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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 4GB Vapor-X OC Overclocked Video Card Review

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Coming off of some cheaper mid-range video cards, we move to the other end of the scale to see what's going on with AMD's highest-end single GPU offering, the R9 290X 4GB. We've always loved this card since its inception, and we think it has done a marvelous job of taking on the current generation of games.

The particular version we're looking at today comes from Sapphire and sits in as part of the Vapor-X series, a series that we've always loved, and one that has carried with it some awesome performance improvements when compared to the reference versions from AMD.

The Vapor-X Series has been an impressive one, and while Sapphire does offer some great improvements to clock speeds when it comes to comparing it to the reference version of the card, we're going to kick it up a notch and take the clock speeds even higher to see just what kind of performance we can get out of this single GPU beast from Sapphire.

We already know so much about Sapphire and the R series of video cards from AMD that it really feels like there's not a whole lot more that needs to be said here. So, saying that, let's just leave it here and move forward to see what's going on with the package of the Sapphire R9 290X 4GB Vapor-X OC.

Package - What comes inside the box

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Taking a look at the box, we have the black and blue color scheme that helps us recognize the card is part of the popular Vapor-X series. In the top right corner, you can see the model and series, while across the bottom we have some of the main features, which include the fact this card is an OC Edition and carries with it the Vapor-X cooler in a Tri-X setup. You can also see the fans are dual ball bearing as well for added quality.

Turning the box over, you can see that Sapphire offers a bit of a blurb on the left side with a picture of the card. On the right side of the box, you can see some of those main features mentioned on the front. Looking closely, you can see that most of the focus is on the cooler, with the main highlights covering the Vapor-X cooling technology, the Tri-X triple fan setup, and the Intelligent Fan Control (IFC) to help keep noise levels down when the card isn't under a huge amount of load.

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Moving inside the box, you can see the bundle is the standard Sapphire one, which includes a Quick Install Guide, a leaflet on Sapphire Technology Club, a driver CD, two dual Molex to 8-Pin PCIe power connectors, and an HDMI cable.

Along with all that, you can see that Sapphire has included a mouse pad, something that we also saw in the Vapor-X version of the R9 290 4GB. We're not really a huge fan of this addition. Sure, anything extra is nice, but the quality of it isn't great, and it just feels thrown into the bundle. The quality of it is just leaps and bounds away from the quality of the card that Sapphire has put together.

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