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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  • ShieTar - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    Word of Advice: Also check German shops for new cards, you can get the 280X for 300€ (408$), and delivery to the UK is 13€ (18$) usually. Not a big difference on this card right now, but worth checking whenever you look for a new card. German c't magazine has a nice comparison site that can find the best price all over Europe:

    Of course, sometimes it can make even more sense to import the 309$ card from the US and just pay the VAT at customs (61$).
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Nice to see AMD cars not in that cheap ass ATI happy meal plastic red.
  • AssBall - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Because Tonka Truck yellow is your favorite color?
  • ninjaquick - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Head over to www.bjorn3d if you are curious about what happens when the full 375 are tapped for juice. Nothing anywhere as comprehensive as here, but still pretty interesting :)
  • Impulses - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Given the small price premium, ASUS still has the best combination of warranty/noise vs cooling/stock OC, IMO. Would've liked to see MSI or GB samples.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Agreed - the cooler on the Asus is most impressive and would decide things for me, if I didn't already have my GTX660Ti.
  • yacoub35 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Wow, Sapphire finally learned that it's important to cool the VRMs. About time...

    Here's hoping they've also improved the quality of the fans on their cards, too. Every Sapphire card I've owned (3-4 of them over the years) either had the fan die or start to click or buzz within 6-9 months of owning it, one a lot sooner.
  • The Von Matrices - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    I completely disagree with this card being classified as "double slot." The heatsink takes up 2.5 slots, and the backplate renders the slot above useless for any card that needs the full slot width. The only thing "double slot" about this card is the PCI bracket. This needs to be clearly stated in the article.
  • Casecutter - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Not a fan of the Tonka truck color most as it would have folk think I bought a Zotac. ;-)

    Nothing a carbon faux fiber applique wouldn't fix.
  • jenesis33 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Looking to build a new PC... so considering this card.

    Kitguru has shown a very low noise level for this card.. which is vastly different to test result here?
    Any suggestion of reasons?

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