Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon R9 280X OC Edition Review

Published by Hiwa Pouri on 29.07.14
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The Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon R9 280X OC Edition is a completely redesigned Radeon R9 280X graphics card, which has almost nothing in common with the reference design. In fact there is a new PCB as well as Sapphires powerful Vapor-X cooler. This combination, paired with a factory overclock sounds promising and we're hoping for a seriously quick R9 280X here.

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These days we're having quite a good run reviewing a few Sapphire Radeon cards. The R9 280X Vapor-X features a Triple fan custom cooler named Tri-X and in case of the PCB there is also a custom design from Sapphire. With it's black and blue color scheme this card looks just about perfect and luckily the manufacturer also decided to overclock the GPU to over 1100MHz.

Since it is the Vapor-X version of the Sapphire Radeon R9 280X series, the card features a decent factory overclock of 100 MHz on the GPU. While the reference Radeon R9 280X GPU is set to work at 1000 MHz in the case of the base clock, the Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X OC Edition works at 1000 MHz for the base clock and 1'100 MHz for the turbo clock.

Unfortunately, no factory overclocking was done on the 3GB of GDDR5 memory that remains at the recommended 1'500 MHz (6'000 MHz effective).

During our testing the Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X OC Edition held 1'100 MHz while being under typical gaming loads. We have only experienced downclocking under FurMark where the GPU clock was going up and down from 1'080 MHz to 1'100 MHz. We didn't notice any throttling while gaming. The Tri-X triple fan cooler, which makes use of a vapor chamber has been capable of keeping load temparatures below 76°C even after running Furmark for 30 minutes.


Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X TRI-X OC Boost R9 280X TurboDuo OC R9 280X DC II Top Radeon R9 280X
Chip Tahiti XT2/L Tahiti XT2/L Tahiti XT2/L Tahiti XT2/L
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 4.31 billion
GPU clock 1'000 MHz 880 MHz 1'070 MHz 850 MHz
GPU Boost clock 1'100 MHz 1'030 MHz N/A 1'000 MHz
Memory GDDR5 3'072 MB 3'072 MB 3'072 MB 3'072 MB
Memory clock 1'500 (6'000) MHz 1'500 (6'000) MHz 1'600 (6'400) MHz 1'500 (6'000) MHz
Memory interface 384 Bit 384 Bit 384 Bit 384 Bit
Memory bandwidth 288.0 GB/s 288.0 GB/s 307.2 GB/s 288 GB/s
Shader Cores 2'048 2'048 2'048 2'048
TMUs 128 128 128 128
ROPs 32 32 32 32
PCB Type Custom Design Reference Design Custom Design Reference Design
Slots 2 2 2 2
Cooler TRI-X TurboDuo DirectCU II AMD Reference

Page 1 - Presentation / Specifications Page 11 - DIRT Showdown
Page 2 - The card Page 12 - Far Cry 3
Page 3 - Photo Gallery / Delivery Page 13 - Sleeping Dogs
Page 4 - Test Setup Page 14 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 5 - 3DMark Fire Strike Page 15 - Metro: Last Light
Page 6 - Unigine Heaven 4.0 Page 16 - GTA V
Page 7 - BattleField 3 Page 17 - Power Consumption
Page 8 - Bioshock Infinite Page 18 - Temperatures / Noise levels
Page 9 - Crysis 3 Page 19 - Performance/Price & Performance/Watt
Page 10 - Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Page 20 - Conclusion

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