ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP Video Card Review

We evaluate the new ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP video card and compare it to GeForce GTX 770 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. We will find out which video card provides the best value and performance in the $300 price segment. Does it provide better performance a than its "competition" in the ~$400 price range?

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Power Testing

We tested the power utilization at the wall of the entire system without a video card, and with each video card at idle and full load. For full load power and temperature testing we used real gaming, in this case every game we tested. The power supply used in testing is a Enermax MaxRevo 1350W. Our system is very lean with only one optical drive and one hard drive being powered. Total system wattage at idle without video card is 90W.

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The ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP runs at 1W less than the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition at idle. At full-load, the ASUS R9 280X DC2T is more efficient than the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition by running at 17W less power, while still having a higher core clock speed and memory clock speed. The GeForce GTX 770 is still more efficient than both though. The GTX 770 is the same performance, and gets the job done with a lot less power demand.

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The DirectCU II heatsink and hybrid fan are a real winner on the ASUS R9 280X DC2T video card. It idles the lowest temperature and at full-load hits exactly what ASUS claimed it would. We saw it hit 74c and never exceeded this. It did so with a 42% fan speed. Therefore, the GPU was running cooler than the GTX 770 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. There was no fan noise, even during full-load. The cooling configuration is a success on the ASUS R9 280X DC2T.