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

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

SAPPHIRE R9 290X Vapor-X

The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC 4GB graphics card is a very balanced graphics card. The designers of this card beefed up pretty much every aspect of this card and came up with a  card that looks great, is powerful and very quiet. When looking for a Radeon R9 290X graphics card to purchase you’ll want to pay close attention to the cards VRM temperatures and they were excellent on the R9 290X Vapor-X. The combination of the Vapor-X base plate and and Tri-X heatsink and fan structure did the trick!

When it comes to overall peformance the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC performed well on our 4K Ultra HD monitor at 3840×2160 and should run like a champ at 2560×1440, 1920×1080 or on most any AMD Eyefinity setups. The AMD Hawaii GPU with GCN is a very powerful GPU and will do great when put to the task of gaming or mining litecoins. The overclocking performance of the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC was decent, but nothing to write home about. We were able to get the core up to 1140MHz and anything over that we were starting to get artifacts. This card is a loaner card from Sapphire and the box was opened when we received it, so we aren’t sure how much punishment it was given by someone prior to its arrival in our labs. There is certainly some headroom available for those that want to overclock further though.

Sapphire’s Radeon R9 290X Vapor-X OC 4GB graphics card is sold under part number 100361VXSR for $629.99 shipped with a 2-year warranty. This puts the 290X Vapor-X right in the middle when it comes to pricing, but it offers some of the highest core and memory clock speeds that are available today. If you are looking for an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card that is balanced and doesn’t have any glaring issues, the Sapphire Radeon R9 290X should be on the top of the short list of models that you are looking at.

LR Recommended Award 

Legit Bottom Line: The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC 4GB Video Card is one of the best air cooled Radeon R9 290X video cards on the market today.

Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X

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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.


  • 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:

    • 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