The Radeon R9 280X
|Radeon HD 7970||925||-||2048||128||32||5.5 GT/s||384|
|Radeon HD 7970 GHz||1000||1050||2048||128||32||6 GT/s||384|
|Radeon R9 280X||??||1000||2048||128||32||6 GT/s||384|
The formula for the Radeon R9 280X is simple: it's very much like the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition—the boost clock is actually 50MHz slower—but with a price reduction to $299.99. That's the most dramatic news of the day, really, in my book. Yeah, the game bundle is gone, but this is a real-money price drop of about a hundred bucks.
|Radeon HD 7970||30||118/59||3.8||1.9||264|
|Radeon HD 7970 GHz||34||134/67||4.3||2.1||288|
|Radeon R9 280X||32||128/64||4.1||2.0||288|
|GeForce GTX 770||35||139/139||3.3||4.3||224|
|GeForce GTX 780||43||173/173||4.2||3.6 or 4.5||288|
The 280X competes most directly with the GeForce GTX 770, in terms of key graphics rates, but the GeForce is still selling for around 400 bucks. You can imagine how that's about to play out.
We have a couple of examples of the R9 280X on hand. Pictured above is a stock-clocked version from XFX with a snazzy-looking dual-fan cooler. Like the 7970, 280X cards have 3GB of memory onboard, making them a little more future-proof than the 2GB competition.
This is Asus' R9 280X DirectCU II TOP, also with a fancy cooler. Since this card was first to arrive in Damage Labs, it was the one on which we focused most of our testing. This baby is clocked up a little bit from stock, with a 1070MHz GPU frequency and 6.4 GT/s memory. You'll pay for extra juice, though—Asus says the card will list for $309.99 at online stores.
I should note a particular feature of both of these 280X cards: their coolers stick up a long way above the top of the retention bracket at the back of the card. The shroud on the Asus card protrudes about 1.25" past the bracket, and the heatpipe is another quarter inch taller than that. Clearance may be an issue in some PC enclosures.
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