The Radeon R9 280X we have with us today is an interesting proposition for $299. It’s fundamentally identical to the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition from last year, but sells at a price that isn’t too far off the $249.99 at which the Radeon HD 7870 debuted. Under the hood, the card is based on the same 28 nm “Tahiti” silicon that proved to be AMD’s workhorse performance-segment chip for the better part of the two years.
The Radeon R9 280X comes at an interesting time: DICE, publishers of the smash-hit “Battlefield” online multiplayer shooter franchise, announced that the recommended system requirements for the upcoming “Battlefield 4” prescribes graphics cards with at least 3 GB of video memory. That disqualifies the likes of the $410 GeForce GTX 770 and even NVIDIA’s flagship for last year, the GeForce GTX 680. Even though a very artificial requirement, it could still impact buyers psychologically, swaying them to buy either the R9 280X or the now $220-ish HD 7950.