ASUS Radeon R9 280X Review

Conclusion

ASUS Radeon R9 280X Review

Conclusion

These are always difficult reviews to write. After all, despite the fancy rebranding, this is a HD7970 under the skin. A GPU that we first reviewed in January 2012. In case you've just stepped out of a time machine or been woken by a kiss from a handsome prince, that was 21 months ago. There is nothing new to say about the Tahiti GPU. Everyone remotely interested in a graphics card is aware of the performance potential.

AMD brazenly state that the R9 280X is a competitor for the nVidia GTX760. Given that the GTX760 is around £200 and the HD7970 is £300, it's hardly a fair comparison. At the time of writing we don't know what the street price of the R9 280X will be, especially not in this non-reference ASUS DirectCU II guise. It's supposed to be $299, and anyone in England knows that by the time you've taken into account VAT and the usual English markup, it's probably going to be around the £299 mark which puts it slap bang against the GTX770. Which is already the main competitor for the HD7970.

Since the time of writing the sellers recommended price has been confirmed as £275, and the score has been adjusted to reflect this excellent price point.

That 'dueling cards' comparison bears fruit in our benchmarks, with the two cards being within a frame or two of each other in nearly every test. Even the 3D Mark ones, which aren't always a good indicator of gaming performance, were so close that if you hid the Y axis you'd struggle to guess which card was which.

The DirectCU II cooler is one that has often proven itself as a wise choice, and things are no different with the R9 280X. It's a good looking cooler, even if it is slightly skewiff, and even under the most intensive applications it kept the Tahiti GPU at a relatively cool 70°C, without deafening us either.

So the ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II then. It's a HD7970 for less money, in a fancier box with a good cooler and great overclocking potential. It's tempting to say it does exactly what it says on the tin, except it does exactly what it says on another tin. The Tahiti is still a good performing GPU, even all this time since the release, and the R9 280X does nothing to tarnish that legacy. It's hard to recommend it as an upgrade with many HD7970s still on the market, but if you've stuck with an older series GPU then this still has the power to provide great gaming performance and the DirectCU II cooler and Never Settle game bundle only enhances the value. Time hasn't withered the Tahiti GPU as a Gold Award winner.

       

Thanks to ASUS for supplying the R9 280X for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

07-10-2013, 23:53:31

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...113244838l.JPG

The first of the next series of Radeon cards is a familiar foe. Whilst we wait for the Hawaii core 290X, let's look at the Tahiti 280X


Continue Reading

08-10-2013, 00:16:57

Excalabur50
For someone needing to update this card will kick some serious ass can't wait to see the review of the R9-290X

08-10-2013, 01:41:51

sander3
How do we CFX it when the cooler blocks them? Well i guess you can use the bendy ones.

08-10-2013, 04:48:47

sheroo
It would be nice when the 290X comes out if you could weave in there somehow, how fantastic these cards are at folding.

08-10-2013, 05:26:28

quickfireuk
As someone thats just updated there rig, i like the asus new card over there old version, this card is 2 slot and not 3 slot, and on a side note, sapphire R8 280X cards, now have uefi support, sweeet

08-10-2013, 05:44:54

WillSK
Is it just me or were there a few benchmarks where thee 7970 out performed the 280 x. I found that really unusual/confusing

As for the now confirmed pricing I can see how that bumped it up to gold award because you can essential crossfire 280x for just over the price of a single 7970 when they were released

08-10-2013, 06:18:06

Joenus76
there is no longer a xfire bridge, it's all done via the pcie slot now, this is part of the new technology ati have introduced

08-10-2013, 06:19:34

SuB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joenus76 View Post
there is no longer a xfire bridge, it's all done via the pcie slot now, this is part of the new technology ati have introduced
?

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...120925661l.JPG

08-10-2013, 06:35:44

WillSK
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuB View Post
My assumption would be that this feature is either not included below 290 oooor is only PCIE 3 compatible or something. Therefore this allows for older motherboards to Xfire still

08-10-2013, 06:40:37

SuB
Aye I thought it was 290x only.. just wondered why it was mentioned on the 280 thread :P

08-10-2013, 06:40:38

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillSK View Post
My assumption would be that this feature is either not included below 290 oooor is only PCIE 3 compatible or something. Therefore this allows for AMD motherboards to Xfire still
Fixed

08-10-2013, 07:47:37

Ghosthud1
We really do get ripped a new one on the pricing front, sigh.

08-10-2013, 09:13:10

barnsley
Now I've got to choose between two of these or two 770s (probably those gainward ones with the funky coolers) over the next few months. I'm planning to go the full three screens y'see and as much as I'd like to go 780/290 I don't think they'd support my monitor plan. Guess I'll have to see on the 290...

08-10-2013, 16:47:16

Permafrost
just found this...

R9 280X for 239.99

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/c...21-00-40g.html

08-10-2013, 18:02:09

Feronix
What I'm wondering now is;

Can you put an HD 7970 and an R9 280x in CrossfireX?
Maybe with a flashed bios?

08-10-2013, 23:35:07

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
Now I've got to choose between two of these or two 770s (probably those gainward ones with the funky coolers) over the next few months. I'm planning to go the full three screens y'see and as much as I'd like to go 780/290 I don't think they'd support my monitor plan. Guess I'll have to see on the 290...
i don't see how a 780/290 won't support 3 monitors and the 280x/770 will? According to you at least..

780/290 won't need to be in dual GPU mode as much as a single 280x/770 would need to be. For 3x screens at least.

09-10-2013, 22:42:23

Mgutierrez33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
What I'm wondering now is;

Can you put an HD 7970 and an R9 280x in CrossfireX?
Maybe with a flashed bios?
I can't seem to find the article on it anymore, but it has been confirmed that the two cards do run in CrossFire with no BIOS flash enabled. hardOCP.com has a thread on it.

09-10-2013, 23:22:08

addbot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
What I'm wondering now is;

Can you put an HD 7970 and an R9 280x in CrossfireX?
Maybe with a flashed bios?
apparently it does.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ng-tested.html

10-10-2013, 00:42:17

NeverBackDown
All i know is that Mantle(R9's) use Xfire by PCI-e 3.0. Was confirmed earlier. I'll try to dig up the article again and post a linky here.
Edit:
Found this on newegg. I know you guys live in the UK/EU but here's some nice info for y'all.Link This just gives some more specs. Such as clock speeds and what not. I only looked through a few but so far the highest stock clock one is 1070 on the core. That was the DCU2 i think.

10-10-2013, 04:46:55

SieB
Tek Syndicate just put a vid on youtube with a 280x and a 7970 in crossfire with benchmarks.

19-10-2013, 08:30:21

MattBee2k2
Well I bought a 770 a few weeks back and the matrix platinum edition of this card is cheaper than the 770 I got and going by this review, the matrix edition ones will outperform the 770.

19-10-2013, 10:52:01

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBee2k2 View Post
Well I bought a 770 a few weeks back and the matrix platinum edition of this card is cheaper than the 770 I got and going by this review, the matrix edition ones will outperform the 770.
Smart money is the DCU2. Just because you add load of bits onto a card doesnt make it faster.....

19-10-2013, 11:14:24

MattBee2k2
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Smart money is the DCU2. Just because you add load of bits onto a card doesnt make it faster.....
Ah right. I just assumed the matrix editions would be better, hadn't checked them out yet. Still happy with the 770 though, a really good card. Woulda been better if I had the patience to wait a little longer haha.

19-10-2013, 11:24:36

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBee2k2 View Post
Ah right. I just assumed the matrix editions would be better, hadn't checked them out yet. Still happy with the 770 though, a really good card. Woulda been better if I had the patience to wait a little longer haha.
Id be happy tbh matey, really not enough in it to worry about it. Youve got the quieter better overclocking one already IMHO

19-10-2013, 11:29:24

MattBee2k2
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Id be happy tbh matey, really not enough in it to worry about it. Youve got the quieter better overclocking one already IMHO
Yeah it's real quiet, a lot quieter than the 580 lightning it replaced. While I've got you here, a bit of praise is due, the content you provide is exceptional and taught me most of what I've learned over the years, appreciate it man.
Reply
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