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Sapphire R9 280X Toxic 3GB vs. MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning 2GB

Last response: in Components
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Which one do you think is best?

Total: 2 votes

  • Sapphire R9 280X Toxic 3GB
  • 50 %
  • MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning 2GB
  • 50 %
  • Neither
  • 0 %
February 20, 2014 11:43:17 PM

Hello everyone,

I've been saving up for the last 6 months to upgrade my cards. Currently running on 2 x 460 SLI, but they are starting to chug on anything semi-recent. I want to be able to run games on the highest settings it has to offer, 1920x1080, and 4xAA at least. Shadows are my current set up's worst enemy.

Prices for both these cards are comparable where I live. 350 euro give or take.

I have looked up all I can and I seem to not find information comparing these cards. It's either reference GTX vs Sapphire or reference R9 280X vs MSI.


http://versus.com/en/sapphire-toxic-r9-280x-oc-vs-msi-g...

Is the only one where I was able to compare them, but I don't know how reliable that is.

System Specs:

i5 2500k @ 3.30 GHZ (stock)
16 GB of RAM (I do a lot of audio editing)
1920 x 1080 Resolution
SSD for OS

If there is a better R9 280X or GTX770, feel free to suggest it.

I'd like to pull the trigger soon.
February 21, 2014 12:17:49 AM

I would go with a gtx 770 over the 280x unless you are into coin mining.
February 21, 2014 12:59:56 AM

bob hays said:
I would go with a gtx 770 over the 280x unless you are into coin mining.


Any reason? The R9 280X seems to do quite well everywhere. It also has more VRAM which might help with textures and DX 11.2 while the 770 only has 2GB of VRAM and DX 11.0.

Benchmarks sometimes put the 280X higher and other times the 770.
Related resources
February 21, 2014 2:36:24 AM

u can only get access to the directx 11.2 by using windows 8 and plus prices for the 280x rarely never drop they usually always go up highest ive seen 280x go up to was like $600 while the 770 price usually just drops every once in a awhile......... do u plan on buying it now or later on like weeks later on? the price for a toxic is $500 while the price for the lightning is only $359.99 and plus they are both out of stock since they are very popular cards
February 21, 2014 3:17:30 AM

taylor225 said:
u can only get access to the directx 11.2 by using windows 8 and plus prices for the 280x rarely never drop they usually always go up highest ive seen 280x go up to was like $600 while the 770 price usually just drops every once in a awhile......... do u plan on buying it now or later on like weeks later on? the price for a toxic is $500 while the price for the lightning is only $359.99 and plus they are both out of stock since they are very popular cards


Hi Taylor,

Thanks for answering.

Prices are the same for both those cards where I live. It is a 4 euro difference. Once tax and shipping comes into play it is negligible.

I play to upgrade to W8 at some point, but not now. So, I guess that point is somewhat moot.

I want to buy it as soon as I can. I have a few days off from work coming up and I want to spend them pushing the new card.

They are both in stock, currently, and available for shipping.
February 21, 2014 1:28:13 PM

honestly its just up to u the msi 770 lightning is an awesome overclocking card also its does better in games while the 280x is good for mining bitcoins but in gaming it can get hot so honestly its just up to your personal perfrences between nvidia though ive been reading reviews on newegg for the 2 cards and theres awesome reviews for the msi 770 lightning but the 280x toxic reviews say theres a lot of artifacting, coil whine, and loud fan speeds past 30%.....
February 21, 2014 1:49:26 PM

taylor225 said:
honestly its just up to u the msi 770 lightning is an awesome overclocking card also its does better in games while the 280x is good for mining bitcoins but in gaming it can get hot so honestly its just up to your personal perfrences between nvidia though ive been reading reviews on newegg for the 2 cards and theres awesome reviews for the msi 770 lightning but the 280x toxic reviews say theres a lot of artifacting, coil whine, and loud fan speeds past 30%.....


I was already leaning towards the Lightning. I was hoping I'd have a reason to go to AMD for once. Maybe next time.

Thanks. I'll be ordering it tonight.

Have a good weekend!
February 21, 2014 1:50:28 PM

np and u too
dont forget to select best answer too!
February 21, 2014 7:35:30 PM

The amound of VRAM won't make a big difference and the 770 in general performs better than the 280x
February 21, 2014 7:50:36 PM

According to most of the benchmarks I've seen, the gtx 770 is better(though by a very small amount). Being outside of the US, the super high amd prices wont affect you(coin miners have kind of inflated prices here). If you're talking about reference, stay away from the amd, they have horrible heat issues. With aftermarket cooling,the 770 and 280x are pretty much neck and neck, price and performance wise. Amd just started its rewards program, so you can get goodies by spending points you earn while gaming, but generally speaking, the nvidia drivers are much more reliable. You would probably be able to overclock the 280x a bit more, but they use a lot more power, even while at idle.
So, as you can see, there are pros and cons to each. I personally use a gtx 770's in SLI, but even before getting my second card, there wasnt a game I ran across that really gave it any issues. AC4 plays great, on high settings, metro ll is maxxed, wow is maxxed, arkham origins maxxed. The extra Vram could be the deciding issue, but the nvidia ram is a lot faster.....
So... it's kind of a toss up. Both will give you very similar performance, and would be a solid card to have for a few years. But again, if you choose the AMD, DO NOT get the reference version. I would choose the 770, the driver issues and better sli scaling make for easier upgrading, and Nvidia cards come with AC4 for free :-)
February 21, 2014 7:51:26 PM

Well.... that's what I get for writing a wall of text without reading through all of the other answers first :-) Enjoy your 770, its a great one.
February 23, 2014 1:04:47 AM

jeremyp79 said:
According to most of the benchmarks I've seen, the gtx 770 is better(though by a very small amount). Being outside of the US, the super high amd prices wont affect you(coin miners have kind of inflated prices here). If you're talking about reference, stay away from the amd, they have horrible heat issues. With aftermarket cooling,the 770 and 280x are pretty much neck and neck, price and performance wise. Amd just started its rewards program, so you can get goodies by spending points you earn while gaming, but generally speaking, the nvidia drivers are much more reliable. You would probably be able to overclock the 280x a bit more, but they use a lot more power, even while at idle.
So, as you can see, there are pros and cons to each. I personally use a gtx 770's in SLI, but even before getting my second card, there wasnt a game I ran across that really gave it any issues. AC4 plays great, on high settings, metro ll is maxxed, wow is maxxed, arkham origins maxxed. The extra Vram could be the deciding issue, but the nvidia ram is a lot faster.....
So... it's kind of a toss up. Both will give you very similar performance, and would be a solid card to have for a few years. But again, if you choose the AMD, DO NOT get the reference version. I would choose the 770, the driver issues and better sli scaling make for easier upgrading, and Nvidia cards come with AC4 for free :-)


Thank you! That was the most thorough and useful answer. Work took me away and I haven't ordered. While I was away I kept reading and I just couldn't decide still.

I have always gone NVidia due to the driver updates and stability. I already ran SLI and I wasn't too happy, the last 2 times, with extra issues and noise dealing with it. I am trying to go solo this time. I can't see a 780 being worth it at all.

Thanks for your time and effort writing that!
February 23, 2014 8:49:04 AM

This video is of the 2gb MSI lightning on Assassins Creed Black Flag maxed out graphics.
The FPS are pretty good :) 
I will be uploading more benchmarks soon!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaAJGJGNAdA
February 25, 2014 1:37:27 PM

I'm by no means an expert, but from what I've seen both cards seem to be about the same when it comes to performance... so then I guess it comes down to what games you play as the 770 is better in some games while the 280x is better in others :p  also check if any of your favorite games use mantle as the 280x will destroy the 770 in any game with mantle (that's why I would go with AMD as I play mostly BF4)!
The 770 on the other hand has the advantages of lower power consumption and I don't know what PSU you have but the recommended for the toxic card is 750W and though that might be more than needed it is a really power hungry card... the Toxic is the highest clocked 280X on the market I think and it actually has to overvolt itself whenever it turbos up to boost clocks ;D

So to sum it up!
If you play mantle games, go with AMD.
If you want lower power consumption, go with Nvidia.
For everything else, it really doesn't matter ;D
February 26, 2014 1:46:25 AM

Krister Arvesen said:
I'm by no means an expert, but from what I've seen both cards seem to be about the same when it comes to performance... so then I guess it comes down to what games you play as the 770 is better in some games while the 280x is better in others :p  also check if any of your favorite games use mantle as the 280x will destroy the 770 in any game with mantle (that's why I would go with AMD as I play mostly BF4)!
The 770 on the other hand has the advantages of lower power consumption and I don't know what PSU you have but the recommended for the toxic card is 750W and though that might be more than needed it is a really power hungry card... the Toxic is the highest clocked 280X on the market I think and it actually has to overvolt itself whenever it turbos up to boost clocks ;D

So to sum it up!
If you play mantle games, go with AMD.
If you want lower power consumption, go with Nvidia.
For everything else, it really doesn't matter ;D


Thanks for the answer. For some reason I can't edit the post to choose best answer and "solved". Thanks for your input.

I went with NVidia again, even though I really wanted to try AMD's offering, for a few reasons:

The resolution I play at. Driver support. GSync sounds more useful on a broader range of games than Mantle which needs to be specifically implemented (and that doesn't have a great history in gaming), power consumption and noise (the Toxic seems to be pretty noisy).

Most benchmarks show them trading blows across the board when referencing factory boards. My question was mostly with these two, which I looked into as "the best in range" options rather than reference boards.

Thanks for your time!
May 7, 2014 11:18:05 PM

If you post a question on trying to find out which brand card to buy never take advice from fan boys. For some reason people that buy nVidia would rather sell their kids then get an AMD. Where I live there is usually about a $60 to $100 difference in price between nVidia and AMD in favour of the AMD. I always try to find a reason to buy an Nvidia but when it comes to all benchmarks I can never justify the extra money as there is not one benefit to getting nVidia if you have to pay more for it. Drivers these days is a garbage reason not to buy a card and anyone with a half a brain that plays graphic intensive games has at least a 750+ power supply as the power supply is probably the most important part in a system. I have been building systems since 1988 and repairing and modifying systems since 1982. I am totally unbiased when it comes to brands and never ever will buy anything because of a name. The dumbest thing ever to do and being a fan boy doesn't put one cent in your pocket or give you any credibility when giving advice. I always look at the merits of a card now considering the 280x had 3Gb compared to only 2 on the 770, the 280X has 11.2 compared to 11 with the 770 and with Mantle being offered for one of the more graphics power hungry games you were going to play it was really a no brainer and it looks like the no brains won out. Please in future never listen to a fan boy and get proper advice from people that actually have used both cards. Also with the 280x not being clocked as high as the 770 you would have had better stability long term. I know this was well after he already purchased the card but I posted this because it needed to be said. If you were choosing between football teams then go the fanboy route when it comes to companies that don't give 2 hoots about whether you root for them or not use your brains.
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