Cooling, Noise, and Power
Considering most cards run a reference PCB or close to it, the cooling and noise performance of a card is where companies can really try to stand out with their aftermarket heatsink designs. Because of that this is always my favorite set of benchmarks to check out. The triple fan Sapphire cards have been doing very well in cooling performance and even with three fans the noise performance hasn’t been all that bad as well. Let’s see how well the 280 did with just two fans. But first, I ran the Dual-X though our power benchmarks. The idle power consumption wasn’t all that impressive, in fact I have to wonder if our driver wasn’t acting up a little but I did run through the test a few times to be sure with the same result. Under load however the numbers seemed to be a little closer to where they should be. The Dual-X R9 280 OC pulled noticeably less than the 280X’s that I have tested in the past. With being so close in design to the 280X’s it was still up closer to them than the 270X below it.
In the noise testing the Dual-X fell in the bottom half of our testing with its quiet performance. This was even more noticeable on the 50% fan speed tests. This test is a better representation of that to expect from every day usage.
So how well did the Dual-X cooler perform? Well as you can see below it actually tired with an R9 270X with an aftermarket cooler and came in cooler than the triple fan (and more powerful) cards.