XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB Video Card Review

The AMD Radeon R9 280 is almost to the end of its shelf life, and you know what that means, record low pricing making an excellent value for performance right now. We have the XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB and will be comparing it with an R9 285, and also a custom GTX 760. This may be a deal!


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 R9 280 DD 3GB video card (R9-280A-TDFD).

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In today's evaluation we are looking at our last AMD Radeon R9 280 video card we are going to evaluate. The AMD R9 280 GPU based video cards are going to be let go with current inventory moved out. The R9 280 is basically being replaced by the AMD Radeon R9 285. However, before the R9 280 is gone, there have been dramatic price drops on current inventory. Now is your best opportunity to grab one at the lowest prices you'll ever see. These low prices have made this (at launch $279 MSRP) video card an incredible value. The R9 280 is still a competitive video card, and with prices now below the R9 285 that is replacing it, one can't pass up a good deal like this if you are in the market for a mainstream GPU.

In today's evaluation we will determine if the XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation(DD) 3GB is a valid competitor and worth the money. It is currently available at Newegg for after a $30 MIR. It is also available on Amazon for $199 after a $30 MIR. The R9 280 MSRP was originally $279, but has dropped to these levels as e-tailers let the inventories sell through. What an incredible deal.

Since the AMD Radeon R9 285 is replacing the R9 280 video card, we are going to use a reference AMD Radeon R9 285 to compare with the XFX R9 280 DD 3GB just to see how they compare. An R9 285 can be found for as low as $229 after a $20 MIR. After rebate, that's about $30 more than the XFX R9 280 DD 3GB right now.

In the same price range on the NVIDIA side of things is the GTX 760 video card. We found the MSI N760 TF 2GD5 OC video card was similarly priced at $194 after a $30 MIR. This should provide an appropriately scaled performance to really determine the value of the XFX R9 280 DD 3GB.

XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB Video Card

We are evaluating the XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB video card, not to be identified with XFX's "Black Edition" which is the overclocked version. This is not the overclocked version of the video card we are reviewing here today. It operates at the reference R9 280 speed of 933MHz on the core, and 5GHz GDDR5 memory frequency.

XFX has applied several cool features to this video card, most noticeably the "Double Dissipation" cooling system. The most visible part of this cooling system are the heatsink and copper heat pipes, alongside the two radial fans. XFX also has included its Ghost Thermal 2.0 technology, which essentially means the heatsink is floating, rather than directly contacting the PCB. This allows for greater airflow between the PCB and the cover, bringing cooler temperatures. The cover is also made of a light-weight heat tested plastic, aiding in heat reduction.

Another one of the key selling factors of this video card, is that it contains 3GB of GDDR5 memory. This is standard for the R9 280 video card. Seeing this as a model that is being discontinued, we have to take into consideration that the R9 285 and GTX 760 video cards only have 2GB of memory. We'll see if this extra memory plays a factor in our gameplay testing later on.

Additionally the XFX R9 280 DD 3GB has support for 4K resolutions, provided you have a monitor that can also produce this. It may not be able to provide great gameplay at this resolution, but to know it is available is still powerful information.

The XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB can be yours for $199 after a $30 MIR. XFX also offers a limited lifetime parts and labor warranty. It should be clarified that "lifetime" refers to the market "lifetime," not the video cards actual lifetime. You can read more about the XFX R9 280 DD 3GB here.

XFX R9 280 Double Dissipation 3GB Pictures

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The XFX R9 280 DD 3GB ships in a relatively small, skinny box. The video card is well packaged and won't move around much during shipping. The accessory package includes a driver installation CD, a quick setup guide, warranty information, a dual-Molex to 6-pin PCIe connector, and a dual 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe connector. There is also a CrossFire bridge included.

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The XFX R9 280 DD 3GB has a pretty professional look to it. The video card is primarily black, with a matte black fan cover, and it's printed on black PCB. The trip is mostly shiny silver, which brings the whole look together. The video card feels sturdy enough, however when you shake it around, it sounds almost loose. We determined this was just slight movement of the elevated heat sink slightly tapping into something.

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The rear I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI-I connector, a single-link DVI-D connector, two mini-DisplayPort connectors, and an HDMI connector. XFX recommends a minimum 750 watt power supply to run this, and it requires an 8-pin PCIe power connector and a 6-pin PCIe connector. We feel your power supply probably doesn't have to be 750W, our total system wattage with this video card overclocked doesn't quite draw half that from the wall. It measures 11 and 1/8th inches in length, 1.5 inches wide, and 4.5 inches in height.