X can continue to perform the way we want it to when we start testing it.






Moving away from the cooler and taking the time to look what's going on in the other areas of the card, you can see that power comes in the form of two 8-Pin PCIe power connectors. This is up from the standard single 6-Pin and single 8-Pin PCIe power connector setup that is normally seen. This is normally done to provide more power to the card, helping overclocking. We'll take a look at just what Sapphire did with the overclock in just a moment.


Staying across the top of the card, but moving closer to the front, you can see we have our two standard CrossFire connectors along with a button instead of the standard toggle switch that lets us move between multiple BIOS that are installed on the card.




Taking a look at the I/O side of things, you can see we have two Dual-Link DVI connectors; one is a DVI-D, while the other is a DVI-I.





As we have already mentioned a few times today, the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X OC is an OC model as the name would suggest. Out of the box, you'll find a reference R9 280X 3GB carry with it a stock core clock of 1000MHz. As for the 3GB of GDDR5, you'll see that come in at 1500MHz or 6000MHz QDR.




Taking a look above, you can see that Sapphire has chosen to bump the core clock up 100MHz, bringing it in at 1100MHz. As for the 3GB of GDDR5, like so many companies, they have chosen to leave the clock alone at 6000MHz QDR. We would've liked to have seen Sapphire bump this up a little, but instead they have chosen to go down the same path as most other companies by leaving it alone.

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