Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X (Refresh) Video Card Review

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“Things can only get better” to quote Howard Jones. How many times have you seen a revision to a product and the above statement failed to be true? Most of the time it’s usually to boost sales of an end of life product or fix a problem that was so minute it didn’t make any sense. No need to worry, some manufacturers actually revise their product to make them better, maybe by increasing clock speeds or adding stronger memory modules. The fact is there are products out there that are actually not end of life and have been refreshed to provide something extra that you will actually benefit from. At times, better does mean a bump in the price but most of the time it doesn’t affect the price at all.

Sapphire Vapor-XR9 280X


Sapphire Technologies, one of the premier manufacturers of AMD based Graphics cards, announced a refresh to one of their best-selling Radeon R9 series graphics cards, the Vapor-X 280X on March 4th 2014. At first thought, you might think this is another refresh to boost sales but that's quite far from the fact. Sapphire's refresh of the Vapor-X 280X consists of three major changes, increased engine clock from 950MHz to 1000MHz, increased boost clock from 1070MHz to 1100MHz and the addition of Tri-X vapor chamber cooling. These changes place the R9 280X Vapor-X amongst the elite in its class for superior cooling and clock speeds and, although it could be, the Vapor-X is still not top of the line 280X in Sapphire's repertoire.


Sapphire Vapor-XR9 280X 

The Sapphire Vapor-X 280X with Tri-X cooling utilizes Sapphires patented Vapor Chamber heatsink. The Vapor-X 280X is enhanced by the 28nm AMD Radeon R9 GPU has 2048 streaming processors (GNC Architecture), 3GB of 384-bit GDDR5 memory with a speed of 600MHz (Effective). The Tri-X Cooling in combination with a Vapor-Chamber heatsink is built to effectively dissipate heat by vaporizing the liquid in the chamber, cooling and condensing then returning the cooled liquid back to the surface. The Vapor-X 280X supports up to four monitors for Eyefinity 2.0 with both DVI-I and D outputs, a Display Port (1.2) and HDMI, which is AMD HD3D compatible. Two eight-pin PCI-e connectors are required to power the card with a minimum required 750W power supply.