Welcome to the third installment of our series of reviews featuring AMD’s new R9 285 GPU. Today we will be bring you one of Sapphire’s configurations, the Dual-X R9 285 OC. Of the R9 285s we have received so far, this Sapphire is the longest, coming in about 10mm longer then any of the other cards we have seen so far. Sapphire has fitted their Dual-X dual fan cooling system to the card. The coolers shroud is black with purple accents. Being that this is the OC version, there is an additional 20 MHz added to the core clock.
On paper, the new R9 285 does not appear that different from the R9 280 it replaces. Those who are familiar with the R9 280 will notice that the new card features 2Gb of GDDR5 VRAM on a 256 bit bus versus the 3Gb of GDDR5 VRAM on a 384 bit bus. The new VRAM configuration makes the card cheaper to manufacture, while only having a modest impact on performance.
Most might even make the assumption that the R9 285 is simply another reconfiguration. Let us assure, it is not. The new R9 285 is built on the GCN 1.1 architecture. This adds a few of notable features that differentiate the R9 285 from the R9 280. The first of these is the R9 285 has a 32% lower TDP then it’s predecessor. The second is True Audio, a feature only available up till now on the R260(X) and R9 290(X) cards. Finally, like the R9 290(X) cards, the R9 285 does not need a Crossfire bridge.
Sapphire’s take on the Dual-X R9 285 OC
HDMI (with 3D)
Support for Deep Color, 7.1 High Bitrate Audio, and 3D Stereoscopic, ensuring the highest quality Blu-ray and video experience possible from your PC.
Doubling the effective bandwidth of previous DisplayPort implementations, DisplayPort 1.2 now includes support for Multi-Stream, allowing you to drive up to four separate monitors from a single DisplayPort 1.2 connector (requires DP1.2 monitors or Multi-Stream compatible hub), Stereoscopic 3D monitor support and adds support for high quality, lossless, 7.1 channel audio formats.
Advanced GDDR5 Memory Technology
GDDR5 memory provides twice the bandwidth per pin of GDDR3 memory, delivering more speed and higher bandwidth.
Highly integrated MOSFET components maximize power efficiency and thermal performance whilst keeping the physical footprint to a minimum.
AMD Stream Technology
Accelerate the most demanding applications with AMD Stream technology and do more with your PC. AMD Stream Technology allows you to use the teraflops of compute power locked up in your graphics processer on tasks other than traditional graphics such as video encoding, at which the graphics processor is many, many times faster than using the CPU alone.
AMD Avivo HD (DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray Playback)
Watch the hottest Blu-ray movies or other HD content at full 1080p display resolution and beyond and enjoy a more feature rich experience with enhanced Unified Video Decoder(UVD)
AMD HD3D Technology
Enjoy the most immersive experience possible with full support for High Definition Stereoscopic 3D, a technique that presents 2D images (movies, games, photos) in a format that creates the illusion of three-dimensional depth when using compatible 3D displays / glasses / software.
28 nm GCN (Graphic Core Next) Architecture
The new 28nm GCN Architecture’s more efficient process technology puts more transistors in less space, enabling a dramatic increase in processing power.
PCI Express 3.0
PCI-Express 3.0 delivers double the bandwidth per lane of PCIe Gen 2 for faster GPU (GPU communication-up to 16GB/sec in each direction), maximizing the performance from your GPU when paired with the latest platforms.
AMD Eyefinity 2.0
The next generation of AMD Eyefinity technology is here, featuring all-new support for stereo 3D, universal bezel compensation and brand new display configurations. Face it: the best just got better: The enhancements for AMD Radeon HD7000 series include: Stereo 3D-multi-display stereoscopic 3D support via DisplayPort 16K X 16K maximum display group resolution-output up to 268 megapixels per GPU.
Enhanced Multi-GPU Capabilities
Triple or quadruple gaming power with AMD CrossFireX Multi-GPU technology. Increase your gaming performance up to 2x with AMD CrossFire technology, 2.75x for TriFire configurations, or with QuadFire configurations. With AMD ZeroCore Power Technology, the graphics card in slave modes will be switched off in idle to maximize the power saving.
Discrete Digital Multi-Point Audio
The AMD Redeon HD 7900 Series is the first GPU that can simultaneously output multiple and discrete audio streams via HDMI and DisplayPort Output.
SAPPHIRE Dual-X Cooling Technology
Famous for our exclusive cooling solutions like the award winning Vapor Chamber Cooling technology – Vapor-X, SAPPHIRE’s reputation for innovative excellence continues to grow with the introduction of our new dual-extractor technology – Dual-X. Dual-X is a highly efficient multi-heatpipe cooler with dual fans that provide quiet and very cool operation during normal operating conditions, and superb cooling performance even under extreme load.
Let’s take a closer look on the next page.