Sapphire Radeon R9 280X Overview
The first thing I noticed when I took the R9 280X Toxic out of the box was how long and heavy it was. It is 12.25-inches long, which makes it one of the longest R9 280X’s out there. Beyond that it is also one of the most powerful with factory overclocks of 250 MHz (29%) on the core, 150 MHz boost (15%) and 400 MHz (7%) on the memory.
Sapphire is making use of their brand new Tri-X cooler that is made up of three fans. There are two 90 mm fans on each side and a centrally located 80 mm fan. The shroud itself has a matte black finish with an orange accent around the center fan. This is one of the only R9 280X cards that feature a triple fan cooler design over a typical dual fan.
Like most cards these days this is a dual-slot card and we talking a look at each side we can see the aluminum heatsink stack.
On the side that will be facing out of your case there are dual 8 pin power connectors. This is different from the reference design that has a combination of 8 pin and 6 pin connectors. There is also a BIOS switch button that allows you to switch between the normal graphics card BIOS and the UEFI BIOS.
As fas as display outputs go you have dual-DVI, HDMI and dual DisplayPort. If you flip the card over you are greeted with a rather sexy black plate. This not only looks good, but will also cool the card as well as keep the card from bending or drooping over time.
Now it is time to take a closer look at the card as we remove the shroud and cooling solution. The R9 280X Toxic Edition is powered by the exact same Tahiti GPU that we saw on the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. This GPU is of course overclocked from the stock 1000 MHz all the way up to 1100 MHz core and 1150 MHz boost.
Looking at the power delilvery components we can see that Sapphire is using double sided black diamond chokes and solid capacitors. This card make use of a 10 phase power design that uses 8 phases for the GPU (compared to 5 on the reference design) and 2 phases for memory and I/O. The large heatsink itself is made up of two aluminum heatsink stacks and 5 copper heatpipes. The center heatpipe is extremely large at 10mm!
For a comparison here are shots of the R9 280X Toxic with the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X and MSI GTX 770 Gaming.
Jul 08, 2014 0