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Sapphire Reveals Tiny R9 285 Graphics Card

The AMD Radeon R9 285 has just been announced, and already a number of card designs are hitting the web. One of the designs that stood out to us comes from Sapphire, in the form of a Mini-ITX-oriented card.

The card that Sapphire has revealed is the R9 285 ITX Compact Edition, which will also be available in an OC variant. The reference R9 285 features 1792 stream processors and will run at up to 918 MHz. Sapphire’s card will carry 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and will run at the reference frequency, which is an effective 5.5 GHz. It communicates with the GPU over a 256-bit memory interface. The OC variant of the card will have its GPU clocked at 928 MHz, which is a measly 10 MHz overclock.

As we mentioned, it's the form factor that makes this Sapphire card stand out. The unit is just 171 mm long, which is a mere 1 mm longer than a standard Mini-ITX motherboard. We still have to wait until September 2 for the reviews to show up, but this may well be the most powerful Mini-ITX graphics card to date.

Display outputs are handled by two Mini-DisplayPort interfaces, along with a single HDMI interface and a dual-link DVI port. The card also supports CrossFire without the need for a CrossFire bridge.

There's no official word on availability yet, although AMD indicated that the launch date for the R9 285 is September 2. Pricing for reference cards is set at $249, but we should probably expect a small premium for this card.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • icemunk
    Woo, see? All this complaining about the R9 285 - and look! A mini version already; perfect for a mini PC or HTPC
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Wonder what kind of heat this pumps out?
    Reply
  • Wonder what kind of heat this pumps out?
    190w tdp, so... quite a bit?
    Reply
  • icemunk
    Wonder what kind of heat this pumps out?

    Probably not bad. The R9 285 uses max 190 watts, versus 250 watts from the R9 280 - so considerably less thermal load. I can't wait to see some real world benchmarks and testing though
    Reply
  • sha7bot
    This form factor frustrates me. Why don't they make these low profile so it can fit in HTPC cases. The motherboard is longer than that card!
    Reply
  • icemunk
    This form factor frustrates me. Why don't they make these low profile so it can fit in HTPC cases. The motherboard is longer than that card!

    It can be done, generally with a PCI-e right-angle 90 degree riser, or the like. It all depends, sometimes it takes a bit of creativity.

    At 190 watts, this card uses just slightly (10 watts) more than the 270X
    Reply
  • bmdc
    That is pretty damn badass, and Sapphire makes very nice coolers. I think this card would be an amazing addition to any HTPC intended for gaming and movies.
    Reply
  • BulletSponge420
    "small premium", I see what you did there :P
    Reply
  • SlimSpaceman
    This form factor frustrates me. Why don't they make these low profile so it can fit in HTPC cases. The motherboard is longer than that card!
    In a more ideal world, of course the manufacturers would rather cater to the narrower standard of half-height cards; but it seems that they can just be make a shorter full height card more efficient, for example at cooling due to a bigger possible fan.
    Reply
  • christinebcw
    I suspect "cooling power required fan of X diameter instead of half-height diameter". Still, two smaller-diameter fans set in a funnel-style connection might handle it all.
    Reply