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Sapphire Introduces R9 290X Vapor-X OC

Sapphire has finally revealed its new Radeon graphics card: the R9 290X Vapor-X OC. This graphics card carries the Vapor-X name for a very simple reason; built into its cooler is a vapor chamber.

If you thought that the R9 290X Tri-X from Sapphire was cool, then this is cool on a whole new level (pun intended). The vapor-chamber will draw the heat generated by the GPU away even faster than did the heatpipes in the Tri-X cooler, which combined with the rest of the fin array and triple-fan configuration found on this card will result in temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees C lower than on the older Tri-X card, according to Sapphire. The cooler is still built with the Tri-X design though, as it features the same 10 mm core heatpipe, beside which reside two 8 mm heatpipes and another two 6 mm heatpipes; it's just that there's a vapor-chamber between the heatpipes and the GPU. The fans are also the same 90 mm fans.

This even beastlier cooler has allowed Sapphire to overclock the card beyond the clocks with which it has previously sold cards. The R9 290X Vapor-X OC carries a factory overclock bringing the GPU frequency up to 1080 MHz – 80 MHz above reference. The memory is also overclocked and now runs at an effective speed of 5.64 GHz. Unlike what past rumors may have indicated though, the card does not come with 8 GB of memory, but rather with the standard 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

Naturally, such an extreme card has to come with a little extra bling. On the side of the cooler users will find a sapphire logo that will normally be illuminated blue, but when you start gaming it'll turn yellow and eventually glow red when the card is running nice and toasty.

The card will be on shelves soon.

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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.
  • patrick47018
    I wish it had 8GB GDDR5...
    Reply
  • Optimus_Toaster
    Any word on a 290 version with a smaller price tag? As for 8GB, I am glad that it is available in 4GB as even 4K doesn't use up that much vram.
    Reply
  • weilin
    Any word on a 290 version with a smaller price tag? As for 8GB, I am glad that it is available in 4GB as even 4K doesn't use up that much vram.

    Already out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202103
    Reply
  • SteadyMercury
    Mines been in the mail since yesterday :D
    Reply
  • SteadyMercury
    As an aside Sapphire reports the card to be running at 1030mhz not 1080mhz...
    http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1227&pid=2167&psn=&lid=1&leg=0

    Reply
  • SteadyMercury
    As an aside Sapphire reports the card to be running at 1030mhz not 1080mhz...
    http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1227&pid=2167&psn=&lid=1&leg=0

    Woops my bad looking at the wrong version
    Reply
  • XGrabMyY
    Any word on a 290 version with a smaller price tag? As for 8GB, I am glad that it is available in 4GB as even 4K doesn't use up that much vram.

    You say that, but you're super wrong. Consoles have 3.5GB of available VRAM to play with, so you can bet your ass most console ports (i.e. 99% of mainstream PC releases) will poorly scale down to a lack of VRAM at 1080p.

    We've already seen it with Titanfall. 3GB of VRAM is the new /baseline/ for a smooth experience. You sound like everyone who has ever said "you'll never need 256MB of VRAM" and substitute 256MB for anything else, and back then we were gaming at about 1080p as well.

    I remember when the 570GTX came out and people said 1.25GB of VRAM was more than enough for 1080p at high settings, then BF3 came out and it easily bottlenecked and lead to crashes from simple memory leaks (which are insanely common in all PC games).

    So shut up, fool.
    Reply
  • c123456
    Any word on a 290 version with a smaller price tag? As for 8GB, I am glad that it is available in 4GB as even 4K doesn't use up that much vram.

    You say that, but you're super wrong. Consoles have 3.5GB of available VRAM to play with, so you can bet your ass most console ports (i.e. 99% of mainstream PC releases) will poorly scale down to a lack of VRAM at 1080p.

    We've already seen it with Titanfall. 3GB of VRAM is the new /baseline/ for a smooth experience. You sound like everyone who has ever said "you'll never need 256MB of VRAM" and substitute 256MB for anything else, and back then we were gaming at about 1080p as well.

    I remember when the 570GTX came out and people said 1.25GB of VRAM was more than enough for 1080p at high settings, then BF3 came out and it easily bottlenecked and lead to crashes from simple memory leaks (which are insanely common in all PC games).

    So shut up, fool.


    4k resolution is only 8,294,400 pixels. 4GB VRAM therefore would give >500 bytes of VRAM per pixel. You're talking about doubling that to an entire kilobyte. Why do you need so much?
    Reply
  • Zepid
    Any word on a 290 version with a smaller price tag? As for 8GB, I am glad that it is available in 4GB as even 4K doesn't use up that much vram.

    You say that, but you're super wrong. Consoles have 3.5GB of available VRAM to play with, so you can bet your ass most console ports (i.e. 99% of mainstream PC releases) will poorly scale down to a lack of VRAM at 1080p.

    We've already seen it with Titanfall. 3GB of VRAM is the new /baseline/ for a smooth experience. You sound like everyone who has ever said "you'll never need 256MB of VRAM" and substitute 256MB for anything else, and back then we were gaming at about 1080p as well.

    I remember when the 570GTX came out and people said 1.25GB of VRAM was more than enough for 1080p at high settings, then BF3 came out and it easily bottlenecked and lead to crashes from simple memory leaks (which are insanely common in all PC games).

    So shut up, fool.


    4k resolution is only 8,294,400 pixels. 4GB VRAM therefore would give >500 bytes of VRAM per pixel. You're talking about doubling that to an entire kilobyte. Why do you need so much?

    You are confusing the exact use of VRAM, engines have a standard of 3.5GB of VRAM like they said to play with from consoles right now. Why, when your engine scales, wouldn't you take full advantage of that? Porting of console code, x86 or not, will result in greater overhead - if consoles have 3.5GB of VRAM to play with then the game will compile and scale to use 100% of that.

    So you can be sure games, console ports from the next-gen platforms, will top out that 3GB of VRAM most cards have quickly. I would say 3GB of VRAM is the new baseline for modern scaling engines and for console ports. I wouldn't want any less than 4GB of VRAM on my GPU.
    Reply
  • rbarnhart
    If you really want an 8gb version, the few that were made are being sold on Overclockers UK. You can pre-order one now for roughly $1000, DHL will ship it for about 50 to Canada/US.
    Reply