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

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Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. It should be noted that we average all of our test runs. There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we’ve always done out testing ‘hot’ since the site started back more than a decade ago.

Video Cards & Drivers used for testing:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 335.23
  • AMD CATALYST 14.4

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

test-system

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1501 that came out on 01/15/2014. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-12-12-30 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room and gives us more accurate sound measurements than the old Corsair AX1200 power supply that we used from 2012 till this year that had a loud fan that always ran.

gpu-test-system-specs

Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:

The Intel X79 Test Platform

 

Component

 

Brand/Model

 

Live Pricing

 

Processor

 

Intel Core i7-4960X

 

Motherboard

ASUS P9X79-E WS

 

Memory

16GB Kingston 2133MHz

 

Video Card

 

Various

 

Solid-State Drive

 

OCZ Vertex 460 240GB

 

Cooling

 

Intel TS13X (Asetek)

 

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i

 

Operating System

 

Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

 

Monitor

 

Sharp PN-K321 32″ 4K

 

XFX Double D Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card GPU-Z Info:

290x-vaporx-gpuz

 

Print
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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