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Sapphire's Dual-X R9 280 OC Graphics Card Review

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. 

  • Menigmand
    Why no noise measurements ?
    Reply
  • patrichpachich
    ill wait for tonga
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    Why no noise measurements ?
    The one thing I was really interested to see
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    This... as a newer, faster and more power efficient R9 285 comes out?
    What are the board partners thinking?
    Reply
  • Omegaclawe
    They got the wrong memory bandwidth for the R9 280 and 7950 cards... it's 384-bit.

    Which is why I'm worried that the 285 won't be able to keep up. Particularly at higher resolutions.



    Reply
  • elbert
    Wow mantle gives Intel 6 cores relevance in games. Wonder if AMD will design a 16 core now for the AM3? Cant wait to see mantle on Intels new 8 core CPU's.
    Reply
  • Shneiky
    Am I the only one who finds it unfair to bench an Overclocked card and put it against a reference model?
    Reply
  • elbert
    The mantle 4770 test for thief was -.1 min fps and only 1fps average increase. Clearly on the 6 core its getting more in both min fps and average.
    Reply
  • elbert
    The battlefield 4 mantle test lost performance with the 4770 on 1080.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    14034247 said:
    Am I the only one who finds it unfair to bench an Overclocked card and put it against a reference model?

    This is a Sapphire Dual-X review, not a reference 280 launch.

    The Sapphire Dual-X R9 280 comes overclocked from the factory.

    Reply