Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Reviewccokeman -
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Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Testing:
Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine's Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI's Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920x1080 using 8xAA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card's BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a 20-minute cooldown, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.
- Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
- Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920x1080 8x AA
- 5-run sequence
- 20-minute idle duration
- Temperature measured in degrees Celsius
At stock speeds, Sapphire's new Tri-X cooling solution on the R9 280X Toxic delivers load temperatures that are much cooler than the reference cooled card by a margin of 15 degrees. When you ramp up the fans to 100%, the margin shrinks as the reference card pushes the thermal load out of the chassis while you get some re-circulation of the thermal load that prohibits the R9 280X Toxic from improving much over the reference numbers, even with the more robust Tri-X cooling solution.
Where you do notice the difference is when you compare the noise of the three fan-equipped R9 280X and the reference cooled HD 7970. At idle the Tri-X is audible with the case open, but not so when the case is closed. Spin both cards up and the R9 280X Toxic can be heard, but is slightly quieter than the HD 7970 Toxic released last year. On the other hand we all know the call of the AMD reference cooling solution and how it causes the family dog to cringe at the noise.