Power Consumption and Overclocking
The R9 280X continues to draw more power than the GTX 770 and GTX 760; the Kepler architecture has been very efficient at the high end since its introduction. Still, the differences are pretty minimal and gamers looking at the $300 price point won't mind the 18 watt difference between the 280X and the GTX 770 considering the $100 price delta.
The R9 270X is a much better solution in terms of power as it is only drawing 10 watts more than the GTX 660 yet outperforms it dramatically.
At the low end though, the GTX 650 Ti Boost is using quite a bit more power than the R7 260X which kind of explains the performance advantages that NVIDIA saw in some games.
Overclocking the ASUS R9 280X
I spent a little bit of time with the ASUS Radeon R9 280X TOP to see if the GPU would overclock in any substantial way. By simply using the control panel based AMD OverDrive settings, I was able to push the 280X up to 1175 MHz GPU clock and 1700 MHz memory clock while remaining completely stable.
For a quick performance check I re-ran our Metro: Last Light benchmark to compare it to stock speeds.
These results show an average frame rate increase of about 13% on average with lower frame time variance as well. Not too bad for as little effort being put in as we had time for.
As we review the retail models of these cards (including the ASUS model we used for this review) we'll spend more time on the overclocking, sound levels and cooling considerations.