XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition Review: Maximum Overdrive

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If you can afford the GTX 970, it is a great card. Many cannot afford one. An R9 290, @ $60+ less is good, and the 280x @ $100+ less isn't bad either. The card that I think will really shake things up is the GTX 960.



It does. It compares to other Radeon R9 285s.

We already compared how a stock 285 performs compared to all other cards, we did that at launch as it says in the article. We included a link for those who'd like to refresh their memory. ;)


Mar 10, 2010
"2GB is more then enough for 1080p gaming which the card is designed for."

Then you haven't played Wolfenstien on ultra @ 1080p (which is only possible with a 3GB or more card). It's probably more accurate to say that 2GB fits the performance tier of the card.


Jan 23, 2008
It depends on what you pay for a card. A 280 may be a better buy if the 285 is $250 and the 280 is $230. But, I grabbed a Power Color R9 285 Turbo Duo on Thanksgiving for $200 with a $20 rebate effectively making it $180. $180 for a card that is similar to the 280 and extremely close to the GTX 770 or as fast as with a small overclock - I'll take that.


Jun 28, 2011
The lower clocked version of this card is $190 after rebate at the egg, and that includes Alien Isolation and Star Citizen... mighty tempting.
2GB is more then enough for 1080p gaming which the card is designed for.
there are a few games now that will break 2gb vram usage at 1080, however the detail settings and aa you need to enable will probably make the card run too slow. But a 3gb 280x can be had for around the same price and a 4gb 290 for a little more.....well i know what i would chose.


Would have been nice to see at least the 280X compared. I mean, the 280X can be had around $200 for similar performance. So then you're just paying a premium to go without a crossfire bridge. Which is cool enough, but still one could put enough extra together to get a second card..
Anyway, a comparison to competing cards would have been nice.
"...just shy of a 20% performance increase. That gets us into Radeon R9 280X territory."
Which costs just as much.

And in the beginning of the article there was something about a 850W PSU. As if...500 W is enough.


True the card can run off of lower power units but when a brand supports you with products to review, I don't think it's polite to refuse and suggest for something less.

In all likelihood the PSU may also be involved in a PSU review of sorts. Perhaps a multi GPU review with a PSU shootout...?
It is also not truthful to suggest that the card needs 850 W power supply.

"Graphics cards like the Radeon R9 285 require a substantial amount of power, so XFX sent us its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified supply."

You could probably use a PSU with half as much wattage.
No, it does not require a substantial amount of power. So B doesn't follow from A. Logic fails.

Polite has nothing to do with it.
In that case what the article could have said is "XFX was kind enough to send us a 850 W PSU also, although this card for certain does not need all that much wattage".


Dec 7, 2014
Why the R9-285 deserves consideration at its current price point:

1) Size. Check out the size of most of the R9-285's out there, with the notably-oversized exceptions, such as the Asus STRIX. Sapphire's offering, all of XFX's 285 models, and one of HIS's models all fit neatly into a mid-tower case (such as my CoolerMaster N600) with a 200mm side fan, noting that the sides of my case do not bulge out to make room for side fans. Thus, a short and NARROW card is a definite plus.

2) Efficiency. Sure, the R9-280X might be faster, but it also requires a whopping 750W power supply-- or a minimum of 1000W if you want to run in Crossfire. The R9-285 gets close enough to that level of performance with a SUBSTANTIAL increase in efficiency, and a significant decrease in power requirements.

3) The only reason the R9-290's are so cheap right now is because they're being cleared to make room for its successor (R9-390?), which will utilize many of the Tonga architecture's efficiency improvements. When the 290's successor is released, I'm willing to bet it will be at a $450-$500 price tag.

There's also rumor of an R9-285X on the horizon, with more stream processors and a 384-bit memory controller...
I can't imagine the 280X drawing so much power. With amd fx-8350 and asus ROG 290X, I'm pulling 550 W under load from the wall. 600 W+ when overclocking.
Thats with an old, tired Tagan Silverpower 850W from 2007 or something.

But AMD seems to have a thing for power efficiency and cost, also on the CPU side with the new chips. The new ones come at a premium. FX-8370E for example. A bit less performance, better power efficiency but almost same price as 8350.
Seems to be their marketing strategy.


Nov 30, 2014

Oh please, I played wolfenstein just fine at Ultra on a 1GB 7850.
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