The graphics card market has been getting properly shaken up since the release of the new GTX 900 series Maxwell cards, but that doesn’t mean that AMD doesn’t still have a few tricks left up their sleeves. AMD has been diligently at work refreshing and modernizing their GPU lineup, and their most recent efforts have produced for us the Tonga core; a more power efficient and better binned GPU core which, like AMD as a whole, is capable of more than what its specs would suggest. Think of it like this: you get the raw power and value of Tahiti, plus the features of Hawaii and beyond… I can’t really think of anything wrong with that picture if you ask me.
For this review, I’ll be taking a look at Sapphire’s take on the new core. Their Dual-X R9 285 OC comes overclocked out-of-the-box, equipped with a great cooling solution that has withstood the test of time, and utilizes a more robust, custom-designed PCB that should help us take this card to the next level. Let’s see just what this card has to offer, and see if the claims of better performance than the GTX 760 hold true for our testing.
SAPPHIRE Technology is well established as a leading manufacturer and world-wide supplier of innovative graphics and mainboard products for over a decade. Its AMD Radeon based products are just as well known in the mainstream PC markets as they are to the gaming and performance graphics enthusiast. More recently SAPPHIRE has expanded its global reach to Professional graphics solutions and Embedded system solutions.
Innovation, performance and value for money have always made SAPPHIRE the supplier of choice for enthusiast graphics. SAPPHIRE was the first company to introduce fanless silent cooling solutions based on heatpipe technology and continues to offer this technology in its ULTIMATE series. It was again first to introduce the revolutionary Vapour Chamber Technology to graphics cards, giving quieter and more efficient cooling to high performance graphics products with its award winning Vapor-X product lines. Product variations such as the SAPPHIRE TOXIC Editions deliver users higher performance straight out of the box, and give enthusiasts greater opportunities for performance tuning.
PGS (Professional Graphics Solutions) is a division of SAPPHIRE that has been selling professional graphics products and solutions in the APAC region for several years. The AMD FirePro™ range of workstation products is well known in the industry and includes high performance products for the professional market for a wide range of applications from CAD/CAE/CAM, DCC and Animations to Digital Signage, the Medical Industry and Cloud/VDI computing. AMD FirePro™ graphics cards and drivers are fully qualified and certified for all major professional applications software.
Now SAPPHIRE has been appointed by AMD as its Exclusive Global Distribution Partner for AMD FirePro™ professional graphics. The distribution partnership will drive stronger global support for AMD FirePro™ professional graphics. SAPPHIRE has expanded its team and now offers these solutions in several of its global territories.
SAPPHIRE also offers a range of PC mainboards in some of its global markets. This product portfolio has now been expanded to support all the latest CPU and APU technologies and has seen significant growth, especially in the China market.
SAPPHIRE’s expertise in graphics and mainboards, and its capability to customise solutions also lends itself to the market for embedded applications, such as those found in digital signage, gaming machines, POS terminals, Kiosk information systems, thin clients, and surveillance systems. SAPPHIRE set up its Embedded Business Unit specifically to address these markets.
New products for the embedded market have been developed, including industry standard form factors as well as small format mainboards with multi-output graphics, which together with SAPPHIRE’s existing portfolio puts the company in a unique position to offer top to bottom solutions from professional graphics, through integrated solutions to discrete graphics upgrades.
Most recently SAPPPHIRE has announced that products from its Embedded Business unit will support the latest embedded “System on chip” SOCs and 2nd Generation embedded accelerated processing unit (APU) and CPU family from AMD, enabling developers to quickly integrate these new technologies into system designs. SAPPHIRE is also the exclusive provider of AMD designed reference platforms for these new embedded processors, aimed at developers seeking evaluation and development platforms.
SAPPHIRE will continue to innovate, and to deliver the best possible performance and quality to its broad range of solutions in all of its target markets.