Overall and Final Verdict
Frankly even going into this review I knew I would love the Vapor-X. All of the Sapphire Tri-X cards have performed great and Sapphire only packed in more features with the Vapor-X. The addition of the vapor chamber improved cooling even more than the standard Tri-X cooler and that allowed them to bump up the performance slightly. In testing the Vapor-X R9 290 topped most of our charts and proved that it could push all of the games tested at 1440p, although I would recommend turning down the AA to get it up to 60 fps. What I really liked was the intelligent fan control switch on the back of the card, this quieted down the fans expect when in game.
The addition of a backplate and the artwork on it was a nice bonus as well. The backplate and the vapor chamber do however make the Vapor-X a very heavy card, not to mention tall with its tall PCB. You should be fine to use it in most cases, but if your case is tight be sure to double check, while you are installing it make sure it is secure as well due to the weight. The other downside was the amount of power it pulled when under load, it wasn’t far off from the GTX 780 Ti, but it was noticeably higher than the other R9 290’s tested so keep that in mind when picking out your PSU.
All in all Sapphire managed to take an already good design and improve on it both aesthetically and performance wise. The Toxic-X isn’t the cheapest card on the market, but they do make sure you get your money’s worth if you decide to go with it.