Seven Radeon R9 280X Graphics Cards, Rounded-Up

Perhaps fortunately, AMD's reference Radeon R9 280X is a bit of a phantom outside our own labs. If you're shopping for one of these Tahiti-based boards, you're looking at third-party solutions. We round up seven models and show what makes them different.

Consider this your reference for Radeon R9 280X comparisons. We’re deliberately not including a group picture in the introduction because, as we receive more third-party boards, we'll update today's piece with them, making comparisons easier. To this end, the benchmark and measurement results are split into different categories and mostly presented as tables.

We're also taking your feedback into account and including specifications that don't appear in every manufacturer's technical specifications, but still matter for installation, and might consequently be an important factor in your buying decision. The videos are back too, in addition to fan speed and temperature diagrams as well.

A run-down of each card's differentiators, including BIOS tweaks and a picture gallery of each board, round out this new story format. For the first time, we’re combining a round-up, single-card reviews, and picture galleries into one handy, continually updated package.

Graphics Cards Overview

Asus
R9 280X
DirectCU II OC
Club3D
R9 280X
royalKing OC

Update:
Added: 10/21/2013

Gigabyte
R9 280X
WindForce 3X OC

HIS
R9 280X
IceQ X²

MSI
R9 280X
Gaming OC

Sapphire
R9 280X
Toxic OC

Sapphire
R9 280X
Vapor-X OC

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    Top Comments
  • So guess I am waiting for the second part of the review.
    32
  • Other Comments
  • The 280X Vapor-X looks spot on like my HD7970 Vapor-X. Probably is the same GPU with the BIOS for the 280X loaded.

    But it looks like the Toxic is a pretty nice GPU. It runs very cool for the clock speed, has the highest clock speeds and the noise is not that bad.

    Now we need benchmarks of these and HD7970s to see their value.
    3
  • So guess I am waiting for the second part of the review.
    32
  • What does "Modified" "Throttling" and "New BIOS" mean in terms of how the data is to be interpreted?
    6
  • I refunded MSI r9 280x and got Asus card due to heavy coil whine. I wonder new MSI bios fixed the issue?(by the look of it, it seems MSI traded coil whine with fan noise) btw how did the reviewer set up mic in the noise comparison video? cuz my card sounds a lot louder than that.
    3
  • No overclock results?
    -3
  • envy14tpe said:
    What does "Modified" "Throttling" and "New BIOS" mean in terms of how the data is to be interpreted?


    Modified means its beyond the original spec. Throttling means that it was overheating and lowering the clock speed in order to cool down. New BIOS means just that, that they received a new BIOS to fix any previous issues.

    1445593 said:
    I refunded MSI r9 280x and got Asus card due to heavy coil whine. I wonder new MSI bios fixed the issue?(by the look of it, it seems MSI traded coil whine with fan noise) btw how did the reviewer set up mic in the noise comparison video? cuz my card sounds a lot louder than that.


    They do a mic but it depends on your config. I think these are all open setups and not in a case.

    Also, I have never been a fan of MSIs setups. I prefer Sapphire or Asus for GPUs from AMD as they have better cooling solutions and tend to last longer
    6
  • That VaporX and Toxic cards just look great. Hate Gigabyte's Windforce 3X for its looks. Same for the RoyalKing from Club3D. Also boo to Gigabyte , MSI and ASUS for giving no backplate. But then again , if you keep the card good , put it nicely , you wont need one unless your gonna paint it , right ?

    Waiting eagerly for a Watercooled card , although I know it wont come for the 280X as basically all of these cooling solutions especially the ICEQX2 , DCII , WF 3X , Toxic and Vapor-X just keep the card cool , till the OC limit lets em go. One for the 290X maybe..............
    1
  • Good idea providing the videos.
    Some of those cards are a good deal louder or higher pitch than the others.
    1
  • Could you also add the audio frequency of the fan (or mayhaps curve)?
    I don't know if its too hard but anyways, would seem that lower frequency would be better.
    3
  • In my case, in these round-ups, all I ever care to see are the Temp and Acoustic/Noise numbers, since the base 'on-screen' number-crunching performance is usually within a couple of FPS. ASUS has been a consistent performer, though I would love to see others catch-up.
    1
  • Would be nice to have a page with power usage for the cards
    1
  • Double post
    -1
  • +1 for the audio curve, it would be extremely helpfull, not to mention highly professional.

    Some of those cards seem noisier than the results, most likely because the frequency of the sound it produces is not being accurately shown by the db(A) scale.
    3
  • While I love the new idea of adding to this article as new version are tested. AWESOME...
    The fact that your conclusions of the existing cards tested are ?missing?, that is annoying.

    Anyway. LOL to MSI, bad VRMs are showing their colour. Bloody payback time.
    Amazing how quiet that Asus is.
    Amazing how HEAVY the Toxic is...
    3
  • gigabyte an msi really disappointing cards. i always sticked with sapphire, might give asus a try.

    I really like the new style of comparison with charts and screens. the video noise rocks. good job, keep it up.
    2
  • As an owner of a r9 280x vapor-x I must say it is pretty loud under load, but can't complain about anything else. Also I don't know how useful this metal plate on the back of the card really is, but it gives a very sturdy feeling while handling the card during installation and looks much better then a "bare" card.
    1
  • Very nice go-to reference. Thanks!
    0
  • Club3D card has slightly different dimensions from the ones provided on their website. Unless there is a difference between Club3D R9 280X royalKing OC and non-OC? Can you guys confirm which length is correct? These few millimeters make a difference in my case :p
    0
  • after owning a few sapphires, XFX, ASUS Gigabyte and MSI hardware, i'll stick with ASUS. Never had any problem with them and their hardware quality is just unmatched, sapphire gets close.
    2
  • 280x review is nothing more than yet another 7970 Ghz review. Huge waste of time for Tomshardware to do.
    0