Today AMD release the first of their new graphics series and Kitguru is on hand to cover the R7 260X, R9 270X and R9 280X. This review focuses on a partner board, the Sapphire R9 280X Vapor X which features enhanced clock speeds and a custom cooling solution. Is this the card you need to shortlist for a new upgrade?
Sapphire have earned a glowing reputation over the years by releasing some of the finest AMD graphics cards available. They are well known for taking an AMD reference design and improving upon it in every way possible.
While the rest of our launch articles today have been forced to focus on slightly disappointing reference designs AMD did authorise a review of the Sapphire R9 280X, featuring the highly regarded Vapor X cooler.
The reference AMD R9 280X will be sold with clock speeds up to 1ghz – all of which will have 2,048 Stream Processors. Memory speeds will be set up to 6.0 Gbps. The reference card will demand power from 1 x 6 pin and 1x 8 pin PCI E connectors and it complies with the PCI E 3.0 standard. Each card will ship with 3GB of GDDR5 clocked up to 6.0Gbps.
Sapphire have taken this reference card and turned it completely on its head with the design of their R9 280X Vapor X card. The small, substandard single red fan has been replaced with two larger fans encased behind a black shroud with substantial heatpipes leading into multiple racks of aluminum fins.
They have overclocked the core to 1,070mhz as well (with a BIOS switch), offering a modest performance boost over the reference card. Now, let us take a closer look at the Sapphire R9 280X Vapor X card.