Revisiting the Radeon R9 280X / HD 7970


Continuing in conjunction with revisiting a few of our favourite outdated graphics playing cards, lately we’re going to be checking again in with the Radeon R9 280X, which may be to mention that we are checking again in with the 7970 GHz Edition, either one of that are necessarily a manufacturing facility overclocked Radeon HD 7970, so we’re going to technically be revisiting that, too, the exact same card we first reviewed in December 2011!

All 3 playing cards are in accordance with the similar ‘Tahiti XT’ GPU they usually all characteristic 2048 cores, 128 texture mapping devices and 32 render output devices, in addition to the similar GDDR5 reminiscence interface the use of a 384-bit vast reminiscence bus. The handiest actual adjustments have been made to the core and reminiscence clock speeds, even though the 7970 GHz Edition and R9 280X are an identical, and once more, are mainly overclocked variations of the unique 7970.

For some again tale on that, AMD’s resolution to overclock the 7970 through virtually 15% and create the 7970 GHz Edition (which fetched a $50 top rate) was once an try to compete with the GeForce GTX 680 and reclaim the efficiency crown in 2012. Some 18 months later with not anything new to provide, the 7970 GHz Edition was once rebranded because the R9 280X and its MSRP dropped from $500 to $300, so despite the fact that we have been getting the similar efficiency, a minimum of it was once a little bit less expensive.

Shortly after the 280X free up, the Radeon 200 collection was once finished with some GCN 2d era portions together with the R9 290, 290X and 295X2. We additionally were given the third era Radeon R9 285, however that type was once a little bit of a flop.

Even even though it was once a rebadged providing, the Radeon 280X was once if truth be told a scorching merchandise at its creation MSRP and bought rather smartly. Today they may be able to be discovered promoting for $120 to $190 at the second-hand marketplace, and given lately’s terrible marketplace stipulations, that places it on par with the cost of playing cards such because the GTX 1050 and RX 560. Which of the ones choices supplies the most efficient effects for the ones in search of the utmost worth, you ask? Well, we are about to determine.

Representing the antique GPU is a Sapphire Vapor-X R9 280X 3G. All benchmarking was once carried out on our Corsair GPU check rig which is made out of a Core i7-8700Ok clocked at 5GHz in addition to 32GB of Vengeance DDR4-3200 reminiscence.

Benchmark Time

The Radeon R9 280X will get off to a flying get started in our Battlefield 1 check and it is the first older card now we have revisited this yr that is in a position to reasonable greater than 60fps on this identify at 1080p the use of the extremely high quality settings. As a consequence, it was once 13% sooner than the GTX 1050 Ti and 24% sooner than the GTX 680, which additionally manner the 7970 GHz Edition could be a minimum of 20% sooner on this identify.

Moving directly to Dawn of War III and right here we see the R9 280X proceeding to rip the contest aside with a median of 79fps, which matches out to 16% sooner than the GTX 1050 Ti and 18% sooner than the HD 7950 and GTX 680. I will have to additionally notice that the 1% low results of 59fps was once more than the typical consequence for the RX 560 and GTX 1050.

The R9 280X additionally does smartly in Dirt 4 and right here it controlled to edge out the GTX 680 through a 7% margin. Testing was once carried out the use of the medium high quality settings so it is truthful to mention you have to crank up the visuals with the 280X.

Next up now we have For Honor and for the primary time thus far we see the GTX 680 beating the R9 280X, even though handiest through a trifling 4% margin. Overall efficiency was once excellent and you have to most probably break out with upper high quality settings and nonetheless see a median of over 60fps.

Moving directly to Ghost Recon Wildlands, the R9 280X matched the GTX 680 and GTX 1050 whilst it was once 10% slower than the GTX 1050 Ti — a cheap consequence on this identify even though we’re handiest the use of the low high quality preset so optimization is not the most efficient right here.

The R9 280X runs away with it in Mass Effect Andromeda, hitting 81fps on reasonable or about 14% sooner than the GTX 680. It additionally edged out the GTX 1050 Ti and beaten the GTX 1050.

The 280X simply beats the GTX 1050 Ti in Prey whilst it was once with ease forward of the GTX 680, even though with each pushing over 60fps always you would battle to identify the adaptation.

The 280X blasted the contest in Resident Evil 7, beating the GTX 1050 Ti through a 20% margin and the GTX 680 through 23%, so a transparent victory for AMD’s rebadged HD 7970.

The R9 280X was once 10% sooner than the GTX 680 on reasonable around the 8 video games we examined, even though it needs to be mentioned that our unfold of video games is accidentally sort to the crimson staff. We not too long ago noticed that the HD 7950 struggled towards the GTX 760 in titles comparable to Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Fortnite, Overwatch and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Had the ones titles been incorporated, then the 280X and GTX 680 may have pop out of this providing a an identical stage of efficiency general, so stay that during thoughts. That mentioned, let’s transfer on to look how the R9 280X performs in a couple of of those titles.


First up, I performed a couple of rounds of Rainbow Six Siege and located that on reasonable the R9 280X was once excellent for over 100fps when the use of the medium high quality settings at 1080p. In this identical segment of the sport, the 280X was once kind of 30% sooner than the GTX 680. Whereas the GTX 680 averaged 108fps with dips as little as 88fps, the 280X by no means dropped underneath 106fps and this allowed for a median of 139fps.

We noticed that in the past the R9 280X was once over 20% sooner than the GTX 680 in Battlefield 1 and this had a large affect at the high quality settings we have been in a position to make use of. Whereas the GTX 680 was once restricted to the medium high quality settings for playable efficiency the R9 280X may just deal with extremely and nonetheless push over 50fps always when gaming at 1080p — an outstanding consequence for the outdated AMD GPU.

The R9 280X powered via Battlefront II the use of the prime quality settings, offering extremely playable efficiency. Under the similar stipulations it was once 18% sooner than the GTX 680 on this identify. Overall we noticed a median of 69fps with at least 59fps.

Moving directly to Fortnite right here we noticed a median of 105fps with drops right down to 69fps in our 10 minute check. Although this efficiency the use of the medium high quality settings at 1080p is handiest related to what we noticed with the GTX 760, it is clearly nonetheless very playable and you have to definitely have the funds for to show the standard settings up a notch or two.

Although now not an apples to apples comparability with the GTX 680, in Overwatch we did use the similar high quality settings and general efficiency was once virtually equivalent. Using the extremely high quality settings the 280X was once silky clean churning out 87fps on reasonable with at least 70fps, so an ideal consequence general.

Finally I gave PUBG a whirl and was once pressured right down to the medium high quality preset, which was once additionally the case for the GTX 680. In truth, in spite of taking part in on a unique map we nonetheless noticed the similar 66fps reasonable, so general efficiency will have to be an identical between the 2. In my check with the 280X I noticed at least 52fps with a median of 66fps — a playable consequence general however if you wish to take care of over 60fps you’ll be able to have to check out the low or very low high quality settings.

The Radeon R9 280X wasn’t essentially the most energy environment friendly GPU launched in past due 2013 and commit it to memory was once in accordance with yr and a part outdated tech on the time. It was once nonetheless an enormous development in comparison to the GTX 580 and for the reason that it now beats the GTX 680 in maximum exams, efficiency in step with watt is superb against this. Given the 8700Ok @ 5GHz and R9 280X combo ate up not up to 300 watts when gaming, which mustn’t precisely put your energy provide to the check.

Wrap Up

There you’ve got it, 2013’s Radeon R9 280X or 2012’s HD 7970, they appear to be beautiful succesful in spite of everything those years. Under standard cases, you would by no means entertain the theory of spending smartly over $100 on the sort of playing cards, however lately if you happen to had 1000 of them indexed for $100, they would most probably all promote earlier than the week ended.

Because of those marketplace stipulations, you’ll be able to be expecting to pay ~$170 and that is the reason if truth be told the typical sale worth for the 280X on eBay all over the March duration. At the time of penning this, the RX 560 and GTX 1050 playing cards are promoting for roughly $160, whilst the 1050 Ti is fetching a minimum of $220.

The Radeon 280X turns out viable for the reason that it is 9% sooner than the 1050 Ti on reasonable and the truth that it prices round 20 to 25% much less. Meanwhile, for round the similar cash because the vanilla 1050, we noticed 25% extra efficiency. Of direction, being a miles older product, the 280X consumes so much extra energy, however the giant aftermarket fashions I’ve readily available from Sapphire and Asus run quite cool and quiet.

The giant hurdle for possible patrons is the truth that they’re second-hand merchandise and there is no probability of changing them beneath guaranty will have to one thing move mistaken. All that mentioned, I might put my price range cap for a 280X at $150 and there are examples of operating playing cards promoting for as little as $130, if you happen to get fortunate. The R9 280X stays forged for 1080p gaming and you’ll be able to have a heap of a laugh with it if that is your objective for the cardboard.

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