Tuesday | February 21, 2017
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Sapphire R9-290X 8gb Vapor-X OC Review

Sapphire R9-290X 8gb Vapor-X OC Review

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Various methods of overclocking are compatible with the new 8Gb card and one of those is offered by Sapphire themselves, called Trixx. It is a nice simple control panel which allows us to see basic info on the card, tweak the fan profiles and change the clocks/power. In our manual overclocking we were able to hit 1100Mhz on the core and 1460MHz on the memory.

Sapphire R9-290X 8gb Vapor-X OC Review – Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of Sapphires latest Vapor-X card we have a product which immediately impresses. It is by no means compact, so bear that in mind when building your system, but it is built to a high standard. From the enhanced components used in the power circuitry, to the high performance cooler and on to other aspects such as the high quality backplate. We like the selection of outputs used by Sapphire too, this card uses the ideal mix, and nice extra features such as the fan mode controller and temperature based LED are a bonus.

Pricing wise the card retails for around £60 more than the standard model which seems fair and like it we get a 2-year warranty as well as the option for free games including Alien Isolation. Civilisation Beyond Earth is also included.

Looking to performance, out of the box and before we even consider the extra memory we have a card which is faster than the reference card thanks to the factory overclock. When we then compare the 8GB card to an equally clocked 290X OC we find the new Sapphire model to be a touch faster at 1920×1080 with the gap expanding in some scenarios to a few frames per second at 4K resolutions. Thermal performance was also good and we found the card to be a decent manual overclocker too which is always nice to have.

Summary: Good build quality and pretty much the highest spec 290X available. A worthy winner of our Gold Award.

Available in the UK from Overclockers.

Gold Award

Sapphire R9-290X 8gb Vapor-X OC Review – Performance

Here are a selection of display quality examples from the games we have tested in this review, Assassins Creed Unity, Alien Isolation, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, DOTA2 and F1 2014. All look exceptional on the Vapor-X 8gb.

sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-ai sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-acu sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-codaw

sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-dota2 sapphire-r9-290x-8gb-vapor-x-oc-review-f1-2014

Sapphire Radeon R9-290X Vapor-X 8GB OC
NVIDIA GTX 980
Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Edition
R9-290X OC

Intel Core i7-5960X
Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5
16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800
Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
Corsair AX1500i Antec Kuhler 1250

Installed on a Dimastech EasyXL Test Bench

Intel Wireless AC 7260
Razer DeathAdder
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate
ASUS 120Hz/3D Display

Windows 8.1 64-bit
AMD Drivers: 14.11 Beta 2
NVIDIA Driver 344.75
Assassins Creed Unity
Alien Isolation
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
DOTA 2
F1 2014
3DMark

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drive was performed (NTFS) and then Windows 8.1 was installed. Following the completion of the installation, the video drivers were installed. All windows updates were then installed as were the latest builds of the benchmarking tools. Finally, the hard drives were de-fragmented (where appropriate). For each test, the video drivers were set to default quality/optimizations (unless otherwise stated).

Good Benchmarking Practice

Where possible, each benchmark was performed three times and the median result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables that will follow. All applications had their latest patches applied and all hardware features the latest BIOS/Firmware.

1920×1080 + Thermals and Power

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Stuart Davidson

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