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

    Test results depend strongly on the case used for the testing and also on the geometry of the measurement room, most importantly the distance between the card and the microphone.

    I seem to remember that AT is testing with the card in an open setup, while kitguru are referring to a closed chasis in the review you have linked.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    For general testing we're in a closed setup, specifically a NZXT Phantom 630 (as listed in our test apparatus section).

    Also, keep in mind that our intention here is for these results to be relative, not absolute. We're primarily concerned with which card is louder/quieter and by how much. The problem with absolute results is that more so than any other attribute we test, it varies heavily with the environment, both with regards to the case and the room the computer is setup in.
  • FuriousPop - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    hhmmmmm.........not that impressive from the red team and im guessing the 290X will just be a supe'd up 280X (hopefully not). but i think i'll be sticking with my cfx 7970's (asus top versions)... but if the green team drop the 770/780's in price then i do believe those will be a price - performance wise bargin... i guess we must still wait for the 290X to come.....and see...
  • Mombasa69 - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    "hhmmmmm.........not that impressive from the red team" LMAO! It's near 30% faster than a standard 7970 and is full DX11.2... numb nuts. Even beats a 780 on half the benchmarks and the true Radeon optimized games designed for the new Radeon using consoles aren't even out yet.

    All this for only £260-£280!
  • jenesis33 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    NV already stated they are not dropping price for GTX 770 / 780.

    So yeah. i understand this is not impressive for ppl arleady have 7970 and etc.

    But for some1 like me who is upgrading from a GTX 560, i think it's great news.. Awesome performance for price...
  • FuriousPop - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    i disagree - for those in your position i would rather upgrade to a gtx670 or 7850 (or there abouts), save those extra bucks for early next year or better yet, stick with what you got now and purchase something early-mid next year. i only got my 7970's late last year, before that i had a 4870 for as long as i can remember (tried 2xgtx670's but 1 of them DOA, hence 7970 the only choice).

    prices will always drop - my thoughts have always been whats the best value not what is the best performer out there.... and with this 280X power hunger mode on, i don't see the 290X being any better in that department therefore requiring more out of your whole system to utilize the full performance of it, to which i don't think its worth it....but hey, go nuts if you like!
  • Yeoman1000 - Friday, October 11, 2013 - link

    You can always wait, but you can never really win with tech. In the uk, 7850 is about £110-130. 7970 can be had for £210-230. Bear in mind the 3gb & 384-bit...for peeps in the uk at least it seems like 'old' 7970 stock is the same excellent value as a 7850, for now at least it seems you can't lose.
  • commissar0617 - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    WHO CARES ABOUT POWER CONSUMPTION? a 200w power draw difference will mak minimal difference if your power bill....
  • ShieTar - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    For a serious gamer (1000 hours a year at least), with assumed electricity cost of 0.20$ / kWh, thats already 40$ a year. Keep in mind that people who need to watch that kind of money are often students, some of them playing (and/or working) more than 1000 hours a year, and also keep in mind that some of the international readers of AT may also pay 0.50$/kWh, and you may also be looking at 200$ or more cost per year. Most people won't call that minimal.

    That aside, I personally do not worry about 60$ electricity per year, but 200W additional draw will lead to a noticeable increase in noise, and that I do care about a lot. So I most definitely care to see those numbers in any review.
  • Mombasa69 - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    I'll be upgrading my 3 way 570's for 2 of these Sapphire Radeon R9 280X Toxic's, it even comes with a great oc utility, a small tweak and it'll be as good as the over-priced 780.

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