When AMD launched the 7000 series of graphics cards, an evolutionary approach was made, moving the bar by improving not only gaming horsepower, but also power efficiency and temperatures. AMD ruled the roost for a time, until Nvidia came along with their 700 series cards, pushing things and gaining the upper hand. Like two titans battling for supremacy, these two companies trade blows with each successive generation launch. And as the R7 and R9 product lineup matures, we’re seeing more custom cards from AMD board partners which are eager to dust it up with Nvidia’s models.
AMD is again looking to capitalize on their latest architecture, which is in fact an evolution of the previous 7000 series generation tech, but the company has made it clear that framerates aren’t their primary goal. They want to make affordable products that offer strong gaming performance, which is arguably one of the most important criteria for gamers out there who may be hard-pressed to choose where to spend their hard-earned money.
Along those lines, today we’re focusing on the ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP, an upper-range peformance card that retails around $420. However, as enthusiasts we’re always looking for (and expecting) more. ASUS is a company that continues to challenge notions and offer cutting edge technology for enthusiasts, and as a result, we’ve come to expect big things from ASUS. Today should prove interesting as it appears the ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP is set to impress us with a full custom kit for a modest premium of only an extra $20. Sounds pretty good to us.
In terms of competition, the R9 280X is positioned against Nvidia’s GTX 770, and as you’ll see in testing, it’s not quite that simple, as there are some apples and oranges comparisons here in terms of features; after all, gaming framerates only tell part of the story.
So, let’s take a closer look at the ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP to find out how it measures up.