Closer Look: XFX R9 280X TDBD
When the XFX Radeon R9 280X Double Dissipation Black Edition Video Card arrived, I didn’t know what it was. XFX Packed it up very well in a gigantic, nondescript, brown shipping box that looked like it could have fit a mATX case. Inside was the XFX R9 280X TDBD, gently packed in mountains of packing paper and bubble wrap. The actual box of the XFX Radeon R9 280X Black Edition Video Card is a typical long, rectangular box that opens. It seems like I’ve been seeing this style of box more and more.
The XFX R9 280X TDBD doesn’t come with a lot of accessories, but you’ll find everything you need. There are two PCI-E PSU adapters, an eight pin and a six pin, just in case your power supply doesn’t have them already. As you would expect, a driver disc is included, along with a quick installation guide and a warranty guide. There are also some advertisements for other XFX gear included with the accessories. And that is it, folks. For a $400 video card, I might expect some trinket like a sticker or a lanyard or a Do Not Disturb doorknob hanger. No such luck, although you’ll probably get some sort of a Never Settle bundle deal. An R9 280X is bound to get you at least two or three free games.
Upon unpacking, I was quite impressed by the sleek design and appearance of the XFX Radeon R9 280X Black Edition Double Dissipation video card. The black surfaces were covered with a plastic protector to keep dust and fingerprints off, which I promptly removed. The face of the R9 280X TDBD is only decorated by the XFX logo on the end and red rings around the center of the fans. The two 9-bladed IP-5X dust-free fans are the center of attention, drawing the viewer to the natural conclusion that the XFX Radeon R9 280X TDBD is meant to run fast and cool.The I/O panel on the XFX Radeon R9 280X TDBD is pretty typical for this level of video card. The two DVI ports stand out since they are colored red, rather than the standard black or white. One of the DVI ports is a Dual-Link DVI-I, carrying both digital and analog signals, and the other, according to XFX, is a Single-Link DVI-D port, although you couldn’t tell by looking at it. There are also two mini DisplayPorts and an HDMI port. The DisplayPorts are standard 1.2 ports and the HDMI port is a standard 1.4a port. With 4K resolutions being such a big deal now, I can forsee the potential of devices out later this year with HDMI 1.4b ports or even (dare I say it?) HDMI 2.0 ports. With AMDs latest drivers, both DisplayPorts and the HDMI port support 4K resolutions up to 4096×2160. The I/O panel also touts the XFX logo, which just happens to be part of the R9 280X TBDBs cooling features as well.
The top of the XFX Radeon R9 280X gives us a glance at the PCI-e power connectors, which can give us an idea of the potential power consumption of the card. The R9 280X TDBD has a 6-pin and an 8-pin power connector. The PCIe slot itself lets a PCIe x16 card draw up to 75W of power. A 6-pin adapter gives it another potential 75W and the 8-pin adds up to another 150W. All told, that is up to 300W of power that could be drawn by the XFX Radeon R9 280X Black Edition video card. I really doubt you would be able to max that out, but it does give us an idea of the potential.