DESIGN AND COOLING CONTINUED
Peaking at the top of the card we see it is powered by dual 6 pin power connectors, which makes crossfire something not reserved to higher end PSUs.
The card comes in at 9.3 inches or 237mm long and looks absolutely striking in an understated way.
One of the nice touches is the Sapphire logo on the top, not too gaudy, not too loud, but just enough to remind you who’s card it is.
Taking a look at the back of the card we see DVI-D and DVI-I as well as HDMI 1.4 and Displayport connector. The condition of the card is that of a loaner, we could not clean this up unfortunately.
DRIVER 15.7 AND FREESYNC
One of the biggest highlights of AMD’s recent driver update 15.7 is the ability to crossfire 200 series cards with 300 series cards, which without going into too much detail means that you will be able to pair a R9 285 with one of the newer R9 380s. Although performance will be held back by the older card as always with using a slower card in a dual GPU scenario.
This feature was previously only allowed for AMD’s GCN 1.1 and GCN 1.2 based graphics. So the R9 390 series, R9 380 series, R9 290 series, R9 285 and R7 260 series. The 15.7 update extends VSR compatibility to most but not all 300 series, 200 series and HD 7000 series Radeon graphics cards. Below we have a table of what is supported:
|AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury Series||AMD Radeon™ R9 280 Series|
|AMD Radeon™ R9 390 Series||AMD Radeon™ R9 270 Series|
|AMD Radeon™ R9 380 Series||AMD Radeon™ R7 260 Series|
|AMD Radeon™ R7 370 Series||AMD Radeon™ HD 7900 Series|
|AMD Radeon™ R7 360 Series||AMD Radeon™ HD 7800 Series|
|AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2||AMD Radeon™ HD 7790 Series|
|AMD Radeon™ R9 290 Series||Desktop A-Series 7400K APUs and above|
FRAME RATE TARGET CONTROL (FRTC)
Also we have FRTC which is short for Frame Rate Target Control. This allows the user to set a predefined a maximum frame rate target that the GPU will not exceed once applied.The benefits are realized by reducing the unnecessary load which is put on the GPU while running non intensive games, such as League of Legends or CS:GO. This in turn means that the GPU will no longer render any extra frames beyond the limit set by the user. As a result the GPU will consume less power and run at lower temperatures.
DIRECT X12 SUPPORT
Not to be forgotten is DX12 Windows 10 driver support. This is the first WHQL signed driver from AMD to introduce DX12 support and it arrived just in time before Microsoft’s upcoming official WIndows 10 release this month.