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Sapphire Reveals Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X Tri-X Cards

At last, custom Radeon R9-290 and R-290X graphics cards are coming out. Sapphire has joined the crowd and expanded its arsenal with its R9 290 Tri-X and R9 290X Tri-X graphics cards.

The cards are based on the reference PCB, though feature custom cooling solutions, making them address the biggest complaint of the 'Hawaii'-based graphics cards.

The Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X GPU is clocked at a frequency of 1040 MHz, which is a 40 MHz boost over the reference speed. It still features the same 4 GB of memory, but it is now clocked at an effective speed of 5.2 GHz – 200 MHz faster than reference.

The  Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X OC's clock speed has been bumped to 1 GHz, and the memory has received the same bump as the R9-290X variant of the card.

Sapphire's Tri-X cooler was first spotted on the company's R9 280X TOXIC edition card. The cooler features three fans, each with dust repelling bearings as well as aerofoil section blades. These blow air through a pair of aluminum fin stacks, which take heat from the GPU through heat pipes.

The cards will ship with BattleField 4 and will be arriving to shops soon. Currently, the cards are in production.

  • jkhoward
    Beautiful. I hope this card ships with a back plate.
    Reply
  • Innocent_Bystander
    Hope your case has a lot of fans if this baby dumps the heat of a 290x in it.

    IB
    Reply
  • Christopher Shaffer
    Speaking of heat, I will never buy another Sapphire card until I see they've improved their cooling solution.

    My 7870 was a great card, in terms of performance, but their cooler just didn't cut it. It ran a full 10C hotter than my Asus DCII or Gigabyte Windforce cards.

    I eventually removed the cooler to inspect and try to get a better contact. What I found was horrendous: There was enough thermal paste to probably cover 3 or 4 cards and it had spilled all over the edges of the GPU. The contact area (copper plate) of the cooler was milled to a surface quality of maybe a meat tenderizer. It was seriously rough to the touch and the mill marks were clearly visible. The surface angle was actually convex; probably about 3-5 degrees, and it wasn't even convex to center. This might be okay on a CPU, but considering the Pitcairn GPU is actually perfectly flat, it's clearly less than optimal. Some 0000 steel wool helped to smooth out the surface and flatten it, but not without some serious (and what should be entirely unnecessary) elbow grease.

    Sapphire makes great cards. Their coolers need some work. This same issue scares me away from the MSI cards as their Frozr coolers look exactly the same; it's like they're manufactured by the same company.

    For a card as hot as the 290/290x I'd be weary of any Sapphire solutions until I see some performance reviews.
    Reply
  • Optimus_Toaster
    Kitguru have already reviewed this card and the cooler keeps it under 70C. I know a lot of happy sapphire customers without any complaint for the coolers and I know that the MSI Twin Frozr coolers are some of the best around (due to owning a twin frozr 3 and 4 card)

    Also the card doesn't come with a backplate, and although similar, the 280x toxic edition's cooler is a bit different to this and IMO a lot nicer looking.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    12228407 said:
    Speaking of heat, I will never buy another Sapphire card until I see they've improved their cooling solution.

    My 7870 was a great card, in terms of performance, but their cooler just didn't cut it. It ran a full 10C hotter than my Asus DCII or Gigabyte Windforce cards.

    I eventually removed the cooler to inspect and try to get a better contact. What I found was horrendous: There was enough thermal paste to probably cover 3 or 4 cards and it had spilled all over the edges of the GPU. The contact area (copper plate) of the cooler was milled to a surface quality of maybe a meat tenderizer. It was seriously rough to the touch and the mill marks were clearly visible. The surface angle was actually convex; probably about 3-5 degrees, and it wasn't even convex to center. This might be okay on a CPU, but considering the Pitcairn GPU is actually perfectly flat, it's clearly less than optimal. Some 0000 steel wool helped to smooth out the surface and flatten it, but not without some serious (and what should be entirely unnecessary) elbow grease.

    Sapphire makes great cards. Their coolers need some work. This same issue scares me away from the MSI cards as their Frozr coolers look exactly the same; it's like they're manufactured by the same company.

    For a card as hot as the 290/290x I'd be weary of any Sapphire solutions until I see some performance reviews.

    Which Sapphire did you have exactly? If it was a dual-X I am not surprised as those are entry level cards. But in every review I have seen shows the 280X Toxic having better temps than the Asus DCUII.

    Asus and Sapphire make the best when it comes to cooling. My Vapor-X HD7970GHz never broke 70c while bitcoin mining during the summer and I live in AZ.

    I do plan on going with a DCUII for the 290X I want but that's because it will better match my Maximus VI, SB z and Corsair 860i in color.
    Reply
  • blacktrance
    Silly Sapphire, Tri-X are for kids!
    Reply
  • Christopher Shaffer
    12229094 said:
    12228407 said:
    Speaking of heat, I will never buy another Sapphire card until I see they've improved their cooling solution.

    My 7870 was a great card, in terms of performance, but their cooler just didn't cut it. It ran a full 10C hotter than my Asus DCII or Gigabyte Windforce cards.

    I eventually removed the cooler to inspect and try to get a better contact. What I found was horrendous: There was enough thermal paste to probably cover 3 or 4 cards and it had spilled all over the edges of the GPU. The contact area (copper plate) of the cooler was milled to a surface quality of maybe a meat tenderizer. It was seriously rough to the touch and the mill marks were clearly visible. The surface angle was actually convex; probably about 3-5 degrees, and it wasn't even convex to center. This might be okay on a CPU, but considering the Pitcairn GPU is actually perfectly flat, it's clearly less than optimal. Some 0000 steel wool helped to smooth out the surface and flatten it, but not without some serious (and what should be entirely unnecessary) elbow grease.

    Sapphire makes great cards. Their coolers need some work. This same issue scares me away from the MSI cards as their Frozr coolers look exactly the same; it's like they're manufactured by the same company.

    For a card as hot as the 290/290x I'd be weary of any Sapphire solutions until I see some performance reviews.

    Which Sapphire did you have exactly? If it was a dual-X I am not surprised as those are entry level cards. But in every review I have seen shows the 280X Toxic having better temps than the Asus DCUII.

    Asus and Sapphire make the best when it comes to cooling. My Vapor-X HD7970GHz never broke 70c while bitcoin mining during the summer and I live in AZ.

    I do plan on going with a DCUII for the 290X I want but that's because it will better match my Maximus VI, SB z and Corsair 860i in color.

    I hope that's the case; yes I had a Dual X, it was a 7870 GHz OC v2. Still a pathetic cooler implementation when the Asus for the same price had a DCII. Hardly even qualified as "entry level"; that cooler should at least be functional.

    That said, I think you meant Asus and Gigabyte make the best when it comes to cooling. Not only is the Windforce the best cooling solution I've had on a card, it's also the quietest, even under full load. I would opt for a Windforce-equiped card any day of the week, but the DCII is about 95% as good.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    12229389 said:
    12229094 said:
    12228407 said:
    Speaking of heat, I will never buy another Sapphire card until I see they've improved their cooling solution.

    My 7870 was a great card, in terms of performance, but their cooler just didn't cut it. It ran a full 10C hotter than my Asus DCII or Gigabyte Windforce cards.

    I eventually removed the cooler to inspect and try to get a better contact. What I found was horrendous: There was enough thermal paste to probably cover 3 or 4 cards and it had spilled all over the edges of the GPU. The contact area (copper plate) of the cooler was milled to a surface quality of maybe a meat tenderizer. It was seriously rough to the touch and the mill marks were clearly visible. The surface angle was actually convex; probably about 3-5 degrees, and it wasn't even convex to center. This might be okay on a CPU, but considering the Pitcairn GPU is actually perfectly flat, it's clearly less than optimal. Some 0000 steel wool helped to smooth out the surface and flatten it, but not without some serious (and what should be entirely unnecessary) elbow grease.

    Sapphire makes great cards. Their coolers need some work. This same issue scares me away from the MSI cards as their Frozr coolers look exactly the same; it's like they're manufactured by the same company.

    For a card as hot as the 290/290x I'd be weary of any Sapphire solutions until I see some performance reviews.

    Which Sapphire did you have exactly? If it was a dual-X I am not surprised as those are entry level cards. But in every review I have seen shows the 280X Toxic having better temps than the Asus DCUII.

    Asus and Sapphire make the best when it comes to cooling. My Vapor-X HD7970GHz never broke 70c while bitcoin mining during the summer and I live in AZ.

    I do plan on going with a DCUII for the 290X I want but that's because it will better match my Maximus VI, SB z and Corsair 860i in color.

    I hope that's the case; yes I had a Dual X, it was a 7870 GHz OC v2. Still a pathetic cooler implementation when the Asus for the same price had a DCII. Hardly even qualified as "entry level"; that cooler should at least be functional.

    That said, I think you meant Asus and Gigabyte make the best when it comes to cooling. Not only is the Windforce the best cooling solution I've had on a card, it's also the quietest, even under full load. I would opt for a Windforce-equiped card any day of the week, but the DCII is about 95% as good.

    No I didn't actually. I personally don't trust Gigabyte since when I worked at a PC shop, I had multiple versions of their motherboards die out on me. Not as bad as MSIs X58 lineup which had chipset cooling issues but still bad enough.

    And from what I can find, the Sapphire 280X Toxic runs at a higher core and memory speed and is around the same temperature as the Windforce. DB wise its +/- but close enough for me.

    And between all three, I would probably opt for Asus because of their legendary quality and probably better support out of the three.

    And of the cooling solutions that Sapphire provides, once they push them out the Dual-X is their entry level one. Next is Vapor-X, then Tri-X and then they have the Toxic which is a bit modified Tri-X. Mich like Asus tends to have the DCUII, DCUII Vs and the Matrix.
    Reply
  • kaitheus
    Good luck getting one of these for playing games before a Litecoin miner snatches em up lolz, as that's the current issue atm with AMD GPU stock >.<, rather annoying actually lolz I was ganna pickup a R9 290 when the non-refs came out but that changed :/.
    Reply
  • Christopher Shaffer
    12229750 said:
    12229389 said:
    12229094 said:
    12228407 said:
    Speaking of heat, I will never buy another Sapphire card until I see they've improved their cooling solution.

    My 7870 was a great card, in terms of performance, but their cooler just didn't cut it. It ran a full 10C hotter than my Asus DCII or Gigabyte Windforce cards.

    I eventually removed the cooler to inspect and try to get a better contact. What I found was horrendous: There was enough thermal paste to probably cover 3 or 4 cards and it had spilled all over the edges of the GPU. The contact area (copper plate) of the cooler was milled to a surface quality of maybe a meat tenderizer. It was seriously rough to the touch and the mill marks were clearly visible. The surface angle was actually convex; probably about 3-5 degrees, and it wasn't even convex to center. This might be okay on a CPU, but considering the Pitcairn GPU is actually perfectly flat, it's clearly less than optimal. Some 0000 steel wool helped to smooth out the surface and flatten it, but not without some serious (and what should be entirely unnecessary) elbow grease.

    Sapphire makes great cards. Their coolers need some work. This same issue scares me away from the MSI cards as their Frozr coolers look exactly the same; it's like they're manufactured by the same company.

    For a card as hot as the 290/290x I'd be weary of any Sapphire solutions until I see some performance reviews.

    Which Sapphire did you have exactly? If it was a dual-X I am not surprised as those are entry level cards. But in every review I have seen shows the 280X Toxic having better temps than the Asus DCUII.

    Asus and Sapphire make the best when it comes to cooling. My Vapor-X HD7970GHz never broke 70c while bitcoin mining during the summer and I live in AZ.

    I do plan on going with a DCUII for the 290X I want but that's because it will better match my Maximus VI, SB z and Corsair 860i in color.

    I hope that's the case; yes I had a Dual X, it was a 7870 GHz OC v2. Still a pathetic cooler implementation when the Asus for the same price had a DCII. Hardly even qualified as "entry level"; that cooler should at least be functional.

    That said, I think you meant Asus and Gigabyte make the best when it comes to cooling. Not only is the Windforce the best cooling solution I've had on a card, it's also the quietest, even under full load. I would opt for a Windforce-equiped card any day of the week, but the DCII is about 95% as good.

    No I didn't actually. I personally don't trust Gigabyte since when I worked at a PC shop, I had multiple versions of their motherboards die out on me. Not as bad as MSIs X58 lineup which had chipset cooling issues but still bad enough.

    And from what I can find, the Sapphire 280X Toxic runs at a higher core and memory speed and is around the same temperature as the Windforce. DB wise its +/- but close enough for me.

    And between all three, I would probably opt for Asus because of their legendary quality and probably better support out of the three.

    And of the cooling solutions that Sapphire provides, once they push them out the Dual-X is their entry level one. Next is Vapor-X, then Tri-X and then they have the Toxic which is a bit modified Tri-X. Mich like Asus tends to have the DCUII, DCUII Vs and the Matrix.

    Fair enough, but I think it's hard to condemn a whole brand based on one experience, which is why I said if I see better cooling solutions then I'd be willing to consider Sapphire again. Whereas you are condemning Gigabyte cards based on some bad motherboards, yet they have a pretty solid record in both GPUs and MBs. Even Tom's uses a Gigabyte board in a lot of their testing; I wonder why?

    Sapphire may have a varied product line like Asus, but the quality of their entry level vs. the quality of the entry level from Asus is night and day. I would consider their product line again when I see a comparable product for a comparable price. I shouldn't have to pay extra for equivalent performance, not to mention the Sapphire card I had did not have high-quality Hynix VRAM like the Asus DCII.

    The Windforce is available in an OC version for every card Gigabyte has put out, AMD and Nvidia, so I'm sure they'll have a competitive card to the Tri-X, clock-wise.


    Reply