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GD Star Rating

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon R9 280 Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition
Outlast 2 32% 31%
Call of Duty: WWII 8% 10%
Mass Effect Andromeda 69% 71%
Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Wildlands 75% 78%
Grand Theft Auto VI 102% 105%
Dawn of War 3 13% 15%
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 21% 23%
Resident Evil 7 8% 10%
Star Citizen 66% 68%
NieR: Automata 20% 21%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 280 are marginally better than the AMD Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition.

The HD 7950 has a 33 MHz higher core clock speed and the same number of Texture Mapping Units as the Radeon R9 280. This results in the HD 7950 providing 3.7 GTexel/s better texturing performance. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The HD 7950 has a 33 MHz higher core clock speed than the Radeon R9 280 and the same number of Render Output Units. This results in the HD 7950 providing 1 GPixel/s better pixeling performance. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The Radeon R9 280 was released over a year more recently than the HD 7950, and so the Radeon R9 280 is likely to have better driver support, meaning it will be more optimized for running the latest games when compared to the HD 7950.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The Radeon R9 280 and the Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition have the same amount of video memory, but are likely to provide slightly different experiences when displaying game textures at high resolutions.

The memory bandwidth of the Radeon R9 280 and the Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition are the same, which means the Radeon R9 280 and the HD 7950 have equal limitations when it comes to graphical data transfer.

Both the Radeon R9 280 and the Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition have 1792 Shader Processing Units. While the two GPUs have the same number of SPUs, the actual performance delivered by the Radeon R9 280 is 1421 and by the HD 7950 is 1310. Knowing that the shader performance of the Radeon R9 280 is superior, it is not necessary to examine the GPUs' respective Texture and Pixel Fill Rates.

The Radeon R9 280 requires 200 Watts to run but there is no entry for the Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition. We would recommend a PSU with at least 500 Watts for the Radeon R9 280.

Can I Run It

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GPU Architecture

Core Speed827 MHzvs860 MHz
Boost Clock933 MHzvs-
ArchitectureGCN 1.0 Tahiti PRO2GCN 1.0 Tahiti PRO
OC Potential Fair vs Fair
Driver Support Great vs Good
Release Date04 Mar 2014vs01 Jun 2012
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

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GPU Memory

Memory3072 MBvs3072 MB
Memory Speed1250 MHzvs1250 MHz
Memory Bus384 Bitvs384 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth240GB/secvs240GB/sec
L2 Cache 768 KB green tick vs green tick 768 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 83% green tick vs green tick 83%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units1792vs1792
Actual Shader Performance68%vs63%
Texture Mapping Units112vs112
Texture Rate92.6 GTexel/svs96.3 GTexel/s
Render Output Units32vs32
Pixel Rate26.5 GPixel/svs27.5 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections2vs1
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections0vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power200 Watts-
Recommended PSU500 Watts-

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.4vs4.4
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHzvsIntel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution1920x1080vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewRadeon R9 280 is a high-end graphics card based on the second revision of the Graphics Core Next architecture.
It packs a Tahiti PRO2 Core and features 1792 Shader Processing Units, 112 TMUs and 32 ROPs, on a 384-bit memory interface. While the central unit runs at 827MHz and goes up to 933MHz, in Turbo Mode, the memory clock operates at 1250MHz.
The Tahiti PRO2 is a revision of the Tahiti PRO seen on Radeon HD 7950 and that was first used on Radeon HD 7950 Boost Edition.
Radeon R9 280 is slightly higher clocked than its predecessor but expect exactly the same performance and rated board TDP. Thus, the card is suited for 1080p gaming but will have trouble at higher resolutions with some modern demanding games and GeForce GTX 760 is still faster.
Radeon HD 7950 Gigabyte WindForce Edition is a special edition of the Radeon HD 7950. See the standard's version page to know more about it.
The new features include a core-clock raise from 800MHz to 860MHz. A new cooling system which features a "Triangle Cool" Technology and an Ultra Durable VGA board.
The performance boost is around 4% when compared to standard Radeon HD 7950.
Recommended CPUAMD Phenom II X6 1405T
AMD Phenom II X6 1605T
Intel Core i3-4350 3.6GHz
Intel Core i3-4340 3.6GHz
Intel Core i5-750S 2.4GHz
Intel Core i7-4785T 4-Core 2.2GHz
Intel Xeon E5-2407 v2
Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz
Intel Core i5-4670S 3.1GHz
Intel Xeon Processor W3670
Possible GPU Upgrades-Radeon R9 390 Sapphire Nitro w/ Back Plate 8GB Edition
Radeon R9 390 Asus DirectCU III OC Strix Gaming 8GB Edition
Radeon R9 290X PowerColor PCS+ 4GB Edition
Radeon R9 290X Asus ROG Matrix Platinum Edition
Radeon R9 290X Asus DirectCU II OC Edition
GPU VariantsRadeon R9 280 Sapphire Dual-X OC 3GB Edition
Radeon R9 280 Club3D royalKing 3GB Edition