Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X TRI-X OC Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X TRI-X OC Introduction:
I have been looking at Sapphire's Vapor-X line almost since its inception back in 2008 and have seen how the implementation has been copied, but never quite improved upon by others. That is something Sapphire has done on its own, and have just recently moved up to a TRI-X option on the Vapor-X R9 280X that brings a trio of fans into the equation rather than just a pair of large fans to deliver the airflow needs of the cooling solution. By adding the third, smaller fan, the available area under the hood is increased for an overall boost in cooling performance without the associated noise problems that come with spinning fans up to get the cooing where you want it.
With the experience and history of success this option from Sapphire, it should do well cooling the Tahiti core down. The first version was used on Sapphire's successful Toxic Edition R9 280X that delivered great cooling results. If this cooling solution is an improvement we should be in for a beast of a card. Especially when we see that the Vapor-X gets all the build components used on the Toxic Edition, including solid capacitors, Black Diamond chokes, custom PCB, and digital controller. Effectively we can call this card Toxic Light! Packed with a big factory overclock on the core it should perform up to expectations in the gaming arena.
Priced at $379, the Vapor-X R9 280X TRI-X OC is not an overpriced card with no feature set, but a fully loaded card ready to rock and roll! Let's dig into what Sapphire has put together for the gamer.
Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X TRI-X OC Closer Look:
Sapphire's packaging has always been one that stands out, with great imaging and plenty of information (both front and back) to give the consumer the full picture of how the card is equipped and the details on the feature set. The blue coloring conveys the image of a cool running card with nothing but the color of the package. The front panel shows that this is a factory overclocked video card that features Sapphire's own Vapor-X-based TRI-X cooling solution, comes with a six foot HDMI cable, and is CrossfireX and UEFI ready. The back panel shows an illustration of the TRI-X equipped card and a more detailed description of the feature set.
Internally we get recyclable materials that make up the packaging. The package has a foam insert that keeps this over sized card secure with little chance of damage, unless the box is just crushed. Underneath the foam core is another box that holds the expansive accessory bundle. In this you get an invitation to the Sapphire Select Club, an installation guide, driver disc, a pair of 4-pin Molex to PCIe power connectors (one 6-pin, one 8-pin), a CrossfireX bridge connection, and a six foot HDMI cable.
The packaging spells it out clearly, but we have to take a closer look at the card Sapphire has built for the gamer who does not want to step up to Toxic level performance for one reason or another.