It is great to see Sapphire continually making improvements to their graphics cards. You know so many companies will put out a line of cards when the new GPUs are announced and we will not see a card from them until another new line of GPUs come out. What Sapphire has done with this card is take the already great Tri-X cooling solution and add their vapor-chamber technology to it. This not only improves cooling, but also allows for Sapphire to factory-overclock the card.
Talking about cooling the vapor-chamber design really does a great job. This was evident when I did the temperature tests. Normally there is a huge temperature gap between testing with Heaven Benchmark and Furmark, but with this card I only saw a 2 degree difference, that is quite impressive! Sapphire has also added a pretty cool switch on the card that will allow the two outer fans on the card to not operate unless the GPU temperature goes over 60C. This will keep the noise down on the card when you are not gaming.
The R9 290X Vapor-X Tri-X OC has a core frequency of 1080 MHz (80 MHz over reference) and the memory is running at speeds of 5.64 GHz (effective). This will give you a small performance boost over reference R9 290X models and this card was easily able to handle pretty much anything that we threw at it.
This card make use of SK Hynix memory chips. These chips are said to be 15-20% more efficient than ELPIDA memory chips that you typically see in other graphics cards. This is important, especially if you plan on using this card for crypto-currency mining. Another thing that was interesting to see was that the power delivery components had their own dedicated heatsink. This just shows the quality that Sapphire is putting into their products.
One of the coolest features of this card is the backplate and the Sapphire logo that lights up. The backplate not only looks cool, but also adds stability to the card and helps with cooling. When you power your system on the Sapphire logo will actually light up! This will look great if you have a side panel window on your case. As the temperature of the GPU gets warmer the color of the logo will actually change.
Out of all of the R9 290X’s out there the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X Tri-X OC is definitely one of the top choices. Right now you can pickup this card for $659.99 at my favorite online retailer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X Tri-X OC Video Card a 10 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award!
– Sleek design and light-up Sapphire logo
– Memory and GPU are overclocked
– Solid performance
– Great cooling solution
– SK Hynix memory chips used
– Relatively quiet