Radeon R9 280X 

Released October, 2013
  • 850 MHz
  • 3 GB GDDR5
8.5 Out of 10

AMD's Tahiti graphics processor was the first chip to use the GCN shader architecture.
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AMD's Tahiti graphics processor was the first chip using the GCN shader architecture.
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GPUBoss Review Our evaluation of the Radeon R9 280X


Real world tests using the latest 3D games

Radeon R9 280X
battlefield 3 (2013)


Synthetic tests to measure overall performance

Radeon R9 280X
3DMark 11 Graphics, 3DMark Vantage Graphics and 3DMark06

Compute Performance

General computing tests executed on the GPU

Radeon R9 280X
Civilization 5 Texture Decomposition (2013)

Noise and Power

How loud and hot does the card run idle and under load

Radeon R9 280X


GPUBoss Score

Gaming, Benchmarks, Compute Performance and Noise and Power

Radeon R9 280X

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Radeon R9 280X

3DMark 11 Graphics Industry standard benchmark that tests DirectX 11 GPU performance

Radeon R9 280X
Radeon R9 290

3DMark Vantage Graphics Industry standard benchmark that tests DirectX 10 GPU performance

Radeon R9 280X

Battlefield 3 (2013) 1920x1080 - Ultra quality + FXAA-HIGH

Radeon R9 280X
106.5 fps
GeForce GTX 780
141 fps
Radeon R9 270X
84.3 fps
We've seen MSI's GAMING cooler design a few times before, on cards using NVIDIA GPUs.
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BioShock Infinite 1920 x 1080 - Ultra preset + DX11 (DDOF)

Radeon R9 280X
73.9 fps
GeForce GTX 780
95.3 fps
Radeon R9 270X
55.1 fps

Crysis 3 1920 x 1080 - Very High preset + 16xAF + 2xSMAA

Radeon R9 280X
38.5 fps
GeForce GTX 760
58.7 fps

Civilization 5 Texture Decomp (2013) Using the newest graphics cards Civ V can speed screen transitions by reducing texture sizes

Radeon R9 280X

Reviews Word on the street for the Radeon R9 280X

So there is really nothing new overall, yet the card will definitely end up being a good choice for gamers because of its competitive price.

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


So right now it looks like AMD's R9 280X is the best price/performance option in this segment, by quite a long shot.
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It is also nice to see a memory clock on the card—it provides a quick and easy performance advantage many other board partners overlook.
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G HL225DBB 21.5" 1920x1080 Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.
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Clocks and voltages in non-gaming states are normal, so the BIOS settings are ok.
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While the card is very quiet in idle, under load we couldn't get the fans to spin up to the same levels that we observed in-game.
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As a result, in many of our non-gaming stress tests, the card did end up throttling; game performance seems unaffected, though.
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While it just runs pretty hot under gaming, reaching up to 87°C, which is no problem by itself, we've also seen very high VRM temperatures, well above 115°C. This suggests that the cooler does not properly cool the voltage regulation circuitry, despite having a baseplate that should do so.
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Final pricing for the MSI R9 280X GAMING is not available yet, but given the reference design price of $300, we expect the card to retail around $310.
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MSI has installed a dual-BIOS feature on the R9 280X GAMING, a feature that we've seen on many HD 7900 Series cards before.
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Given the good memory chips used, it would have been nice to see an overclock on the memory too, our manual overclocking confirms that this would have been easily possible.
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With a 100 MHz GPU overclock that translates into a 5% real-life performance improvement over the reference design, it is slightly (2%) faster than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 770.
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Using chips from SK Hynix or Samsung, they generally overclocked much better.
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GPU and memory clocks reach the levels typical for the Tahiti GPU with Hynix GDDR5 memory, no surprises here.
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GPU and memory clocks reach the levels typical for the Tahiti GPU with Hynix GDDR5 memory—no surprises there.
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Memory is merely clocked at the default 1500 MHz, though.
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Specifications Full list of technical specs


GPU brand AMD
GPU name Tahiti
Market Desktop
Clock speed 850 MHz
Turbo clock speed 1,000 MHz
Is dual GPU No
Reference card AMD Radeon R9 280X 850 MHz 3 GB

raw performance

Shading units 2,048
Texture mapping units 128
Render output processors 32
Compute units 32
Pixel rate 27.2 GPixel/s
Floating-point performance 3,482 GFLOPS


Memory clock speed 1,500 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 6,000 MHz
Memory bus 384 bit
Memory 3,072 MB
Memory type GDDR5

noise and power

TDP 250W
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