Graphics Cards Guide

ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB GDDR5 (R9280X-DC2T-3GD5) review

ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB GDDR5 - Overclocking Required

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Overall rating 8/10
Performance:
8
Features:
8.5
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Quiet and good cooling capacity
ASUS GPU Tweak utility
Reasonable price point
THE BAD
Conservative factory overclock
Power consumption level on high side


Test Setup

Test Setup

These are the specifications of our graphics testbed:

  • Intel Core i7-3960X (3.3GHz)
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro (Intel X79 chipset) Motherboard
  • 4 x 2GB DDR3-1600 G.Skill Ripjaws Memory
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive (OS)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 7200 RPM 1TB SATA hard drive (Benchmarks + Games)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

This is the list of cards we'll be testing. A number of add-on partner cards were used to represent reference ones, and they were downclocked to the clock speeds of their reference counterparts in order to gauge their performance with updated drivers. For the AMD Radeon HD 7970, the downclocked Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 was used. For the NVIDIA GeForce GTX cards, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 Windforce 3X OC was downclocked to represent a reference GTX 770; while the MSI GeForce GTX 760 Twin Frozr IV OC was used to represent the GTX 760.

  • ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB GDDR5 (AMD Catalyst 13.9)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 331.40 Beta)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 331.40 Beta)
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB GDDR5 (AMD Catalyst 13.9)

Note 1: In temperature and power consumption comparisons, the results used were from the data gathered from the actual reference cards. Please refer to our reviews for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 and GTX 760.

Note 2: Just prior to publishing this review, AMD's Catalyst 13.11 beta drivers were made available, but preliminary testing showed negligible differences. As such we'll report based on our earlier tested results on Catalyst 13.9.

Benchmarks

Here's the full list of benchmarks that we'll be using for our assessment:-

  • Futuremark 3DMark 2013
  • Unigine 4.0 "Heaven"
  • Unigine "Valley" 1.0
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Far Cry 3
  • Crysis 3

For our temperature and power consumption tests, 3DMark 2011 was used.

Here's a look at how the ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP card stacks up against the competing cards:

ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB GDDR5 and competitive SKUs compared
  ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP 3GB GDDR5 (R9280X-DC2T-3GD5) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB GDDR5 (reference card) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB DDR5
Core Code
  • R9 280X
  • GK104
  • GK104
  • Tahiti XT
GPU Transistor Count
  • 4.3 billion
  • 3.54 billion
  • 3.54 billion
  • 4300 million
Manufacturing Process
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
Core Clock
  • 1070MHz
  • 1046MHz
  • 980MHz
  • 1050MHz
Stream Processors
  • 2048
  • 1536 CUDA cores
  • 1152 CUDA cores
  • 2048 Stream processing units
Stream Processor Clock
  • 1070MHz
  • 1046MHz
  • 980MHz
  • 1050MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 128
  • 128
  • 96
  • 128
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 32
  • 32
  • 32
  • 32
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 6400MHz
  • 7012MHz DDR
  • 6008MHz DDR
  • 6000MHz DDR (GDDR5)
Memory Bus width
  • 384-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 307.2GB/s
  • 224.3GB/s
  • 192.3GB/s
  • 288GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
  • PCIe ver 3.0 x16
  • PCIe ver 3.0 x16
  • PCIe ver 3.0 x16
Power Connectors
  • 1 x 6-pin power cable; 1 x 8-pin power cable
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 2 x 6-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
Multi GPU Technology
  • CrossFireX
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • CrossFireX
DVI Outputs
  • 2
  • 1 x DVI-D, 1 x DVI-I
  • 1 x DVI-D, 1 x DVI-I
  • 1 x Dual-Link
HDMI Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 1 x Native DisplayPort
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2 (version 1.2 HBR2)
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes