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Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition OC 3GB Review

Rating: 9.5.

The launch day coverage on AMD R7/R9 earlier this week may have been tied into mainly boring reference samples, but the really good products are being showcased today. This review focuses on something rather special – the new ultra high end Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition which features a triple fan cooler, out of the box overclocked speeds and the highest build quality standards on the market. With a UK asking price of £269.99 inc vat – should this be the card to get for a new high end system upgrade?

Sapphire have earned a reputation for releasing some of the highest grade graphics solutions on the market. Their Vapor X coolers have impressed us over the years for their cooling proficiency and low noise characteristics.

The Toxic Edition we are reviewing today slots in right at the top of Sapphire’s R9 280X portfolio and features a 12 phase power configuration.
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The Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition is overclocked out of the box by 100mhz, to 1,150mhz. The GDDR5 memory has also received a boost to 1,600mhz (6.4Gbps effective). The Toxic Edition will be available in the United Kingdom within the next couple of weeks and Overclockers UK are taking pre-orders at £269.99 inc vat.

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  • Santosh Mishra

    wow, I want this. incredible!

  • Eran

    I love the cooler, its almost like a zotac card. 10mm heatpipes, lol.

  • Ben

    The main selling point with this is the cooler, which I have to say, rocks.

  • Joe

    Ho god, just take my money Sapphire !

  • Harry

    Wasnt that impressed with the R9 280X launch and most of the cards this week have been pretty blah, but this is a good one. Not sure id buy one as my older card is still performing well, but its quite a cheap upgrade. I remember my friends 7950 cost more than this when it launched.

  • Xein

    Hard to get that excited about a HD7970 rebrand, but this is a very good card no matter what is is called. I paid £310 for my HIS HD7970 a year ago and its ok, bit loud. might try and flog it on ebay for £150 and see if I can raise another £100 for this.

  • Darke

    I thought this card was suposed to be AMDs new flagship? Yet it gets outperformed by a GTX 780 thats been out for a while now. And this is an OC version. I’m just reading these benchmarks wrong or what?

  • Phil

    @Darke This is not AMD’s new flagship. That would be the R290X, this is the R280X OC edition.

  • Idhren

    This is what AMD products are good at, having an incredible price-to-performance ration. This card goes to show that they are continuing on that missions, and excelling beautifully. It performs almost to the level of the GTX780, but at almost half the cost!
    When I go for an upgrade, I know what I’m choosing.

    Also, the power consumption chart lists the measurement unit as dBa…

  • gatan

    The stupids are just stupid no matter where you go, is´t that right mr. Darke?

  • Matt

    This is the 280x – top will be the 290x

  • Dudewitbow


    you are aware this is the 280x and not the 290x right. the 280x is just a refresh of the 7970.

  • Zex

    @ Darke

    This is a Radeon 7970 rebrand that costs 290 euro 🙂

    And it comes close to a GTX780 which is nearly 600 euros 🙂

    The AMD flagship will be R9 290X which is not yet released.

    The guys from Kitguru made a spelling mistake in one of the benchmarks, instead “R9 280X Toxic OC” they wrote “Radeon R9 290X Toxic”

  • Nathanael

    Darke: This isn’t the flagship. The flagship is the R9 290x. This is the 280x. The 290x is faster and better. The official release however hasn’t come out yet.

  • Chris

    shut up and take my monthly wage!

  • doon86

    Could anyone tell me if this would run ok with a 650W Power Supply

  • Bruno

    wow, this video card is amazing!!!, i saw the review on anandtech and i think they got a bad card because they couldnt increase the clock too much, but here they reach 1282 core clock lol incredible!! i will build a pc and i found the perfect card to get 😉

  • Nikhil

    Sapphire has done an excellent job in unleashing the full potential of the R9 280X. I wonder if this could get near GTX 780, R9 290 could give GTX 780 like performance while R9 290X will go head to head with GTX titan. Atleast that will make Nvidia to consider serious price cuts.

  • afra

    this is titan in tomraider .. WOOOOOOW this card in amazing thank u KITGURU with awesome ultimate review .. thanks u sapphire nad thank u GREAT AMD

    titan just eat R9 280 dust with 57 FPS vs WOO 69 FPS r9 . look at here for titan and other cards tomraider benchmark :

    it si comparable almost with 780 with at 700$ and crashes titan with 1000 $ price . amd u are aamazing .

  • chris

    Is this card faster than the 7970 matrix platinum?

  • It is clocked higher yes, its in the review if you read it.

  • Steve Stevie

    I’ve just pre-ordered 2 of these Sapphire 280X Toxic editions, I spent a little extra always buy local where I can, to help my local economy. These cards beat a 780 on half the benchmarks I’ve seen and the real optimised games for Radeon aren’t even due until next year, think of all of those new console games purposefully written for the Radeon hardware.

    Even Titans will be left struggling, as they’re not GCN optimised like the new games will be!

  • Mombasa69

    These babies should be available from the 16th October in the UK, not a few weeks as stated on this article.

    Great card I must say!

  • Bawheidbob

    Going to order mine on Friday along with my 4770k bundle – Will be nice to finally upgrade the trusty Q6600 and GTX460

  • this card make ne wet, sapphire please make toxic r9-290x and take my money

  • Mombasa69

    With a 10% oc on top of the already oc Sapphire R9 280X Toxic, it’s as fast as a 780 ffs!

    AND £230 CHEAPER!


  • MartinZ

    Anyone know if this R9 280Xs is voltage locked?

  • Christian

    Hi, those button for the bios switching is the same as it was on the 7970?
    I wish to know if it’s possible to flash new bios and have 0 risk.

  • Kjetil

    heheh just bought 2 toxic cards 14 days ago, just waiting for my online retailer to get them in stock and deliver them for shipping!!!! Cant wait… im so excited!!!!! 🙂

  • Operator

    When you over locked the card did you change the voltage or keep it at its stock setting?

  • Sapphire TOXIC Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card?
    If yes…..hows its gameplay>>>? & is that have any kinda issues like-