Power, Temperature, And Frequency Benchmarks
Now let's take a look at Sapphire's Dual-X R9 280 OC versus a reference Radeon HD 7950 Boost card. From a technical standpoint, Sapphire's only advantage is a 15 MHz difference in the maximum GPU clock rate, helped along by a 25 W-higher TDP limit. That doesn't sound like much , but the combination of a higher thermal limit and a better aftermarket cooler should ensure that Sapphire's card remains in its highest boost state longer than AMD's reference card. Let's see what happens during the BioShock Infinite benchmark:
There you have it. The Radeon HD 7950 Boost drops its clock rate much more often than Sapphire's Dual-X 280. How does the power usage look over the same benchmark?
By the end of the test, there's about a 40 W difference in power draw at times, which is more than the specifications would have us expect. Now, lets examine how this correlates with GPU temperature:
Sapphire's Dual-X employs an aftermarket cooler to keep the GPU temperature lower than the reference card, while using more power and maintaining the peak frequency for longer periods in the process. Were Sapphire's card outfitted with a less-effective reference cooler, we believe performance would be much closer to the Radeon HD 7950 Boost.