AMD's Radeon R9 290 has been on the market since the end of last year, and it has positioned itself successfully as a cost-efficient option if you are looking for high-end gaming performance without breaking the bank.
Compared to its big brother, the R9 290X, the R9 290 features 2,560 of the 2,816 stream processors physically present on the "Hawaii" silicon, which is only a 9% reduction. The TMU count is down to 160 from 176, and the reference-design GPU's core clock speed is 948 MHz instead of 1000 MHz.
Sapphire's R9 290 Vapor-X comes as the company's latest installment of a custom-designed take on the R9 290. The Radeon R9 290 Vapor-X uses a large triple-slot, triple-fan cooler that has been combined with Sapphire's Vapor-Chamber technology to keep the card cool. A little switch lets you disable two of the three fans in idle, which reduces noise levels without increasing temperatures much.
Clock speeds have been increased to 1030 MHz on the GPU. Memory is overclocked to 1400 MHz.
Retailing at $440, the cards is a good deal more expensive than other R9 290 cards that can be had for as low as $370 thanks to recent price drops.
|Sapphire R9 |
GTX 780 Ti
|Memory Size||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||3072 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit||512 bit||512 bit||512 bit||384 bit|
|Core Clock||925 MHz||1046 MHz+||1050 MHz||1000 MHz||1006 MHz+||863 MHz+||947 MHz||1030 MHz||1000 MHz||876 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1375 MHz||1753 MHz||1500 MHz||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1250 MHz||1400 MHz||1250 MHz||1750 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD + documentation
- HDMI cable
- 2x PCIe 6-pin to 8-pin adapter
Sapphire deviated from their typical color theme and is branding the Vapor-X in a strong neon blue, which looks good. The cooler also utilizes a lot of surface detail, which gives it a more rugged look. You will find a backplate on the back of the card, which helps with cooling and protects the card. Dimensions of the card are 30.0 cm x 12.5 cm.
Installation requires three slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor-surround gaming is possible with one card.
The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.
A physical CrossFire connector is not present as all Hawaii-based GPUs send their CrossFire data via the PCI-Express bus.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).
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