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

MSI Radeon R9 280 GAMING OC Video Card Review

Priced at roughly $260 we have the MSI R9 280 GAMING OC video card, which features pre-overclocked performance, MSI's Twin Frozr IV cooling system, and highest end components. We'll focus on performance when gaming at 1080p between this boss and the GeForce GTX 760 video card!

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Overclocking

To overclock the MSI R9 280 GAMING OC video card we will be using its very own MSI Afterburner overclocking utility. We are using the latest MSI Afterburner, version 3.0.0 Beta 19.

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With MSI Afterburner installed we take a look at the GUI, and see that we have no ability to control the core voltage. It is simply empty, there was no way to enable voltage control, even with it selected in the settings tab. We do have the ability to control power limit, the core clock, and the memory clock. We can also change the fans speed. We chose to leave the fans operating on automatic for the duration of the evaluation. You can fully customize your own fan profile in Afterburner. The default clock speed is 1GHz, which MSI has pre-overclocked from the reference R9 280 speed of 933MHz.

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The first thing we do in our overclocking procedure for the MSI R9 280 GAMING OC is increase the power limit to its highest level. This happened to be +20%. Next we proceeded to increase our core clock until performance began to diminish. We found that the MSI R9 280 GAMING OC's highest stable overclock was with the core running at 1095MHz, just shy of 1.1GHz. The memory clock by default runs at 1250MHz, or 5GHz GDDR5. We found that we could increase this to 1350MHz, or 5.4GHz GDDR5.

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Let's keep in mind that the MSI R9 280 GAMING OC video card is already equipped with a +67MHz overclock compared to the reference design. That allows it to operate at 1GHz. The memory operates at the reference frequency of 5GHz GDDR5. After we found our max overclock on the MSI R9 280 GAMING the core frequency operated at 1095MHz. This is 95MHz higher than the out-of-box speed, and 162MHz more than the reference design. This is a respectable overclock for this video card, but we still would've liked a few extra mV to play with to push it a little farther. Temperature never really became a problem, with more juice a higher speed may have been reachable. The memory did handle a slight increase from 1250MHz to 1350MHz, or 5.4GHz GDDR5.

Please remember that every video card is different and the overclock we achieve here is not necessarily what you will be able to achieve. Below is a screenshot of GPU-Z after achieving our highest stable overclock on the MSI R9 280 GAMING OC video card.

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