Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC 4GB Video Card Review

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Temperature & Noise Testing

Temperatures are important to enthusiasts and gamers, so we took a bit of time and did some temperature testing on the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC video card.

Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Vapor-X OC 4GB Temps:

290x-vaporx-idle

At idle we found the GPU core temperature was 37C, which is a bit higher than we are used to seeing. The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X is designed to run with just one fan at idle, so it appears that the idle temperature is a bit warmer due to that fact. 37C isn’t really hot and more importantly VRM1 and VRM2 temperatures are really low at idle, VRM1 was 26C and VRM2 was 33C GPU-Z shows the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC video card had an GPU voltage of 0.984V at idle.

gaming-load2

When gaming we hit 69C, which is awesome for an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card! There was just a 32C rise in temperature from idle and the fan speed went from 20% to 42%. GPU-Z shows that the core voltage jumped up 1.250V when at full load. The GPU cooling performance of the Vapor-X cooling solution was solid and the VRM temperatures were very good. VRM1 was just 62C and VRM2 was at 60C. The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC has a well designed GPU cooler on it that keeps both the GPU core and VRM components nice and cool.

gpu-temp

Sound Testing

We test noise levels with an Extech sound level meter that has ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with ‘A’ frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

noise-testing

The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X 4GB was one of the quietest cards that we have tested in some time with a reading of 38.8 dB at idle and just 47.1dB at load. The only card that was quieter at load was the XFX DD R9 290 and that card had severe overheating issues due to the fans spinning so slowly!

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  • I have been running a Sapphire 290 for about a year now and have a second one ordered for Crossfire since I have not ran dual GPUs since GeForce 6600 days. The scaling in a lot of the games I play looks great and $250 bucks sure beats the price for GTX980. I wont have to turn on my heater for this winter either lol they do produce allot of heat :(.
    I have not had any bad experiences with Sapphire either, come to think of it the only lemon card I ever purchased was a PNY GeForce 4600TI or what ever back in the day from Best Buy.
    Off topic a bit but I do still have a Voodoo card that still works, god I miss 3dfx!

  • Trent

    Why don’t y’all test at 1440p?

  • Ryan

    Also, I have owned 8 Sapphire cards over the past 6 years. I have had zero problems with them.

    I used to swear by MSI, but I have come over to the Sapphire side.

    So when things go wrong, and they will over the masses, don’t blame the company unless they fail to honour warranties or RMA issues.

    Think of it like this, drug trials can never properly anticipate what a drug will do in the general public until it gets released, because the truly rare but dangerous side effects are not observed until the sample is large enough.

    The same is true about GPU failures. The companies are not interested in selling faulty devices, but the faults may only occur once enough cards are in fact made and/or used long enough.

    Sapphire has not failed me in 8 years, nor has MSI.

    Cheers!

  • Ryan

    The link to the Newegg card is wrong. Only Amazon has the full OC version with the 1080 clocks.

    You can find it here for $659.99: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K2OJ38O/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Ryan, Thanks that has been updated!

  • Alexander Jermelle

    Unless you want to be disappointed, don’t buy sapphire.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Please expand on that!

      • Alexander Jermelle

        Personally, I’ve had to RMA 7 out of 10 cards I have received from them. I wouldn’t even risk it. I’d go with a more reputable company. Not to mention they blame the end user when their cards dont work right out of the box. It was hell and a half to get each card RMA’d.

        • Nathan Kirsch

          ouch, what specific model is failing and what is failing on it? Please give more details as I find it very informative to know what issues are out there.

    • Drogo Drogos

      I owned 2 sapphire cards and on both of them the 1 fan stopped working unless i manualy put the fans slider up to 85%, only then the second fan works 🙁
      Going for XFX next time for sure.

  • bullworker

    either the link the newegg or the product specs indicated there is wrong. 100361VXSR is 1030 Mhz, whereas the review says 1080, which i believe describes this model 11226-09-40G

    • mumblekitty

      Newegg only has the regular version, this is for the OC version.

  • Liquid Aurum

    That is such a beautiful card