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8 GB Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X Listed; Costs €730

For quite a while, it's been rather uncertain whether there would be an 8 GB variant of any R9 290X graphics card, and it was rumored that Sapphire would be coming with one. Later, this rumor was disregarded; however, it appears to have now reached shops over in the EU.

The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X 8 GB carries the new Vapor-X cooler, which is built with a vapor chamber inside of it for even better thermal performance than the already very impressive Tri-X cooler. It has three fans, a handful of heat pipes and a massive aluminum fin array.

The GPU aboard this specific card is clocked at 1060 MHz, giving it a 60 MHz overclock over reference frequencies. The better part though, is that it is actually capable of sustaining these frequencies, unlike reference coolers on R9 290(X) graphics cards. The 8 GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at an effective speed of 5.6 GHz.

Pricing for the unit is set at €730 over at Caseking.de in Germany, while the card can be yours for £600 in the UK at Overclockers UK. No word on U.S. availability yet.

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Niels Broekhuijsen
Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware news on all components and peripherals.
  • Urzu1000
    This is probably not the most intelligent thing to say after reading this article, but I'm a big fan of the Sapphire color-scheme. Black and blue just looks nice on a large graphics card like this.
    Reply
  • David Dewis
    So how much of difference will this make? I'm assuming this will make a bigger difference at 4K
    Reply
  • rbarnhart
    This is not a production model. There were a handful of cards made (a couple hundred) and unless there is a change, Sapphire will not produce more or distribute them anywhere else. Also, these cards went on sale 2 weeks ago.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    miss the time when you get an trident 3d image with only 4mb. put an monster 12mb aside (voodoo 2) (only 800x600) in sli can do 1024x768... Old times.... now we have this monster 8gb vram i think iam to old right now. my first graphic card have 16k only. that is x 524288 more times than that time.
    Reply
  • rbarnhart
    The flaw with these cards in my opinion is that they really mandate the purchase of a second. So the cost is in fact double. One GPU is not enough for 4K so a dual gpu setup is needed to justify the vram. However, then you cannot crossfire this with a card with less vrarm or the extra 4gb of vram goes unused. It is a bit of a run-around, because I cannot see the performance difference in an 8gb crossfire setup being enough to justify the price on the gpus versus a 4gb crossfire setup. Just buy 2 of the 290x vapor-x oc cards for roughly $700 less than these in crossfire.
    Reply
  • n3cw4rr10r
    Would this be better than a R9 295x2? I mean hell its almost half the price. IfI can get this for $750-$800 ....
    Reply
  • rbarnhart
    13281755 said:
    Would this be better than a R9 295x2? I mean hell its almost half the price. IfI can get this for $750-$800 ....

    No, that is not a valid comparison. The valid comparison is a set of crossfired 290x with 4gb of ram, preferrably non-reference.

    The reason is the single gpu may have more vram to buffer frames but will lack the processing power. This card is again really intended to be crossfired and used in 4K, eyefinity in my opinion.

    A single card like this is overkill unless you are gaming on a small to medium sized single 4K monitor. This will not be enough for large 4K displays or 4K eyefinity on a single gpu.

    Reading your comment again, the price above is in Euros, converted to USD = $1007.40 plus import fees, taxes and international shipping. You are looking at about $1300/card. It is not a deal but a novelty item like Nvidia's Titan-Z. You do not buy it sensibly.

    I suspect you can crossfire a pair of non-ref 290x cards for that price and get better performance overall with the mining crazed prices coming down so rapidly these days.
    Reply
  • n3cw4rr10r
    Wouldnt running a single gpu be better than two gpus in crossfire, especially in terms of heat and noise?
    Reply
  • rbarnhart
    13281854 said:
    Wouldnt running a single gpu be better than two gpus in crossfire, especially in terms of heat and noise?

    Yes, on that account it would. A single gpu solution is always the best choice if it can handle your needs. If not the dual-gpu or sli/crossfire is your next choice. Realize that a dual-gpu behaves almost identically as 2 cards in sli/crossfire. The advantage is space, noise and cooling.

    With that being said, you should look at the 780 Ti, this card (but the 4gb oc version), or the MSI lightning 290x (though the prices on the MSI card a unjustifiable higher than this card's 4gb oc version which has the same core clock, but higher mem clocks out of the box), if you want a single card solution.

    Noise and thermal differences amongst those cards becomes nit-picking.

    If you want to have a dual-gpu solution you should look at Titan-Z (not worth the price), the 295X2 if you are concerned about thermals and noise enough to overpay, or 2 non-ref 290x cards with good cooling as the AMD scaling in crossfire is noticeably better than NVIDIA's sli since abandoning the crossfire bridge and communicating across the mem bus, which leaves the price difference between the 780 Ti cards in SLI not the best choice in price or performance.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    This will be nice for multi card setups that would otherwise have more gpu power than they need when coupled with just 4GB vram
    Reply