Sapphire Tri-X R9-290X Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅12-08-14

Let us set the record straight here by saying the AMD R9-290X is far from a bad graphics card. It is seriously powerful and will serve most gamers looking for a top-end graphics card very well. It does however have some serious flaws, highlighted in our review of the reference design, those being namely noise and heat. What Sapphire have done is resolved these issues by slapping an oversized yet aesthetically pleasing heatsink atop of the reference PCB. They didn't stop there either as they tweaked both memory and core clockspeeds with this OC (overclocked) version. While it wasn't quite enough to hit the top of our performance charts or indeed de-throne the GTX 780 Ti as the performance king, it made some very large strides in the right direction and for this reason it deserves credit.

At £400, it is a sizeable chunk cheaper than the NVidia alternative so when you consider a saving of around £150 for not a lot less performance, the Sapphire TRI-X R9-290X begins to make a lot of sense. It cannot be labelled as a cheap component by any stretch of the imagination but then it isn't overpriced either. Your £400 investment will buy a lot of graphics power and a wealth of features. Couple this with near silent running and plenty of overclocking headroom to play with and the Sapphire card becomes a very attractive proposition indeed.

So then, it is fairly priced, has plenty of grunt on tap and is pleasing to the eye - what's not to like? Well, unless you’re an avid fan of the green team not a lot in truth as we have struggled to find a single note worthy criticism of this card. For this reason we are awarding it our Gold award. While it isn't the performance king we were hoping for, it is perhaps the best balanced card between high performance and price we have reviewed for some time and for this reason you would be foolish not to have it among your top picks when shopping for your next GPU upgrade.

To summarise:
A very fast, very quiet, very cool and very good looking product that thanks to Sapphire, would be at home in any high performance gaming PC.

+ Great Performance
+ Excellent cooling
+ Good factory overclock
+ Fair price

- Nothing significant

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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