VisionTek’s R9 280X brings solid value to AMD’s new lineup
This has been quite an enjoyable exploration for us in evaluating the VisionTek R9 280X. At reference speeds, it did well performance-wise comparing it to the reference GTX 770. However, once we overclocked it, we even saw it narrow the performance gap somewhat with the $500 reference EVGA GTX 780. We are totally impressed with this enthusiast card which replaces the HD 7970 GHz Edition at a lower price point. The HD 7970s have been discontinued and few sales are to be found at this date.
We see good overclockability at stock voltage and fan profile even when the VisionTek R9 280X is overclocked beyond GHz Edition speeds, and it scales well in performance. It is also a very quiet card under load.
For its $299 price, once overclocked it gives good bang for buck compared to the performance of the reference GTX 770 which is priced at $329. The 3GB vRAM of the 280X over 2GB vRAM for the GTX 770 may be valuable for gaming at super-widescreen resolutions using multi-GPU CrossFire. To upgrade to a 4GB Nvidia card usually costs about $40 more than the 2GB cards.
- The VisionTek R9 280X provides excellent performance for a 3GB $299 card and it easily beats the HD 7970 GHz Edition when it is user overclocked and does very well against the GTX 770.
- 3GB over 2GB of vRAM can be very useful in some situations.
- The cooling design allows for a quiet running card.
- Two or three of these cards in CrossFire (spacing the cards a slot apart) can be used together to increase performance far beyond a single card.
- 3-panel Eyefinity plus an accessory display can be driven off of a single R9 280X.
- VisionTek offers a Lifetime warranty and good customer service.
- There is no game bundle.
- If you are buying a “sweet spot” upper-range video card right now that is perfect for 1920×1080 and 2560×1600 as well as being good performance bang for buck in a $299 card, the VisionTek R9 280X is a good choice and gets ABT’s “Recommended” award.
We do not know what the future will bring, but the VisionTek R9 280X brings great value and a good performer to AMD’s current line up right now. With great features like Eyefinity 2.0 , you can be assured of immersive gaming by picking this card for 1920×1080 or higher resolution. If you currently game on an older generation video card, you will do yourself a big favor by upgrading.
The competition is hot and Nvidia offers their own set of features including multi-display Surround and PhysX. They are also offering a holiday bundle of 3 games and a $100 discount on Shield with the GTX 770 or GTX 780.
Stay tuned, there is a lot coming from us at ABT. You can expect a review of an EVGA reference design GTX 780, as well as an evaluation of a Sapphire R9 290X versus a new card – all this week! And don’t forget to check our Forums. ABT forum tech discussions are among the best to be found anywhere!