ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM Avexir Core Series 8GB DDR3-1600
Motherboard ASRock Z87M OC Formula
Cooler Cooler Master Seidon 120M
Monitor 40″ LCD TV
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300W
Casing Cooler Master N200 Casing
Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64bit
Driver AMD Catalyst 13.4 / 13.11

Now before I begin, I’d like to highlight that the R9 280X is essentially a HD 7970. Upon power up, my system that was formerly using the HD 7970 didn’t even request for a new driver. The GPU-Z screenshots above also speak the same story.

As if that’s not conclusive enough – I managed to CrossfireX the R9 280X with the HD 7970.

ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II 3GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Benchmark

For this test, I’ve also included the benchmark results using Catalyst 13.11 Beta Drivers.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Card 1080p (avg)
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 75
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 76.5
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 71.5
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 102.5

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 59.1
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 59.5
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 55.4
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 110.9

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6
*Full HD at 1920×1080 – pardon me for the wrong screen resolution in the shot above.

Card 1080p (score)
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 11205
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 11441
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 10741
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 16753

Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Scene Card 1080p (avg)
Dark Tower ASUS Radeon R9 280X 122.50
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 121.90
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 115.27
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 201.54
Desert Sunrise ASUS Radeon R9 280X 152.73
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 153.28
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 146.16
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 200.97
Concrete Jungle ASUS Radeon R9 280X 87.72
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 87.42
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 84.92
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 100.62

3DMark

Default settings

Card Score
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 7182
ASUS Radeon R9 280X (13.11) 7513
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 6845
R9 280X + HD 7970 (Crossfire) 11527

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Below is the full load details.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
ASUS Radeon R9 280X 36 86
Sapphire HD 7970 Ghz Edition 34 77

Is the Vapor-X better? Not really. The Vapor-X was running at near full speed with the noise blaring away to maintain at 77 but the DirectCU II was not even close to that noise level when it was at 86c. I’m pretty impressed by it in fact.

The Verdict

Will the R9 280X be a good card? I believe so. It’s not entirely a HD 7970 because the R9 280X also comes with Mantle support, AMD’s new API for games. You can read more about it at Anandtech.

goldfries recommended

At the time of this article, sources say that the R9 280X will be priced cheaper than the HD 7970, which I think makes it all the more ridiculous for the used value of my card. 🙁 I’ll not rejoice until I see how our local (Malaysia) vendors price the card.

In the mean time, the ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II R9 280X is certainly something worth looking at.

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