Sapphire Toxic Edition R9 280X Video Card Review

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War, huh? Good God, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again. Fun song from yesteryear, and it was particularly funny watching Chris and Jackie mangle it. But is it true? No. It is not. War serves its purpose, however, like many powerful things, it is commonly abused and put towards dastardly ends. No matter a person’s political or moral standing, I believe we can all agree that sometimes war is absolutely needed, and that even when it is not needed to defend a country or liberate a Nation, war can still serve a purpose. Many new technologies come from war times. In general, conflict breeds innovation, and this brings me to my topic, the flame war between fans of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.

Sapphire Toxic Edition R9 280X


I, for one, am very happy that there is some competition out there. Without any real competition, why would either company spend so much on R&D all the time and why would we have better and better hardware every year? It really does not matter who you prefer or if you are a purist and really have no corporate favorite, we, as Gamers, can all agree that we are happy to be where we are instead of where we would be if the competition was stagnant. I have grown tired of watching people call each other fanboys and other names. What is wrong with being a fan of a great product and supporting a great company? That does not make a person a fanboy, it makes them a fan. I think much less of a person calling someone a fanboy than I do of someone who would defend their favorite product or company, even if they did make a mistake.

Sapphire Toxic Edition R9 280X


The Sapphire R9 280X with Tri-X cooling should quell some of the derision being poured out by Nvidia fans. The R9 280X by Sapphire comes with the dual 90mm fans and a single 80mm fan comprising the Tri-X cooler. The Tri-X cooler uses five vapor heat pipes to easily carry heat away from the GPU and into the dual vertical fin sections. There is an LED temperature indicator just above the I/O on the PCB, consisting of six LEDs. All that heat management allows for the highest clock speeds available direct from Sapphire.  The 280X comes overclocked at 1100MHz with a boost clock of 1150MHz. There are 128 texture units in the 280X, and 2048 stream processors. The memory is clocked at 6.4 GHz and the card runs on 250W board power. The Sapphire Toxic 280X is 12.25” long and requires two expansion slots in a case. For added stability, the Toxic 280x uses 8 phase power for the GPU and 2 phase power for the memory. For added life expectancy, Sapphire uses their Black Diamond Chokes. The non-reference PCB board is braced by a back plate which simultaneously assists in cooling and adds great stability to the physical card, allowing the full length and weight of the card to keep from sagging.