Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 Tri-X OC Review
As expected, the Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 Tri-X OC performed very well in our tests, although a BIOS with higher limits in terms of maximum GPU voltage and Power Limit could have made the card shine in overclocking. However, from my point of view the real advantage of this graphic card is the performance and quietness delivered at the factory settings. It outperforms a Radeon 290X running at reference frequencies and it’s much more silent, but the secret “performance sauce” Sapphire threw in is the 1400MHz memory frequency, while most R9 290 / 290X, even if they come with increased GPU frequency, run at 1250MHz memory clock .
I think that Sapphire is also betting on the out-of-the-box performance, the Vapor-X R9 290 Tri-X OC being priced around 415 euro, while the R9 290 Tri-X OC is only 385 euro. The Vapor-X cooler is very good but it isn’t much better than the already excellent Tri-X, which has the advantage that only occupies 2 slots.
In the end it’s the customer’s choice what custom model to choose – if factory performance and silence is important for you then Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 Tri-X OC is the card for you even if it’s 30 euro more expensive than most custom R9 290 models. If you plan to overclock the VGA card yourself, then the regular R9 290 Tri-X or similar model from other manufacturers should save you some money as the final result will be similar.