Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition Video Card Review

Today we review the GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition video card. Equipped with a factory overclock, GIGABYTE's WindForce 3X Triangle Cool technology, and Ultra Durable VGA components, we further overclock this card against a GTX 770 and GTX 760, overclocked as well!

Introduction

GIGABYTE is a hardware manufacturer and one of the most respected PC component builders in the business today. The company was established in 1986 in Taipei, Taiwan, and is best known for its motherboards. Gigabyte has a vast product line, including motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks, LCDs, mobile devices, tablet computers, computer cases, and many other PC peripherals.

On our test bench today is the GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition (GV-R928XOC-3GD) video card.

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AMD Radeon R9 280X

AMD's R9 280X video card is a simple rebranding 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 really 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 $299. This is $200 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.


GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition

The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition video card sports just what every game wants, an overclock straight from the factory. The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition runs at 1000MHz with boost that increases up to 1100MHz. The 3GB of memory runs at 6GHz GDDR5. GIGABYTE also includes its OC GURU II overclocking utility, which has a simple to use and easy to understand user interface. The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition also comes equipped with GIGABYTE's latest WindForce 3X Triangle Cool technology, and is mounted with GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable VGA series components.

The first thing you see when you look at the GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition are the three fans that make up the heat removal part of the WindForce 3X cooling system, exhausting the hot air off the GPU. There are also three 8mm copper heat pipes directly touching the GPU. These extend outwards to two heatsinks that are elevated off the main board. The heatsink directly touching the GPU has is cut into a triangle shape referred to as "triangle cool." This will direct airflow at an angle off the top and bottom of the video card, instead of blowing directly onto the PCB. We have seen in past reviews the WindForce 3X cooling system perform well, effectively removing heat while remaining quiet.

GIGABYTE has engineered the GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition video card using Ultra Durable VGA components. These high-end components help reduce GPU temperature and will provide a cleaner and more efficient power flow. This means assured stability with our overclock, as well as improved overclocking capability. These components include a 2 oz copper PCB, which is double the inner copper lay of PCB compared to a reference model. This means better performance and efficiency. Other components include Tier 1 Samsung and Hynix Memory, Ferrite Core chokes, and low RDS MOSFETs.

The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition video card can be had for $299.99. GIGABYTE also includes a free 3 year limited parts and labor warranty. You can read more about the GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition's specifications and features here.


GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition Pictures

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The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition's visual appearance is defined by its blue PCB and glossy black fan housing. The fan housing feels sturdy and tough. Our sample did not come with a retail box because it was an early review sample, however retail units will ship inside of a snug foam box, and should include a driver installation CD, and a PCIe to dual-Molex power connector.

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The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition will require an 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe connector. These plug-ins are located at the back of the video card along the top. GIGABYTE also recommends at least a 600W power supply in order for the video card to function and operate normally.

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The rear I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI-I connector, an HDMI connector and two mini DisplayPort connectors. The dual-BIOS switch is also located along the top of the video card, right beside the CrossFire adaptors. The BIOS profiles are the same, but this givers users the ability to tweak or update the BIOS and still have a backup. The GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition measures 10.5 inches in length, 4 and 1/4th inches tall, and 1.5 inches wide. It will take up two slots in your case.


Comparison Video Cards

Ideally when we are evaluating a video card we select the video cards that are closest in price to the video card we are looking at. In this evaluation keep in mind these video card prices as we have based our comparisons on:

Reference AMD R9 280X - $299

GIGABYTE R9 280X OC Edition - $299

Reference GTX 770 - $329 (MSRP supplied by NVIDIA)

Reference GTX 760 آ– $249 up to $289 for custom 2GB overclocked cards