It showed good performance across the benchmarks particularly at the GPU Compute side of things. Gaming wise, with a bump over the reference clocks first hand, it should be enough to let you play games at maximum settings. – Full HD.
Coming in at around the $339 mark, the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X OC is indeed one of the more expensive R9 280X 3GB variants on the market at the moment. The simple question to answer when it comes to this situation is can the extra price that Sapphire charges over its competition be justified? The answer to that one is pretty easy: yes. While it's indeed one of the more expensive R9 280X 3GB cards, it does line up with other R9 280X 3GB cards that offer a much higher quality heat sink.
Sapphire Vapor-X and Tri-X are the manufacturer’s most emblematic cooling solutions. Each of them benefit from some technologies to enhance the cooling and keep the GPU under low temperature. But Sapphire thought it would be a good idea to combine those two solutions into a brand new one, more capable, and more interesting. The result is a Vapor-X cooler with 3 fans (Tri-X) and some extra features to ensure stability and silence during the gaming sessions.
Sapphire have a solid card on their hands here, for people wanting a quick and easy upgrade to a mid-range PC, and are looking at AMD cards this 260X should not be overlooked.
Our benchmarks show that the Sapphire R9 290 Vapor-X OC is a very quick edition of the R9 290, as it's able to take on both the R9 290X and GTX 780, meaning that the price premium it carries isn't so bad after all. Its ability to exceed the performance of even the GTX Titan Black when overclocked is also very impressive
So that brings us to pricing where this model retails at £380/$469, that’s with some nice additional software to overclock with (Sapphire Trixx) and a bundle of free games courtesy of AMD. Those aspects mixed with some decent manual overclocking headroom, the enhanced build quality and excellent performance win the Sapphire Radeon™ R9 290 Vapor-X OC Edition our Gold Award.
In our opinion, it’s definitely worth spending the extra on the Toxic R9 270X. The Toxic R9 270X produced an average frame rate of 61fps in our Dirt Showdown benchmark compared to the R9 270’s 52.6fps at a resolution of 2,560x1,440 with graphics quality set to Ultra.
All of the Sapphire Tri-X cards have performed great and Sapphire only packed in more features with the Vapor-X. The addition of the vapor chamber improved cooling even more than the standard Tri-X cooler and that allowed them to bump up the performance slightly. In testing the Vapor-X R9 290 topped most of our charts and proved that it could push all of the games tested at 1440p
SAPPHIRE’s innovative Vapor-X cooling technology truly does wonders. As demonstrated, the overclocking capacity is great PCWizKid's Editor's Choice Awardthanks to the design and its capability to keep temperatures low. While the SAPPHIRE R9 290 Vapor-X on its own by default is already a high perfomaning graphics card with no need of overclocking, you can appreciate how quality and performance do pay off in return.