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Sapphire Radeon R9 285 2GB Dual-X in CrossFire Video Card Review (Page 16)

By Shawn Baker from Sep 10, 2014 @ 16:12 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Sapphire

Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts

Coming in at around the $500 mark, the CrossFire R9 285 2GB Dual-X OC setup isn't a cheap one. Just like the R9 280 3GB CrossFire setup, performance here is extremely strong, even in comparison to a heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB. Going through most our benchmarks, you can see the performance of our two CrossFire setups are quite close to each other. This doesn't come as a huge surprise since we saw the R9 280 2GB and R9 285 3GB perform extremely close to each other in our initial review on the new model.

As usual, CrossFire performance isn't perfect, and we do run into some problems here and there with dropped performance, or gains that aren't as strong as they should be. Overall, it continues to be very strong, and more often than not, we get massive performance gains that really make a difference to your gaming experience. With that said, it was interesting when we moved to benchmarking at 4K resolution.

During our normal tests we saw the R9 280 3GB and R9 285 2GB CrossFire setups perform quite close to each other. Moving to our AA and AF tests we saw a similar picture. When we started to look at performance at the massive 4K resolution, we saw an interesting picture; while the averages continued to look quite strong, we saw the minimums were hit quite hard. When these massive amounts of pixels are pushed, the extra memory bandwidth comes into play, and helps keep the minimum FPS up.

Moving away from the performance considerations, one area we can look at here that we couldn't the other day is the bundle Sapphire offers. In typical Sapphire fashion, it's good. You've got everything you need to get up and running, along with that additional HDMI cable that is so often included. Outside of that, we've also got the mouse pad included in the bundle. While we're not a huge fan of the quality of the mouse pad, it is free, and may come in handy later on down the road.

We're not loving how AMD has named the new R9 285 2GB, as it sits above the R9 270X 2GB, but below the R9 280X 3GB. Although, also sitting between those two models is the R9 280 3GB, which as you have seen today, performs very close to the R9 285 2GB, even in CrossFire for the most part.

While you probably wouldn't worry about a setup like this for your 4K monitor, it would work perfectly for something up to 2560 x 1600. Combined with the new 144Hz, this is a great setup that's going to set you back around the $500 mark. The weirdness with the R9 280 3GB continues to exist, though, making it a little bit confusing. In the end, you do have a setup that offers some great performance at a great price point, which is enough to make it enticing.

PRICING: You can find the Sapphire R9 285 2GB Dual-X 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 285 2GB Dual-X retails for $259.99 at Amazon.


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