XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X Video Card Review

Today we examine the XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X video card, comparing it to a fiercely priced custom GeForce GTX 770. Sporting new aesthetics this video card has the appearance of a truly professional looking video card. We'll find out if the overclock and Double Dissipation GHOST2 thermal technology justify its price.


XFX is a well known company among PC gamers and hardware enthusiasts. It is a division of PINE Technology Holdings Limited. The XFX manufacturing branch specializes in high-performance PC hardware with a focus on gaming products including AMD and NVIDIA graphics processing units and motherboards.

On our test bench today is the XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X video card (R9-280X-TDFD).

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AMD Radeon R9 280X

AMD's R9 280X video card is a simple re-branding of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. It is based on the 28nm Tahiti GPU. The streaming processors are the same at 2,048, the ROPs are the same at 32 ROPs, the TMUs are the same at 128. The GPU architecture is based on GCN (Graphics Core Next) 1.0. The clock speed on the AMD Radeon R9 280X will run at 1GHz. The memory will run at 6GHz on a 384-bit bus with 3GB of GDDR5, just like the 7970 GHz Edition. The TDP is exactly the same at 250W.

What truy separates the AMD R9 280X from the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is the price tag. The AMD R9 280X has a base MSRP of $399. This is $100 less than the launch price of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, which sold for $499. Basically, AMD is providing the same performance as a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition for a much more cost efficient price.

XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X

XFX offers several custom R9 video cards. The XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X is a baseline video card as far as operating speeds go. The XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X's GPU runs by default at 1GHz, while the memory is 1500MHz or 6GHz GDDR5. XFX did not apply an overclock to this video card, however it is still built on custom PCB with quality components, and the GHOST2 thermal design which features Double Dissipation technology.

There are a few things that XFX incorporate into the XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X (DD from here on) that make it unique from other vendors and the reference video card. XFX has outfitted the board with high quality Solid Capacitors and Ferrite Core Chokes. The custom PCB also features a 2oz copper layer, and the I/O panel has a custom bracket with the XFX logo cut into it for increased airflow. The overall look of the video card is aesthetically pleasing. The matte black fan housing and silver trim go great together, and give you a cool look at the guts of the cooling system.

The point of the XFX DD R9 280X is the Double Dissipation and GHOST2 cooling technologies. These are essentially one in the same. Double Dissipation refers to the two heatsinks that are mounted on the video card. One is directly above the GPU, which has two copper heat pipes also running into its finned array. The second heatsink towards the rear end of the video card is connected to four copper heat pipes. The heat is then exhausted by the two light-weight glossy fans. These will ensure proper airflow without excessive noise. The fans are also specially designed to stay dust free. That is huge considering and dust is one of the largest killers of computer components.

Unfortunately after the first round of R9 280X's flew off the shelves, the $399 price point has seemed to struggle. The XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X is currently selling for a ridiculously high $489. It was at $439 just a week ago when this evaluation was finished. The pricing seems to be fluctuating drastically, and currently, for the worse. You can read more about the XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X's specifications and features here.

XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X Pictures

Our particular XFX DD R9 280X did not come with the normal out-of-store packaging, however retail sales will include a 6-pin to dual-Molex connector, a 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe connector, one CrossFire bridge, a drive installation disk and quick installation guide, and a card with the XFX DD R9 280X's serial number.

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The XFX DD R9 280X as we mentioned looks very professional. The matte black plastic fan housing contrasts nicely against the glossy black fans. The fan housing when looking along the edge of the video card is actually split in two, and separated by some silver trim that makes this video card look nice. The custom PCB is also black to fit the running color scheme. There is one design flaw, we found the PCIe power connectors face inward towards the heatsink. It makes getting your finger in to release the clip implausible.

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The rear I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI-I connector and a single-link DVI-D connector. It also has an HDMI connector and two mini-DisplayPort connectors. It will take up two PCIe slots in your computer. The XFX DD R9 280X measures 11.25 inches long, 4.5 inches tall, and 1.5 inches wide. It requires you have a 6-pin PCIe and an 8-pin PCIe power connector, and a 750W or greater power supply in order to deliver proper power.