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Sapphire R7 260X (100366-3L) Video Card Review

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A Closer Look at the Sapphire R7 260X (100366-3L) Video Card

Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card 3/4 View Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card 3/4 View

Total video card length measures 177mm long (170mm PCB length plus 7mm overhang from the shroud) and appears to follow the AMD R7 260X reference design with some minor changes aside from the cosmetic shroud. As with the reference, the cooling system is designed so that it is exhausting out on all directions from the GPU core underneath the radial heatsink fan.

Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card Top View Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card Back PCB View

There is no backplate or even a cross brace like in the reference R7 260X although the entire unit itself is not heavy so additional support is not necessary and would just add to the price.

Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card Rear Connector View Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card Front View

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Like with the 100366-2L version, the 100366-3L R7 260X from Sapphire has three outputs for display: HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort 1.2 and DVI-I. The HDMI and DisplayPort supports up to 4K (4096 X 2160) resolution while the DVI-I supports up to 2560 x 1600. Eyefinity support is limited to three displays unlike the reference R7 260X or the Sapphire R7 260X 100366L model which has a DVI-D port. A 6-pin power connector attaches to the front of the card so make sure to have enough room in your chassis to accommodate the extra length.

Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card 3/4 Naked PCB

Sapphire has placed a protective plastic frame on the GPU core. This GPU core is the XTX variant of the Bonaire GPU, previously used on the HD7790 now with AMD TrueAudio support. This GPU in particular rolled out sometime in early March 2014.

Bonaire XTX GPU with protective plastic frame

Bonaire architecture has 896 shader units, 56 texture mapping units, and 16 ROPs on a 128-bit memory bus. Improving upon the HD7790, AMD has upped the standard memory from 1GB to 2GB.

AMD Bonaire Layout

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The Bonaire XTX supports DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.2. Reference clocks are at 1100MHz for the GPU core and 1625MHz (6500MHz effective) for the memory with a TDP of 115W.

Out-of-the-box CPU-Z Screenshot

In comparison, the Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L has a slower GPU clock of 1000MHz out of the box and 5000MHz (effective) memory speed.

Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card Naked PCB Top View Sapphire R7 260X 100366-3L Video Card Back PCB View

Voltage control for the GPU core and memory is handled by an ON-Semiconductor NCP81022, a commonly used analog PWM controller for up to 4+1 phases.

OnSemi NCP81022 Controller + NCP5901B-D drivers

Sapphire uses ON-Semi NTMFS4C10N SO-8 Flat-lead LowRDS(on) Power MOSFETs paired with ON-Semi NCP5901B-D drivers found at the back for the 3+1 phase GPU+Mem power. One NTMFS4C10N high with two NTMFS4C10N low for the GPU while the memory gets a pair of NTMFS4C10N. Low-DC resistance Suntek SHCK1009FL-R25M 250nH inductors are used for the GPU with a 38A saturated current rating.

GPU+Mem VRM  OnSemi NTMF410CN Power DFN MOSFETs

All capacitors are solid with six 820uF output capacitors for the GPU. For the memory, Sapphire uses four Elpida W4032BABG-50-F memory chips rated at 5.0Gb/s with no direct heatsink cooling although it is actively cooled by the 92mm fan.

4x Elpida W4032BABG-50-F Memory

An ON-Semi NCP1587 is used for the vPLL controller and on the other side, a pair of TO-252 MOSFETs from UBIQ Semiconductor marked QM3004D and QM3006D.

OnSemi NCP1587 vPLL controller Ubiq QM3006D and QM3004D TO-252 MOSFETs

A Monolith Power Systems NB671 switch-mode converter with a built-in Low RDS(on) MOSFET provides protection features such as OCP, OVP and thermal shutdown. For the BIOS, a Chingistek Pm25LD010 1Mbit 8-pin SOIC SPI Flash memory is used at the back close to the GPU core.

Monolith Power System MB671 converter with OVP, OCP and thermal protection ChingisTek Pm25LD010 1Mbit SPI BIOS

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