Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X
Bringing new innovations to graphics cards is not easy. With that said, Sapphire does have the know-how to come up with new innovations and incorporate them in its latest graphics cards. With the new Vapor-X cooling system and AMD’s Graphic Core Next (GCN) architecture, it’s easy to see why Sapphire remains one of the leading manufacturers of AMD graphics products. This month, we will go in-depth into the Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X graphics card to find out if it lives up to the company’s reputation.
Holding the graphics card in our hands, the first thing that caught our eye was the cooling system. Combining both the Tri-X and Vapor-X cooling technology, the card ran silently while still effective in dispersing the heat that is generated by the card. The R9 280X Vapor-X also comes supported with two BIOS as well, which are the Legacy BIOS and the UEFI BIOS. While the Legacy BIOS is the factory default option, users can simply press the Sapphire logo on the side of the card to enable the UEFI BIOS.
The specification of the card shows that it has 3GB of GDDR5 memory and a base clock speed of 1,000MHz and 1,100MHz with Boost. As it is already preclocked by Sapphire, the card is significantly better than the reference R9 280X graphics card, which has a base clock of only 850MHz. Users may also set up multiple graphics cards in their gaming rig, as the R9 280X comes with AMD’s CrossFireX Multi-GPU technology.
While the design is rather sleek and cool, the bulk of the R9 280X Vapor-X’s aesthetics is taken up by the cooling system and the fan housing, leaving much of the graphics card exposed. However, its minimalist, exposed design does serve a purpose, mostly to accommodate both the Tri-X and the Vapor-X cooling systems.
A lot of thoughts went into the design of the graphics card, but what gamers truly care about is how well it performs, and the R9 280X performed beyond our expectations. We first ran 3D Mark’s Fire Strike, which the card produced a high score of 7,552. We proceeded with 3D Mark 11, where the card obtained a score of P10,457. We then ran Unigine Heaven, at High and Normal Tessellation with 2x Anti-Aliasing (AA), where the card performed well with a score of 1,608 and averaging 63.8FPS.
We moved on to the realworld performance tests, where we chose Hitman: Absolution and Batman: Arkham Origins as the benchmarks. We started with Arkham Origins at High visual settings, which gave us a very high average of 92FPS. We then followed that with Hitman: Absolution, which ran smoothly at 68FPS, even at High graphics with FXAA enabled.
Overall, the Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X graphics card delivers great performance for just about any gaming rig. With such capable performance, users will want to invest in a powerful power supply as at minimum requirements, the card will require at least 750W to function well. However, it come built in with AMD’s PowerPlay with ZeroCore Power technology, which does help in managing the power consumption of the graphics card.
The graphics card achieves a high score of 7,552 in 3D Mark’s Fire Strike.