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SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X Video Card Review

By: Anthony Garreffa | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Mar 20, 2015 2:08 pm
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: SAPPHIRE

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X.


What's Hot


8GB of VRAM: I don't like to use the words "future proof", but 8GB of RAM on a card these days, it's great to have this on your side.


Strong Performance: The Radeon R9 290X is still a great GPU, and with SAPPHIRE's tweaks and out-of-the-box overclock, we have a great performing card.


Huge Overclocking Capabilities: There is some serious overclocking headroom on the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X, and I'm sure more than what we found here today. The trade off, is the gigantic power consumption, though.




SAPPHIRE's Great Tri-X Cooling Technology: Even during our most strenuous testing, the card never got loud, and always felt just hot - but not too hot you can't touch it - after testing. This is a testament to SAPPHIRE's great cooling technology.


"Future Proof": I hate using the words "future proof", but the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X is more future proof than you think. we recently did some testing and found that 8GB of VRAM will definitely be part of the future of PC gaming.


It Looks Great: I'm a big fan of SAPPHIRE's styling, with the Tri-X cooler styling looking super slick.


What's Not


High Power Consumption: This isn't something that is SAPPHIRE's fault directly, as it's more of the Hawaii-based architecture of the Radeon R9 290X from AMD. Our entire system was pulling more than 450W, which is quite high considering the GeForce GTX 980 provides nearly identical performance for under 300W.



Final Thoughts


What a first AMD video card to review! Sure, the Radeon R9 290X has been out for so long now, over 18 months, but add-in board partners like SAPPHIRE are continuing to offer new tricks. SAPPHIRE has provided 8GB of VRAM here, which is something you have to take into consideration when purchasing this.


Would I recommend you buy this card? Well, yes and no. If you need to buy something right now, and you're an AMD Radeon fan - yes, definitely yes. The performance is here, the features are continuing to grow with AMD, and you're getting a seriously good card all-round.


But, AMD is so close to launching its Radeon 300 series where the flagship GPU, the Radeon R9 390X, should launch and destroy the R9 290X by 20-30%. I'm sure we're going to see 8GB cards offered by default - and if we don't, I'll be disappointed.


The SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X is a smash hit of a card, released a little too late with the Radeon 300 series right around the corner.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (overclocking, power)95%
Quality (build, design, cooling)95%
General Features (display outputs, etc)85%
Bundle, Packaging & Software90%
Value for Money75%
Overall TweakTown Rating88%

The Bottom Line: While we have a great factory overclock, the fact that you can squeeze a huge overclock out of the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X is just gravy. Oh, and 8GB of VRAM doesn't hurt, either.

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