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Sapphire Dual-X R9 285 OC Review

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Posted October 20, 2014 by Mike in Video Cards

Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Release Date: Currently Available
 
Price at time of Review: $244.99 @ Newegg
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Great looking, excellent stock performance, phenomenal overclocking capabilities, quiet fans up to 40% PWM, custom PCB, lower power draw than predecessor
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Non-reference board makes likelihood of full-cover water block small, still requires two six pin cables instead of one eight pin
 
BOTTOM LINE:
For the best compromise of cost, performance, and overclocking capability, look no further than the Sapphire Dual-X R9 285 OC.
by Mike
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Unboxing and Overview

 

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Usually I’m not particularly wow’d with the contents of a GPU’s box apart from the GPU itself, but this package seems fairly well done. You get your Molex to PCI-E power adapters for those of you who are somehow without enough cables (and if you are, how old is that power supply and can it even reasonably power this card?), a mostly decorative yet thoughtful mouse pad, the driver disk, a DIV-VGA adapter (why are these still needed, again?)… and a reasonably long and frankly well built, if not simple, HDMI cable. I’m not personally accustomed to seeing the inclusion of cables like this, and this presents a much stronger value in terms of included extras than what most vendors offer. Thanks for that, Sapphire!

 


The card itself is frankly a thing of understated beauty. Though the high gloss purple on the heat sink won’t match a whole lot of (see also: ANY) other hardware out there, the deep hue of purple they used is nothing short of eye-catching, and in a proper case would display very well regardless of surrounding gear. The black plastic has a matte finish and feels reasonably durable, and the two 92 mm fans are well spaced and simply adorned with the Dual-X logo. The button on the side of the card allows access to two different BIOS: one for UEFI, the other for legacy, and will light up blue if depressed. I actually rather like that they chose to leave the heat pipes largely obscured on this card, as without the nickel coating the copper tends to tarnish over time and can make your system appear dirty if you care about such things. We can also see that there are two 6pin PCI-E power connectors here, a clear indication that this card requires less juice than is typical of the Tahiti GPU. Outputs on the card include a single link and dual link DVI port, HDMI, and a FreeSync compatible DisplayPort 1.2 port.

So we know she’s a looker… (slips into accent) but like so many things it is not what is outside… but what is INSIDE that counts. (slips out of accent) Let’s see what’s going on under the heat sink.

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