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

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Battlefield 4

bf4-screenshot

Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011’s Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4’s single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have beem running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China’s current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States.

bf4-settings

This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark each card with these settings on the Shanghai level.

bf4-cpu-utilization

Battlefield 4 is more CPU intensive than any other game that we benchmark with as 25% of the CPU is used up during gameplay. You can see that six threads are being used and that the processor is running in Turbo mode at 3.96GHz more times than not.

bf4-fps

Benchmark Results: In Battlefield 4 with Ultra settings at 3840×2160 we were able to average 30.07 FPS on the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X. This is about half a FPS faster than the rival PowerColor PCS+ AXR9 and roughly 3FPS ahead of the factory overclocked ASUS Poseidon GTX 780 graphics card.

bf4-time

Benchmark Results: The Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X OC ran BF4 pretty smoothly with these settings and if you reduce the image quality just slightly you’ll be able to get above 30 FPS most of the time at 3840×2160. We dropped down to nearly 20 FPS in a couple spots during our gameplay and we could feel a bit of sluggishness at some specific parts in the game with these settings.

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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