XFX Radeon R9 280X Black Edition Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Now that the Tahiti core has been around for a while, higher yields mean more solid GPUs. That means factory overclocks can safely and stably attain higher levels, thus giving your typical Tahiti based card a better level of performance. That is certainly the case with the XFX Radeon R9 280X TDBD. The stock 1080MHz GPU clock takes the XFX R9 280X the benchmark scores we saw earlier in the testing section. The XFX R9 280X TDBD easily beats the stock 7970 and the GTX 670 we used to test against in every benchmark expect one.
The XFX R9 280X TDBD is a good looking video card, in my opinion. It isn’t one of the coolest designs I have seen, but I do like the sleek smoothness of the plain black design. I also like the use of red on the I/O panel to break up the monotony. The XFX R9 280X TDBD doesn’t rely on an image-laden housing to make itself visually appealing, but it also doesn’t really have anything that shows it off once you get it into your case, which is where it is going to spend most of its time. The matte black finish just blends into the dark interior. If you have a windowed case, like I do, the XFX R9 280X isn’t going to shine, even though it will take up a good portion of that windowed space.
Like most hardware manufacturers, XFX prides itself on using high quality components in the construction of their parts. The XFX R9 280X TDBD is no different, using the same Duratec components that we are used to seeing in XFX video cards. Those components include a 2oz copper PCB, dust-free IP5X fans, and high quality parts like solid capacitors and ferrite core chokes. As we saw from the close-up of the back of the XFX R9 280X TDBD, XFX isn’t sloppy in their production, either. The XFX R9 280X TDBD is solidly built and lives up to XFX’s standards.
Functionally, the XFX R9 280X TDBD has a lot to offer. It incorporates all of AMD’s latest advancements (other than TrueAudio) including the ability to use three TDMS displays simultaneously, GCN 2.0, and OpenCL 1.2 support. The XFX R9 280X goes one step further by including a huge factory overclock up to 1080MHz on the GPU clock. They also use their proprietary technologies to make the card run quiet, cool, and efficiently. Other than the overclock, these are all things that we expect out of video cards today. That means that the real functionality value added into the XFX R9 280X TDBD comes from the factory overclock. As we saw in our tests, that overclock pushes the XFX R9 280X TDBD to some great performance numbers.
One of the best features I find on the XFX R9 280X TDBD is its value. As of January 2014, the XFX R9 280X TDBD retails for $439.99 (Newegg / Amazon). That places it below most Radeon HD 7970 cards still on the market. While the two cards use the same GPU, the XFX Radeon R9 280X is highly overclocked and will outperform those GPUs. It also includes the newer features available on the R9 200 series. The XFX R9 280X sports a pretty average price for a factory overclocked R9 280X, putting it in direct competition with other manufactures. That being said, the 1080MHz core clock is one of the higher factory overclocks on the R9 280X cards.
+ Great Performance
+ Support for 3 TDMS displays
– Very Skimpy on the Accessories
– Nothing Flashy about the Looks