Non reference vs reference GPU?

hoboslayer546

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I'm going to get the r9 280x graphics card. From what people are telling me, they say to make sure and get a NONreference 280x. They claim reference a gpu will reach higher temperatures, make more noise, and have less overclock abilities. What I want to know is how do you distinguish a nonreference vs reference graphics card and which would be better.
 

maucerit

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Get non reference also called after market cooler. While every 280x is amd companies like ASUS EVGA MSI put custom coolers on them. The reference cards of amds r9's run VERY hot so I strongly suggest getting AM cooler for 10-20 bucks extra they drop temps by at least 20 degrees. (For example my friend whose computer I built has a 270x reference can hit 85-90 degrees on reference card but with gigabyte cooler doesnt pass 50 degrees). Cooler temps allows for over clocking, keeps case temp cooler, less noise, etc. The best AM coolers are EVGA ACX cooler (plus evga customer service is amazing), ASUS DU 2, MSI twin froster, and gigabyte windforce. Almost always with non reference the company OC the card a bit for you.
 

hoboslayer546

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Ok, one last question. I've been switching off and on between r9 290 and r9 280x. would there be a major difference in performance to shell out those extra dollars or would i be fine with the 280x. my cpu is i5-4670k. i want 40+ fps on ultra setting on games like crysis 3, farcry 3, and BF4
 

AMDRadeonHD

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To be clear, reference graphics cards are made either straight from NVIDIA or AMD, they make their full reference graphics card PCB's and cooling solutions, which were always almost terrible, AMD's reference GPU's are going easily over 90°C, which is not safe, so it's always the best to go for an aftermarket cooler and even if you want a reference graphics card it is really hard to find it on the market.
 

maucerit

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yes that is non-reference, its MSI's twinfroster cooler

Anything that looks like this is reference card: (basic one fan )
http://www.pureoverclock.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/sapphire_r9290_5.jpg

I assume you are gaming at 1080p? If so then 280x is fine for 1080 as you will get above 40 fps on any game currently out ultra'ed (60.2 fps on crysis 3). BUT the r9 290 has 1 more gb of vram (but the 280's 3gb is ideal for 1080p) and gives nearly 20-30 fps more then the 280x. So up to you. The 280x will be fine for you but the 290 is not a minor difference. If you want to see difference between 280x and 290 look at this:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7481/the-amd-radeon-r9-290-review/8

(scroll to bottom of page and you click drop down shows all the games they benchmarked.

 

maucerit

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Also keep in mind amd cards are sort of inflated right now due to lack of availability, so could find gtx 770 for less then 280x , it would be a good buy. (Reference r9 280x should be 300 but its on newegg for like 330 so ones with AM coolers get inflated too)



 

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