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Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition OC 3GB Review


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We received one of the first samples of the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition, straight from the factory in the Far East. As such we didn’t get a retail box with all the accessories for this review. Sapphire did send us an image of the final box artwork however, which you can see above.

The accessories included will be:

  • Crossfire Interconnect Cable x1.
  • HDMI 1.4 1.8m cable x1.
  • 8 Pin to 4 Pin Power adapter x2.
  • Mini dp to dp adapter x1.

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The Sapphire R9 280X is a heavy ‘2.2’ slot card and it immediately asserts its position as an ‘flagship’ product. There is a two tone backplate on the card as well, to enhance cooling performance and to protect against damage. It measures 308 x 113 x 41mm (LxWxH).
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The new Tri-X Cooler utilities three highly efficient Aerofoil fans.
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The card has a DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI and two mini DisplayPort connectors for output.

R9 Series graphics cards can now support up to three HDMI/DVI displays for use with AMD Eyefinity technology. A set of displays which support identical timings is required to enable this feature. The display clocks and timing for this feature are configured at boot time.

As such, display hot‐plugging is not supported for the third HDMI/DVI connection. A reboot is required to enable three HDMI/DVI displays.
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The Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition demands power from two 8 pin PCIE power connectors. The official AMD R9 280X is a 1x6pin and 1x8pin configuration so the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition can demand more power under load situations. Just what we need when overclocking.
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The Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition has two Crossfire connectors, to support multiple card configurations.
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There is a a little ‘Sapphire’ branded button close to the Crossfire connectors. This toggles between two BIOS settings. On this card there is no ‘Turbo’ feature – both enable the 1,150mhz core and 1,600mhz configuration. The switch is actually a toggle between UEFI and BIOS states.
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The R9 280X Toxic Edition Tri-X Cooler is a new design from the Sapphire engineering team. It utilises three monster 10mm heatpipes which run along the full length of the cooler into a dense rack of aluminum fins.

The three fans above force cool air across all of the cooler components and to the VRM’s and capacitors underneath (The VRM’s also have dedicated heatsinks). Sapphire are using double sided Black Diamond chokes and Solid capacitors on this card for reliability, long term. This Toxic Edition uses a 8+2+2 power phase configuration to ensure maximum performance under heavy load conditions.
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An overview of the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition. Core clock is boosted from 1,050mhz to 1,150mhz. Like all other R9 280X graphics cards is has 32 ROPs, 128 TMU’s and 2,038 Stream Processors. The 3GB of GDDR5 memory is connected via a 384 bit memory interface.

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