XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition Review: Maximum Overdrive

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Overclocking XFX's R9 285 Black Edition

When it comes to overclocking, luck of the draw is one of the most important factors. Despite variables beyond our control, we're still interested in seeing how far we can push XFX's Radeon R9 285 Black Edition.

Even though XFX claims to sell the highest factory-overclocked Radeon R9 285, 975MHz isn't particularly aggressive. Let's see how far we can go with the Catalyst Control Center's OverDrive tool.

With the card's power envelope limit increased to 120%, we were able to crank up the GPU clock the maximum-allowed 17.9%, which corresponds to 1150MHz. While we could boot and start testing at that speed, it wasn't stable. We therefore backed off to a 14% boost, yielding 1112MHz. We increased the memory clock from 1375 to 1550MHz, however, that hurt our 3DMark score. So, we dropped that overclock to 1500MHz (6000MT/s effective).

The 1112MHz GPU overclock represents a 196MHz bump, which is sizable. The 50MHz memory overclock has much less of an impact. Nevertheless, the combined effects take our 3DMark Fire Strike graphics score to 9148, just shy of a 20% performance increase. That gets us into Radeon R9 280X territory.

  • SinxarKnights
    These benchmarks are useless without a comparison to different cards.
  • jessterman21
    Ahahahahahahahahaha 2GB
  • Lutfij
    I love how the pros and cons are now highlighted at the bottom of the newly formed articles.

    Kudos Don :)
  • logainofhades
    Even the 280x is a better buy than a 285, right now.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB Dual-X Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $229.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when availableGenerated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-05 09:58 EST-0500
  • chaosmassive
    GTX 970 really make other cards look bad to buy...
    i not say this card bad though...
  • logainofhades
    If you can afford the GTX 970, it is a great card. Many cannot afford one. An R9 290, @ $60+ less is good, and the 280x @ $100+ less isn't bad either. The card that I think will really shake things up is the GTX 960.
  • cleeve
    14738723 said:
    These benchmarks are useless without a comparison to different cards.

    It does. It compares to other Radeon R9 285s.

    We already compared how a stock 285 performs compared to all other cards, we did that at launch as it says in the article. We included a link for those who'd like to refresh their memory. ;)
  • mortsmi7
    "2GB is more then enough for 1080p gaming which the card is designed for."

    Then you haven't played Wolfenstien on ultra @ 1080p (which is only possible with a 3GB or more card). It's probably more accurate to say that 2GB fits the performance tier of the card.
  • Tzn
    And Gtx 750ti the best card out in the market, price, performance, power consumption wise.
  • moshenokoji
    It depends on what you pay for a card. A 280 may be a better buy if the 285 is $250 and the 280 is $230. But, I grabbed a Power Color R9 285 Turbo Duo on Thanksgiving for $200 with a $20 rebate effectively making it $180. $180 for a card that is similar to the 280 and extremely close to the GTX 770 or as fast as with a small overclock - I'll take that.