Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290X - Cooling the Savage Beast

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“Music can calm the Savage Beast”, that statement may or may not be true and I’m not willing to try it. One thing I do know is that heat is the major cause of computer component failure, which actually makes this statement viable, “With proper cooling your computer won’t become the savage beast.” Why is heat such a major issue? It causes silicon to fail or degrade, plain and simple. If you haven’t cleaned your system in a while, now’s your chance get out that blow off, shut it down and maybe even vacuum some of the dust off. Summer is upon us and heat is going to become an issue.

Sapphire Vapor-XR9 290X


Six months ago, AMD launched their R9 290X and, although being one of the most powerful, performance video cards on the market, it had issues and they resulted from heat. The reference design R9 290X (on auto) ran at approximately 90C, which caused the card to transfer power from the GPU to the fan, causing throttling and insanely loud fan noise. Normally, when a video card is launched, most partners already have an aftermarket design available which usually includes their own PCB, cooling solution and power control. For this launch that wasn’t the case. By the time we began to see any aftermarket solution it was already three months down the road. My explanation, although not official, no one knew the best solution on how to cool the savage beast. It may be a little late to the game but Sapphire has launched their latest version of the R9 290X, the Vapor-X with Tri-X cooling and enough other goodies that do “Calm the Savage Beast.”


Sapphire Vapor-XR9 290X 

The Sapphire Vapor-X 290X with Tri-X cooling utilizes Sapphires patented Vapor Chamber heatsink. The Vapor-X 290X is enhanced by the 28nm AMD Radeon R9 GPU, has 2816 streaming processors (GNC Architecture), 4GB of 512-bit GDDR5 memory with a speed of 5300MHz (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 290X 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.