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Friday, August 22, 2014

GIGABYTE Radeon R9 280 WINDFORCE 3GB OC Video Card Review


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Earlier in the year, we saw AMD launch the R9 280, and we got a chance to look at the Sapphire version of the model. To say we left feeling unimpressed would be an understatement. The R9 280 was and is a rebadged HD 7950. That's not a bad thing. The HD 7950 was and is a great video card, but the price that AMD launched it at was just too high to be truly considered reasonable.

I said that the model was a misstep in what had been a near flawless launch of the R series of video cards. AMD had just chosen to launch the model at a price that wasn't reasonable and made no sense. Recently, AMD dropped the price on the model, and we feel that it now sits at a much better place. In an effort to fix the negative press that surrounded it initially, they're now making a push to have the model reexamined.

Today, we're looking at one of the three R9 280 3GB cards we have on hand. We'll be looking at them in a few different ways. The first one today comes from GIGABYTE and we'll simply be running it at the out of the box speeds to see just how the model performs these days with the latest drivers.

With the other two, we want to take the time to look at the overclocking performance of the model along with CrossFire performance by pairing up two of the cards. But, those two articles are for later. It's been a long time since we've had the chance to look at a GIGABYTE card, and if it wasn't for the fact that this particular one came from AMD, it would probably be even longer before we saw one.

Package - What comes inside the box

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Taking a look at the front of the box, we have the GIGABYTE logo at the top, while across the bottom we have the model number. Towards the middle of the box, you can see that this is a WINDFORCE and OC Version of the R9 280. Flipping the box over, you can see that GIGABYTE goes into more detail on the WINDFORCE cooling solution, which uses a triple fan setup. We'll look at it all a bit closer on the next page when we check out the card.

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Opening the box and diving inside, you can see there's not too much going on with the bundle. You've got the usual suspects: a Quick Guide and Driver CD; two power connectors, with one being a Dual Molex to 6-Pin PCIe and the other a Dual Molex to 8-Pin PCIe one; a CrossFire connector; and a MiniDP to DisplayPort connector.

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