It is not secret that the Radeon R9 280X is actually a renamed Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition card. Its performance is clear proof that the cards are practically identical. Of course, the price cannot be different, either.
Both cards are currently available for about 280 euro or 299 dollars, but this will change very soon, mainly because the stock of HD 7000 generation cards will not last long, especially when consumers realize that they’re not going to get Never Settle freebies with R9 cards.
Right now the HD 7970 GHz Edition looks like a better choice because we can find some good deals and it also includes Never Settle vouchers for three free games. The Never Settle voucher is currently not available for the new R9/R7 series graphics cards but we suspect this will change as HD 7000 inventory is depleted.
Although the GPU hasn’t changed, XFX did a pretty good job at making its new 280X special. First of all we must admit that DD R280X 1000M is one of the best looking dual-fan graphics cards we’ve seen so far and on top of that it is one of the quietest HD 7970/R9 280X – it might be the quietest, but we still haven’t tried out enough 280X cards to be sure. The icing on the cake is great cooling performance, as we measured only 72 Celsius degree for the GPU.
There’s no reason to waste much time commenting performance. We are all already aware of what the old HD 7970 GHz Edition was capable of and the R9 280X is more or less the same card. Gaming at high resolutions is not a problem, not even in some of the most demanding titles out there.
The card is reference clocked, but the overclocking potential is not among best we have seen. With a voltage increase we achieved an additional 150MHz for the GPU, which isn’t bad, but it’s still not very good, either. Memory overclocking was much better.
If you have HD 7970/ HD 7970 GHz Edtion and you want more performance you can use the R9 280X in CrossFireX mode.
In conclusion, we liked the Radeon DD R280X 1000M, mainly thanks to its great cooler. Overclocking headroom may be limited, but a very quiet cooler that does a great job keeping the GPU and PCB chilled is something we always appreciate. Great cooling also helps longevity and keeps components from dying, so we’re not surprised to see XFX offering a lifetime warranty on Double Dissipation cards. The price is relatively attractive as well. It’s currently available for about €280, but once more retailers start carrying it we could see some even lower prices. Bear in mind that Never Settle freebies are still not available with Rx200 cards, but AMD told us that bundles will be back.