Gaming Performance

As far as gaming performance is concerned, as the highest clocked 280X card we’ve reviewed there’s actually not a lot to say about performance. The card will flat-out outperform every other 280X and it will even outperform NVIDIA’s GTX 770 on average. As we’ll see in our overclocking section, at stock it even outperforms our 280X cards when overclocked. So Sapphire certainly won’t be lacking in performance here.

Finally, please note that since we don’t have a reference 280X here, we’ll be using XFX’s 280X – a stock clockspeed part – as a proxy.

CPU: Intel Core i7-4960X @ 4.2GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
Hard Disk: Samsung SSD 840 EVO (750GB)
Memory: G.Skill RipjawZ DDR3-1866 4 x 8GB (9-10-9-26)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630
Monitor: Asus PQ321 + Samsung 305T
Video Cards: Sapphire Radeon R9 280X Toxic
XFX Radeon R9 280X Double Dissipation
Asus Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP
AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770
Video Drivers: NVIDIA 331.40 Beta
AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 1
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro

Metro: Last Light - 2560x1440 - High Quality

Company of Heroes 2 - 2560x1440 - Max Quality + Med. AA

Company of Heroes 2 - Min. Frame Rate - 2560x1440 - Max Quality + Med. AA

Bioshock Infinite - 2560x1440 - Ultra Quality + DDoF

Battlefield 3 - 2560x1440 - Ultra Quality + 4x MSAA

Crysis 3 - 2560x1440 - High Quality + FXAA

Total War: Rome 2 - 2560x1440 - Ext. Quality + Med. Shadows

Hitman: Absolution - 2560x1440 - Ultra

Hitman: Absolution - Min. Frame Rate - 2560x1440 - Ultra

GRID 2 - 2560x1440 - Maximum Quality + 4x MSAA

In the end Sapphire’s 280X Toxic is 13% faster than a stock clocked 280X. The stock 280X is usually boosting to near its maximum levels, so the performance gains from Sapphire’s overclock trends closer to the theoretical gains from the gains in the boost clock as opposed to the theoretical gains from the base GPU overclock. This also means it’s several percent faster than the GTX 770 on average, while still costing $50 less; though this won’t account for any factory overclocked GTX 770s that we’ve seen are out there.

Meet The Sapphire R9 280X Toxic, Cont Power, Temperature, & Noise
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  • truprecht - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    No, it's clear the Titan should cost less.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    I meant more expensive than the 280X.
  • ShieTar - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Well, nobody who was looking for a good price-performance ratio was choosing the 780 over a 770 anyways, so the 280X really does not change anything here. Let's wait for the 290X and see what happens to the pricing of the 780 and the Titan then.
  • Impulses - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    NV said they had no plans to drop the 770's price, I would think a 780 drop is even less probable unless 290X just trounces it... Heck the 280X mostly matches or outperforms the 770 and it's $100 less!

    I'd been thinking of going NV for my next upgrade (from 2x 6950s), but if AMD can come thru with their frame pacing driver update for Eyefinity in November I'll probably choose AMD again.

    EF seems more flexible than Surround anyway, software-config wise.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    nVidia won't admit they're going to do a price drop until they are DOING a price drop. Saying, "Yeah, we're gonna do one. In a few weeks. You know. Once we sell as many GPU's before we have to drop," seems like it'd be stupid to say.
  • just4U - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    I really don't know what to make of any of this.. when Nvidia's high end 6x series came out it widely accepted as beating out the 7950-70 yet somehow or another Amd caught up. Than along comes Nvidia's high end 7x series and the 7970GHZ manages to kinda sort of keep pace. Than we have these new cards which are based loosely on the those cards and at stock their coming very close to... I think Anand said within 5% or so. That tells me that there isn't really a huge difference so it will be interesting to see what comes out of amd with their top end cards.

    It's clear there's no night/day difference so far.. anyone with a good card in the last year and a bit is sort of set for now.
  • adamantinepiggy - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    The article lists this as having "two" dual-link DVI ports. As far as I'm aware, none of the current ATI model video cards have "two" dual-link DVI ports, and issue I ran into when I wanted to drive two big cheap Korean Shimian 2560x1440 monitors that only come with dual link DVI inputs.
  • adamantinepiggy - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Oops, meant AMD video cards, but still think have ATI brand embedded in brain.
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    It's a bit confusing. They're always physically DL-DVI ports; but electrically you're right, they can only drive 1 DL-DVI monitor. I'll go amend that to try to clarify it.
  • commissar0617 - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    newegg says 2x dual-link. adamantine is wrong.

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