How We Tested XFX's Radeon R9 285 Black Edition
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 with a few new features added from the Radeon R9 290 family. The detailed information is available inAMD Radeon R9 285 Review: Tonga and GCN Update 3.0.
Our goal in this review is to focus on what makes XFX's R9 285 Black Edition 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 tolerable. Then, we'll compare power usage and test overclockability. We will use data generated from full-sized Asus and Sapphire Radeon R9 285 specimens to see how the Black Edition differentiates itself.
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||XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition975MHz GPU, 2GB GDDR5 at 1450MHz (5500MT/s)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)|
|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 220.127.116.1125, Custom THG Benchmark, 10 Minutes|