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PowerColor TurboDuo Radeon R9 280 3GB OC CrossFire Video Card Review (Page 3)

Shawn Baker | Aug 20, 2014 at 8:40 am CDT - 3 mins, 21 secs time to read this page
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: PowerColor

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.

We've got a bunch of video cards in our graphs today. Of course, we're starting off with the PowerColor TurboDuo R9 280 3GB OC, which will be running in CrossFire today.

Along with that, we've got the other two R9 280 3GB cards we've looked at recently; the first is the GIGABYTE WINDFORCE 3GB version, and the other is the HIS IceQ X2 version, which we overclocked to 1170MHz on the core. Moving up from that, we take a look at the X version of the card, with the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X OC.

From the 280 versions, we move to the 290s. Here we've got the HIS R9 290 4GB IceQ X2. Moving up from there, we've got three R9 290X 4GB cards; including the reference R9 290X 4GB in "UBER Mode", the HIS IceQ X2 Turbo version running at 1100 / 5700 QDR, and finally, the Hybrid Cooled HIS version, which is running at 1160 / 6700 QDR.

Finally, we finish off with a pair of NVIDIA cards. The first is the reference GTX 770 2GB, and the second is the ASUS GTX 780 ROG Poseidon Platinum 3GB OC. That's a bunch of setups, and we're really looking forward to seeing how this CrossFire setup performs with its price tag of under $500 .

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 Second (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 - This is the newest 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. For that reason, we have always just reevaluated 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 quickly grow. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up-to-date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm CDT

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Shawn Baker


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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