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::>Graphics cards > 2014 > 09 > ASUS STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5

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ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC graphics card: review and testing

Another addition to the recently announced line of graphics cards ASUS STRIX has become a model based on the already well-known to us AMD Radeon R9 280, namely the ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5). In addition to the corporate design, the key features of this series are high-quality circuitry, DirectCU II cooler with technology 0dB FAN, which allows the use of cooling system in passive mode at low load, improved power subsystem, as well as factory overclocking for better performance. Do note that this is the first graphics card in this series of company AMD based on GPU. We have already met with modifications NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, which made a fairly good impression due to the producers' attention to details and the overall high quality of new products.

Let's move on to the review of ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)


ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC


Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 280 (Tahiti PRO)

Q-ty of universal shader CPUs


Supported API and technologies

DirectX 11.2, DirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, AMD Eyefinity, AMD CrossFireX, AMD HD3D, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD Eyespeed, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Mantle

Core clock frequency, MHz


Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1300 (5200)

Memory capacity, GB


Memory type


Memory bus, bit


Memory carrying capacity, GB/s


Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

Support of HDCP and decoding of HD-video


Minimal capacity of power unit, W


Additional PCIe power connectors

1 x 6-pin

1 х 8-pin

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

285 х 145 (301 х 146)


Drivers can be downloaded here: ASUS or  GPU

Producer website


Note that the model ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC differs from the reference design with the presence of factory overclocking of the GPU, which instead of the standard 933 MHz operates at a speed of 980 MHz (growth 5%). Clock frequency of the video memory has been increased from 1250 to 1300 MHz (effective value was increased from 5000 to 5200 MHz). In addition, the new product uses reinforced power subsystem collected by using high quality components and proprietary cooler DirectCU II with technology 0dB FAN.

Packaging and content

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

Packaging of graphics card ASUS STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5 traditionally is made of high-quality cardboard and decorated with corporate style printing. In addition to the manufacturer and model, note the notion about the amount and type of video memory, belongings of a given solution to the lineup «OC» (factory overclocked graphics cards) and the availability of the supplied utility ASUS GPU Tweak for monitoring and optimization of key parameters. The main advantages of new item include: a proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with technology 0dB FAN, 10-phase digital power subsystem DIGI+VRM and improved circuitry made in accordance with the concept of Super Alloy Power which includes:

  • solid capacitors with increased service life;
  • chokes with ferrite core;
  • tantalum-polymer capacitors POSCAP, with a high level of stability and efficiency, even when working in extreme overclocking mode.

As for everyday use, the advantages described above make it possible to increase the energy efficiency of 15% and reduce on 30% noise of power elements and increase in the service life of the graphics adapter by 2.5 times.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the slightly more detailed description of the benefits listed on the front. Also, there is a schematic illustration of the interface panel.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system should have a capacity of at least 750 W and provide at least 24 A on the line +12 V. Also tested model requires connection of two cables of additional power supply PCIe: one 8-pin and one 6-pin.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

In addition to the standard documentation and CD with software in the box of graphics card ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OCwe found a nice bonus in the form of an adapter with two 6-pin to one 8-pin PCIe power connector and bridge 2-Way AMD CrossFireX. As you can see, the only accessory to be purchased is an adapter from DVI-I to D-Sub. However, it is required only in case of absence of the digital interface on the monitor.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

To display the picture the following set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 х DVI-I;
  • 1 х DVI-D;
  • 1 х HDMI;
  • 1 х DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160
  • Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Design and circuitry

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

ASUS STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5 is performed on black circuit board with a modified design. It uses quite a familiar layout of on-board elements: all memory chips are soldered on the front side around the graphics core, and the components of the power supply subsystem are located to the right of them.

The reverse side has the mounting screws of the cooling system, one of which is covered by a warranty sticker.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

Power of the tested graphics card is made by reinforced 10-phase scheme (eight phases for the GPU and two for memory chips), while the standard version includes only eight phases (six for the GPU and two for memory). At the same time used circuitry corresponds to original concept Super Alloy Power, including only high quality components: solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes, and tantalum-polymer capacitors POSCAP. This helps to improve the stability and reliability of the graphics card as a whole, as well as to extend its service life.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

In addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, power supplying is provided via two additional connectors located on the side of the graphics card. Unlike the standard version where there are two 6-pin connectors, in this case one of them is 8-pin. Despite the deep-laid arrangement of connectors, the cooler makes difficulties during the process of connecting and disconnecting the power cord.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

To implement technology AMD CrossFireX ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC uses two connectors for connecting the respective bridges that allow you to combine two to four graphics cards to share calculation of graphical effects.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

The base of ASUS STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5 is the graphics chip AMD Radeon R9 280 (Tahiti PRO), which is determined by the utility GPU-Z of version 0.7.9 as «Tahiti». It is produced according 28-nm technology process and consists of 1792 universal shader pipelines, 32 ROPs and 112 texture units. As we’ve mentioned, the frequency of the GPU and memory have been increased with respect to the recommendations of AMD and are 980 and 5200 MHz.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

Total volume of memory is 3 GB which is collected with the help of 12 chips of companies SK Hynix with capacity of 256MB each. Judging by the marking (H5GQ2H24AFR-ROC) and the documentation their nominal frequency is 6 GHz, although in our case it was reduced to 5200 MHz. This allows us to hope for a good overclocking potential of used chips. Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is performed via 384-bit bus, which is capable of passing 249.6 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

Graphics card with installed proprietary cooling system DirectCU II takes up two expansion slots and has a total length 285 mm according to the official website of ASUS (301 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

The cooler consists of a massive heat sink, which uses 53 aluminum plates, two 94-mm fans, as well as an aluminum casing that covers the entire structure.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

The fans are made by company FirstDo and are labeled as «FD9015U12S». Judging by the letter «S» in the title, they are built on the sleeve bearing.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

For uniform distribution of heat over the entire area of the radiator are applied five copper heat pipes of different diameters: two 6 mm, two 8 mm and one 10 mm. Note that the cooling fins and heat pipes are covered with a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the loss of efficiency of cooling system during operation caused by the oxidation of metals. Standard scheme for coolers DirectCU II is applied. It is based on direct contact of heat pipes with the surface of the GPU via a small layer of thermal paste.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

To improve the efficiency of heat transfer the heat pipes are securely soldered to the fins of aluminum radiator and copper base.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

During automatic control of fan speed, at maximum load, the GPU was heated up to 72°C. Fans were operated only at 39% of its maximum speed. The created noise is "very silent".

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

In mode of the maximum rotational speed of the fan blades, the GPU temperature was dropped to 52°C. Even in this mode, the noise level of the cooling system was above the average and it was not comfortable for work.

ASUS Radeon R9 280 STRIX OC (STRIX-R9280-OC-3GD5)

In the absence of load the frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically reduced, allowing to reduce power consumption and heat generation of graphics core. In this mode the GPU temperature did not exceed 40 degrees as the system operates in passive mode. Here the above-mentioned technology 0dB FAN that provides silent operation of graphics card at low loads is shown.

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