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Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Review

ccokeman    -   October 27, 2013
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Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Testing:

Testing of the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. The NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 320.18 drivers while AMD-based cards will be using the Catalyst 13.5 beta 2 drivers and latest CAP profile. The results generated in my testing were reached by utilizing the latest FCAT tools to illustrate the true picture of the gaming experience. To do so will require a second PC setup to capture the data stream generated by the compared video cards.

 

Testing Setup:

FCAT Capture Setup:

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

 

Overclocking:

  • Sapphire R9 280X Toxic : 1244MHz, Memory 1666MHz

When it comes to overclocking the latest Toxic Edition from Sapphire, the same rules that we have used for the last gen 7-Series cards still apply. As a factory overclocked card, the R9 280X Toxic comes out of the box with boost clock speeds of 1150MHz; what would normally be considered a pretty decent clock speed for Tahiti XT silicon. Having looked at a broad section of Sapphire's Toxic lineup over the past few years, Sapphire builds in some more head room for the enthusiast. Knowing that I was expecting to reach close to the 1250MHz mark or a 100MHz boost on clock speed by using Sapphire's own TriXX overclocking and tuning utility. Once I reached 1244MHz there was no amount of voltage available to stabilize the clock speed any higher. Anything over 1250mv was just adding heat to the equation that the Tri-X cooler would have to dissipate.

Memory overclocking on the R9 280X Toxic was just as impressive as last year's HD 7970 Toxic at 1666MHz. Even though it's only a small boost over the as delivered 1600MHz speed, it's enough to add some more scoring in 3DMark. Any way you cut it the card is almost maxed out from the factory leaving just a little overclocking margin. Not that this is a bad thing, but when you pay for the upper end it's what you get.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were rerun until they passed a full hour of testing.

 

 

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. Splinter Cell Blacklist
  3. Bioshock Infinite
  4. Crysis 3
  5. Far Cry 3
  6. Battlefield 3
  7. Batman: Arkham City
  8. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  9. 3DMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption



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