How We Tested Sapphire's ITX Compact R9 285
We already know what the Radeon R9 285 can do thanks to the in-depth analysis we performed when this product was launched. In short, it's about as fast as the Radeon R9 280 it replaced, with a few new features added from the Radeon R9 290 series. The detailed information is available in AMD Radeon R9 285 Review: Tonga and GCN Update 3.0.
This time around, we're interested in what makes the Sapphire ITX Compact R9 285 different from other models on the market. To that end, we'll focus on the cooler's ability to keep temperatures low and noise output livable. Then, we'll compare power usage and test overclockability. We will use data generated from full-sized Asus and XFX Radeon R9 285 specimens to see how Sapphire stacks up.
Graphics cards like the Radeon R9 285 require a substantial amount of power, so XFX sent us its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12V rail rated for 70A. XFX claims continuous (not peak) output of up to 850W at 50 degrees Celsius.
We've almost exclusively eliminated mechanical disks in the lab, preferring solid-state storage for alleviating I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our labs 256GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 3.3GHz, Six Cores, LGA 2011, 15MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled.|
|Motherboard||ASRock X79 Extreme9 (LGA 2011) Chipset: Intel X79 Express|
|Networking||On-Board Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LP PC3-16000, 4 x 4GB, 1600MT/s, CL 8-8-8-24-2T|
|Graphics||Sapphire ITX Compact R9 285 OC Edition928MHz GPU, 2GB GDDR5 at 1375MHz (5500MT/s)Asus Strix Radeon R9 285954MHz GPU, 2GB GDDR5 at 1375MHz (5500MT/s)XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition975MHz GPU, 2GB GDDR5 at 1450MHz (5500MT/s)|
|SSD||Samsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s|
|Power||XFX PRO850W, ATX12V, EPS12V|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64|
|Graphics Drivers||AMD Catalyst 14.9 beta|
|Battlefield 4||Version 184.108.40.20625, Custom THG Benchmark, 10 Minutes|