Gaming Performance

As far as gaming performance is concerned, as the highest clocked 280X card we’ve reviewed there’s actually not a lot to say about performance. The card will flat-out outperform every other 280X and it will even outperform NVIDIA’s GTX 770 on average. As we’ll see in our overclocking section, at stock it even outperforms our 280X cards when overclocked. So Sapphire certainly won’t be lacking in performance here.

Finally, please note that since we don’t have a reference 280X here, we’ll be using XFX’s 280X – a stock clockspeed part – as a proxy.

CPU: Intel Core i7-4960X @ 4.2GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
Hard Disk: Samsung SSD 840 EVO (750GB)
Memory: G.Skill RipjawZ DDR3-1866 4 x 8GB (9-10-9-26)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630
Monitor: Asus PQ321 + Samsung 305T
Video Cards: Sapphire Radeon R9 280X Toxic
XFX Radeon R9 280X Double Dissipation
Asus Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP
AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770
Video Drivers: NVIDIA 331.40 Beta
AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 1
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro

Metro: Last Light - 2560x1440 - High Quality

Company of Heroes 2 - 2560x1440 - Max Quality + Med. AA

Company of Heroes 2 - Min. Frame Rate - 2560x1440 - Max Quality + Med. AA

Bioshock Infinite - 2560x1440 - Ultra Quality + DDoF

Battlefield 3 - 2560x1440 - Ultra Quality + 4x MSAA

Crysis 3 - 2560x1440 - High Quality + FXAA

Total War: Rome 2 - 2560x1440 - Ext. Quality + Med. Shadows

Hitman: Absolution - 2560x1440 - Ultra

Hitman: Absolution - Min. Frame Rate - 2560x1440 - Ultra

GRID 2 - 2560x1440 - Maximum Quality + 4x MSAA

In the end Sapphire’s 280X Toxic is 13% faster than a stock clocked 280X. The stock 280X is usually boosting to near its maximum levels, so the performance gains from Sapphire’s overclock trends closer to the theoretical gains from the gains in the boost clock as opposed to the theoretical gains from the base GPU overclock. This also means it’s several percent faster than the GTX 770 on average, while still costing $50 less; though this won’t account for any factory overclocked GTX 770s that we’ve seen are out there.

Meet The Sapphire R9 280X Toxic, Cont Power, Temperature, & Noise
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  • marc1000 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    wow, really nice factory OC there, I liked the cooler performance! still waiting fot 290/290x to show up... I bet we will have "non-X" versions of the smaller cards too, but launched a few months from now.

    anyway, this is mostly just curiosity. I just purchased one GTX660 (non-TI) as it is the fastest card with just 1 PCIe power connector, and I believe this keeps noise and heat manageable with smaller cases for casual gaming.
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Technically, the 660Ti has a TDP and should also run perfectly well with a single connector. I think it only comes with 2 connectors to provide a bit of security versus bad PSUs, or in order to give you a little head room for overclocking. But yeah, for casual gaming the 660 gives the best price-performance ratio for anybody who needs more than iGPU performance.

    Of course the fastest card within a 150TDP would be an underclocked and/or undervolted Titan.
    Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    yeah, the hd7870 also seems to eat the same amount of power than gtx660, but also has 2 connectors for "safety". too bad nothing changed in 150wTDP world with this new re-spin of products - we will have to wait for 20 or 14nm for that. not a problem for me :) Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Since when is having an 80mm fan surrounded by two 90mm fans "asymmetric." That's the very definition of symmetry. Asymmetry would be if the 80mm fan was on one side of the card and the 90mm fans were in the other two places. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Fact. Reply
  • treeroy - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    The Asus is more expensive and is notably slower, and I don't have to worry about overclocking with the Sapphire.

    I wonder which one I'll buy.

    Nice review by the way - glad to see a review of this card at last, this one hasn't got a lot of coverage but it's the one I've been eyeing.
    Reply
  • Skiddywinks - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    What? The Asus is $40 cheaper. Reply
  • treeroy - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Here in the UK, the Sapphire card is $430 and the Asus one is $440 [USD] Reply
  • Skiddywinks - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    I'm actually in the UK myself and assumed you were a Yank. My bad. Where are those prices btw, cause I am looking to upgrade my GPU and these 280X are tempting as sin itself. Reply
  • treeroy - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Those are on Overclockers UK - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/search_results.php?k...
    I can't find many places selling the cards, but OCUK was the cheapest of what I saw.
    Reply

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