AMD Radeon R9 290X Review: Challenging the Titan at half the price

By on October 23, 2013, 11:00 PM

The GeForce GTX Titan blew us all away eight months ago with its mindblowingly fast GPU. The catch, of course, was that Nvidia wanted (and still wants) $1,000 for it -- a sum that didn't necessarily seem to prevent cards from flying off shelves even though it's more than our entire entry-level rig.

In a sense, the Radeon R9 290X could be considered AMD's Titan, as it takes the Tahiti architecture and stuffs with nearly 2000 million more transistors. It's the most complex and powerful GPU AMD has created and by no coincidence, it's also one of the most expensive, but before you click away, that's "only" $550, which is substantially cheaper than Nvidia's solution.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 123

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Chazz said:

Nice review and nice card. My gut is telling me to wait for the die shrinks to choose a card, I wonder if I can be strong about it.

Also, the reds for the AMD cards(sans 290X) and the red for the 290X are so similar on the power consumption charts. I think a lot of people would have a hard time spotting it. Just a little critique.

MrBungle said:

As the owner of a pair of GTX 780s in SLI I can say that I hope nVidia saved up enough money with their high prices over the last 6 months to buy a new pair of pants tomorrow when they start reading the R9 290X reviews...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Thanks for the review Steve. Very informative and comprehensive as always.

A few thoughts:

AMD have done well. The limits imposed by the current process node and Hawaii's possible rejigging as a design maybe intended for 20nm. It looks like they've squeezed the maximum from what they had available.

AMD's stock cooler woes continues. 95C GPU temps in normal gaming? Keen to see a thermograph of the VRM temps. Would it kill AMD to spend a few bucks and hire a design house to build them a decent vapour chamber cooler? The 50 dBA fan sound level on Uber mode should ensure a steady stream of sales for EKWB's waterblock, and every aftermarket AIB special (XFX's DD excepted)

As the owner of a pair of GTX 780s in SLI I can say that I hope nVidia saved up enough money with their high prices over the last 6 months to buy a new pair of pants tomorrow when they start reading the R9 290X reviews...

Not likely. I could see Nvidia dropping the reference 780 down to $500 to split the difference between the R9-290X and R9-290 and add the GTX 780Ti at the current pricing segment ($625-649). Titan is mostly irrelevant for most people anyway since most factory OC'ed 780's (EVGA FTW/Classified, Galaxy HOF, MSI Lightning, Inno3D iChill, Palit Super Jetstream etc) are already 10% (or more) faster than Titan out of the box.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

AMD's stock cooler woes continues. 95C GPU temps in normal gaming? Keen to see a thermograph of the VRM temps. Would it kill AMD to spend a few bucks and hire a design house to build them a decent vapour chamber cooler? The 50 dBA fan sound level on Uber mode should ensure a steady stream of sales for EKWB's waterblock, and every aftermarket AIB special (XFX's DD excepted)

Could the 95 degree temp be the throttle limit? Suggesting that even more performance can be squeezed out of the card, if you customise the profile? [Note: I haven't read whole review yet]

Page 1 says "Uber mode which sets the default max fan speed to 55%. " 50dBa is insane for 55% fan speed... maybe that's why they limited it.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

I would expect the GTX780 price drop to be less than $100 really.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Glad to see my GTX 660 Ti SLI set-up is still hanging with the big boys. I've had that setup for a year now and was probably the best decision I ever made in a custom build.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Could the 95 degree temp be the throttle limit? Suggesting that even more performance can be squeezed out of the card, if you customise the profile?

Yes. That is the case. If you manually set a fan profile higher (say 100%), then the cards blower fan will spin up to avoid throttling. Seems to work in instances where the game/app is GPU dependent - you will see further performance increases. In games/apps that are VRAM intensive the further increased fan profile seems negligible which would point to the VRM's becoming overwhelmed thermally. A few sites investigated the thermal characteristics (HardOCP's >>here<< , and here's a comparison of the stock fan sound levels from ComputerBase

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Wow, im actually more impressed as it was starting to sound like the card may not have been a true titan competitor and more had been a GTX 780 competitor. At the price of $550, holy hot &%$* I was not expecting that price honestly. I still count that as high, but that's 100 bucks cheaper than a 780. I do hope we get some aftermarket coolers for these though ive heard that may not happen.

I may go nuts later on and buy like 4 of these for a liquid cooled setup or wait for the dual GPU variants to come out. 95 degrees is a bit high honestly, I really want to see if I could find a way with a fan or two to improve on it, hmmmmm....

Great review guys!

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I like that AMD is putting price pressure on NVIDIA, but I'm not that impressed technically. Putting more transistors on a chip and a wider bus is not that technically impressive. I hope that AMD is developing a more efficient architecture.

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

I think anyone who considered buying a titan should consider getting two of these instead and be set for the next three years.

Arris Arris said:

I'm still happy with my recent change to two 7970 Ghz in crossfire. Although the overclocked 290X has done a lot better in some titles than I thought it might have.

Guest said:

I really don't care what anyone says. If a graphics card is cooking at 95C it's not gonna have the same lifetime as if the chip was kept cooler. 3rd party cooling solutions will be an absolute MUST if I'm going to buy one of these, and those solutions better seriously cut down on the temperature. Any graphics card operating at 85C and above will never see the inside of my PC. Let's hope ASUS does a good job on their presumably upcoming DirectCU II version. Apart from the heat, good job AMD. And as always, I'm a big fan of these types of articles on Techspot. Keep up the good work, guys. :)

3 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I think anyone who considered buying a titan should consider getting two of these instead and be set for the next three years.

Outside of pro graphics visualization I don't think anyone has considered buying a Titan since May 23rd....the day the GTX 780 launched.

Guest said:

The 95C load temp is the GPU temperature target in CCC, and since their was no mention of that in the review, I assume it's 95C by default. So yea, it's safe to run it that hot.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I wonder if it can compete against my Radeon 9200 SE...

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

FINALLY! Thank you Techspot for a bang on review!

I literally cannot wait for the 780 to drop in price! I can get another 780

It definitely performed better than some of the leaks suggested, Very Impressed they managed such decent performance for it's price.

Only things that disappoints me is the overclock headroom, which is pretty much non existent. As my 780 (with the stock cooler) I can get to 1.1GHz before it bottoms out.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Nice and very throrough review. Although I'm impressed with the performance of the 290X I have to say that this review made want to buy another card actually.

I already own a 7970 Ghz, and seeing that in CF it outperforms almost everything else. I'm just going to buy another 7970 Ghz. It will cost less than the 290X and outperform it.

So if anyone already has a 7970 Ghz or a 7950 Boost I definitely recommend that you go with CF setups instead of upgrading to a single 290X.

Guest said:

Good review, but you sound like giving privilege to Nvidia over AMD. You said GTX 770 is 100$ cheaper than GTX 680. So what about 280x at 299? You made the review to give a message that AMD only releases rebadged cards like Nvidia is not doing it. Even in the end of your review, you mentioned the performance of 2 7950's, 2 7970's, 2 GTX 660's, look like a deliberate attempt to reduce the price/performance value of this R9 290x AMD card against GTX Titan or GTX 780. These things are unnecessary to mention in this review, are you favoring Nvidia?

4 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The 95C load temp is the GPU temperature target in CCC, and since their was no mention of that in the review, I assume it's 95C by default. So yea, it's safe to run it that hot.

95C isn't necessarily an issue. What is an issue is that the card reaches its thermal limit in a relatively short period of time at stock clocks...which begs the questions

An extended 1-2 hour gaming session. How far in before the card throttles continuously ?

If the card reaches its thermal limit at stock then an overclock of any note -especially a stable one during extended gaming is going to problematic ?

If the cooling is marginal, then you're going to either hold off for AIB non-reference cooling (the best course of action IMO), invest in a third-party cooler (ruining the price point), or be committed to gaming in a cold air environment.

BTW: Here's a thermograph of the backside of the card (via Hardware France).

1 person liked this | TheBigFatClown said:

2000 million? Isn't there an easier way to say that.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Good review, but you sound like giving privilege to Nvidia over AMD. You said GTX 770 is 100$ cheaper than GTX 680. So what about 280x at 299? You made the review to give a message that AMD only releases rebadged cards like Nvidia is not doing it. Even in the end of your review, you mentioned the performance of 2 7950's, 2 7970's, 2 GTX 660's, look like a deliberate attempt to reduce the price/performance value of this R9 290x AMD card against GTX Titan or GTX 780. These things are unnecessary to mention in this review, are you favoring Nvidia?

Sorry it sounds like that, rather what I was doing was stating facts.

The fact is the day the GTX 770 arrived the GTX 680 still cost $500 and with its 1GHz faster memory the $400 GTX 770 was faster, noticeably.

As far as I am award the 7970 already cost $300 before the R9 280X came along, the GTX 770 pushed it there. I could be wrong, though I am sure I am not, the R9 280X came in at the same price point as the 7970 while being slightly slower than the 7970 GHz Edition.

Both the GTX 770 and R9 280X are re-badged products, we said that. The difference being the GTX 770 tried to hide the fact and it was $100 cheaper on launch day.

I am sorry you are upset that we compared the R9 290X to cheaper dual-GPU setups from AMD and Nvidia. If you think this review was a deliberate attempt to reduce the price/performance value of the R9 290X then I think we need to make an audio tape version of the review.

In plain English we said the R9 290X is better value than both the GTX 780 and GTX Titan.

Finally are we favoring Nvidia you ask, well for some reason you seem to think so though I have absolutely no idea why.

2000 million? Isn't there an easier way to say that.

Kinda, but there isn't a better way.

Phillip Seni said:

AMD's stock cooler woes continues. 95C GPU temps in normal gaming? Keen to see a thermograph of the VRM temps. Would it kill AMD to spend a few bucks and hire a design house to build them a decent vapour chamber cooler? The 50 dBA fan sound level on Uber mode should ensure a steady stream of sales for EKWB's waterblock, and every aftermarket AIB special (XFX's DD excepted)

I think for gamers, to accommodate AMD Radeon R9 290X's high operating temperature, a cpu case with built-in rice cooker (or hamburger grill) is more environment friendly. such high temperature must not go to waste.

kidding set aside, intel's processors are using less and less energy compared to previous generations. I wonder when AMD and Nvidia follow suit.

Phillip Seni said:

Nice and very throrough review. Although I'm impressed with the performance of the 290X I have to say that this review made want to buy another card actually.

I already own a 7970 Ghz, and seeing that in CF it outperforms almost everything else. I'm just going to buy another 7970 Ghz. It will cost less than the 290X and outperform it.

So if anyone already has a 7970 Ghz or a 7950 Boost I definitely recommend that you go with CF setups instead of upgrading to a single 290X.

does your statement means that AMD 7970 in CF mode is more budget friendly than a single AMD 290X?

some say that to avoid problems when gaming, as much as possible, use one high end card only rather than using two or more mid-range card.

please correct me if I'm wrong and point me in the right direction on where to read more in order to understand the complexities of CF and SLI gaming.

1 person liked this | victor123 said:

Good review, but you sound like giving privilege to Nvidia over AMD. You said GTX 770 is 100$ cheaper than GTX 680. So what about 280x at 299? You made the review to give a message that AMD only releases rebadged cards like Nvidia is not doing it. Even in the end of your review, you mentioned the performance of 2 7950's, 2 7970's, 2 GTX 660's, look like a deliberate attempt to reduce the price/performance value of this R9 290x AMD card against GTX Titan or GTX 780. These things are unnecessary to mention in this review, are you favoring Nvidia?

Sorry it sounds like that, rather what I was doing was stating facts.

The fact is the day the GTX 770 arrived the GTX 680 still cost $500 and with its 1GHz faster memory the $400 GTX 770 was faster, noticeably.

As far as I am award the 7970 already cost $300 before the R9 280X came along, the GTX 770 pushed it there. I could be wrong, though I am sure I am not, the R9 280X came in at the same price point as the 7970 while being slightly slower than the 7970 GHz Edition.

Both the GTX 770 and R9 280X are re-badged products, we said that. The difference being the GTX 770 tried to hide the fact and it was $100 cheaper on launch day.

I am sorry you are upset that we compared the R9 290X to cheaper dual-GPU setups from AMD and Nvidia. If you think this review was a deliberate attempt to reduce the price/performance value of the R9 290X then I think we need to make an audio tape version of the review.

In plain English we said the R9 290X is better value than both the GTX 780 and GTX Titan.

Finally are we favoring Nvidia you ask, well for some reason you seem to think so though I have absolutely no idea why.

Then sorry for my wrong assumption and Thank you for the clarification. (I am the same person posted as Guest user).

victor123 said:

Waiting eagerly for the custom coolers, that will sort out noise and temp issues. Custom coolers will show the full potential of 290x card.

Phillip Seni said:

BTW: Here's a thermograph of the backside of the card (via Hardware France).

and people wonder why we have global warming. :p

1 person liked this | hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Only things that disappoints me is the overclock headroom, which is pretty much non existent. As my 780 (with the stock cooler) I can get to 1.1GHz before it bottoms out.

I invite you to try looking into flashing to bios that allows some higher voltage. Depending on which GTX780 you have, you may be able to get another 100mhz or more (watch temperatures).

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

It's only 5-10FPS faster then a 780? I was expecting more from all the hype. Still, nice to see AMD grab the single GPU crown. The 680 never let the 7970 be a clear winner but for now this 290X looks the part.

slamscaper slamscaper said:

Very impressive. The R290X is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I like the direction AMD is headed in as of late. It's a shame that the rest of their 2xx series is somewhat lackluster, however at least they are competitive.

TheBigFatClown said:

"cramming 7080 million transistors"

Well, at least this guy is consistent. I would have simply said 7+ billion transistors or 7.1 billion.

Kinda, but there isn't a better way.

It's a little unorthodox don't you think? Most people would just say 2 billion. No big deal really, just unusual to me.

Guest said:

I might be wrong, but I think the 99th Percentile Frame Time graphs should read (Lower is Better), not (Higher is Better).

Otherwise, great article, thanks for including GTX660 Ti in the comparison.

Chris

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I might be wrong, but I think the 99th Percentile Frame Time graphs should read (Lower is Better), not (Higher is Better).
Which graph is listed as (Higher is Better)? Unless they have already been edited, I didn't see one and looked at all of them.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

, post: 1354090, member: 169488"]I invite you to try looking into flashing to bios that allows some higher voltage. Depending on which GTX780 you have, you may be able to get another 100mhz or more (watch temperatures).

I have been thinking about this but it is literally the stock cooler and BIOS from Nvidia with PNY's sticker on the fan, I am extremely happy with the 780 setup though, my PSU fan doesn't even spin because it doesn't take enough power for it to get warm. The Cooler is quiet as hell as well so to be honest I'm quite happy to just get another 780 once the prices drop a bit, I'm gaming at 1440p as well so it anything getting another card will actually help.

If I wanted to flash the BIOS though to a Firmware which keeps the clocks high (At the moment I'm using EVGA precision) is that possible?

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Lets turn the Jet Engine on high and see what happens :P, I mean they gave us Red LED's that as will make up for the 95 degrees

FINALLY! Thank you Techspot for a bang on review!

I literally cannot wait for the 780 to drop in price! I can get another 780

It definitely performed better than some of the leaks suggested, Very Impressed they managed such decent performance for it's price.

Only things that disappoints me is the overclock headroom, which is pretty much non existent. As my 780 (with the stock cooler) I can get to 1.1GHz before it bottoms out.

Challenge Accepted!

No but seriously, yea I agree, I really want to see the setting on the card to see how far it can go, im curious how high the voltage settings go. I bet with a nice liquid block I could get it up to 1100 at least before I warm up my entire apartment complex

Btw @Burty117, try MSI afterburner, you can set it to keep overclocks on restarts/boot up.

1 person liked this | Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I just hope that this mean that NVIDIA will cut their prices all the way down the product line. I would love to pick up another GTX 670 for around $200.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Btw @Burty117, try MSI afterburner, you can set it to keep overclocks on restarts/boot up.
It has been awhile since I have used EVGA Precision. From what I remember, voltage adjustments were the only thing I couldn't do with EVGA Precision that MSI Afterburner does. If I'm not badly mistaken both utilities allow for starting at bootup and maintaining over-clocks. Now EVGA Precision even allows for voltage adjustments, but at the time the lack there of was why I started using MSI Afterburner.

Helvetio said:

I might be wrong, but I think the 99th Percentile Frame Time graphs should read (Lower is Better), not (Higher is Better).
Which graph is listed as (Higher is Better)? Unless they have already been edited, I didn't see one and looked at all of them.

It's wrong on all 99th Percentile Frame Time graphs in this article. If you check the article

AMD Radeon R9 270X and R7 260X Review

you see that the 99th Percentile Frame Time graphs have the correct (Lower is Better) caption.

Chris

Helvetio said:

Actually, I have to correct myself, it's correct on the BioShock Infinite 99th Percentile Frame Time graph, so not all are wrong.

Chris

Guest said:

I just looked and all the "99th Percentile" graphs say "Higher is Better."

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's wrong on all 99th Percentile Frame Time graphs in this article. If you check the article
So my GTX 660 (which would be relatively close to the 660Ti) having a higher count would be better than a GTX 690? I think you are misinterpreting these graphs, as lower is clearly better.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I just looked and all the "99th Percentile" graphs say "Higher is Better."
Are you by chance looking at this from a mobile device? Because I don't understand why you would see something that does not show on mine. Everyone of the 99th Percentile graphs are labeled "Lower is Better". I hope you are not interpreting lower as being the card listed last as being better.

Guest said:

"95C isn't necessarily an issue. What is an issue is that the card reaches its thermal limit in a relatively short period of time at stock clocks...which begs the questions

An extended 1-2 hour gaming session. How far in before the card throttles continuously ?

If the card reaches its thermal limit at stock then an overclock of any note -especially a stable one during extended gaming is going to problematic ?

If the cooling is marginal, then you're going to either hold off for AIB non-reference cooling (the best course of action IMO), invest in a third-party cooler (ruining the price point), or be committed to gaming in a cold air environment."

I was only answering the question people were asking about the 95C load temp. I wasn't implying in any way, that it shouldn't bother anyone, but just that you don't have to freak out if you see that temp.

In fact, 95C is the target GPU temp by default in the CCC. If you look at Ryans review at pcper.com (I read it and HWC's review after posting here), the cards average clocks after only FIVE minutes of playing, are 840-860MHz for the 5 or 6 games they tested, and I personally think that is insane, even at the $549 price point.

The 290X is basically AMD's Fermi, but worse IMO, after reading above sites reviews, and seeing the comparisons those reviewers made in relation.

Boilerhog146 Boilerhog146 said:

Finally a review. thankyou..

Reviewer said."Naturally, the R9 290X supports Crossfire, but there are no bridge connectors on this card. This makes the R9 290X the first graphics card to support Crossfire without needing a hardware strap"

actually .I have a pair of xfx 6770's that crossfire with no bridge,and they also crossfire with a pair of 5770's that have been flashed to 6770's.that have a bridge, but they all crossfire together, any mix..no bridge required unless using just the 2 bridged cards..

now NVidia will breakout the 780 ti and maybe a full capable Titan. oh ,hangon a sec, wasn't a 780 ti recently announced? and this 290x is already clocked to the near max.oh,and after some intense gaming its throttling already..lololololol,,, not much too see here .move along..

@ steve, did you guys, during the review , confirm, that after high temps for a while, does the 290x in fact, begin throttling.?

Boilerhog146 Boilerhog146 said:

Wagon8r said "I just hope that this mean that NVIDIA will cut their prices all the way down the product line. I would love to pick up another GTX 670 for around $200. "

I would like another 2 x 4 gig 670,if they come down in price enough, in coming weeks, hmmmm?,maybe pass them to backup rig and get 780's for 449.00 or less even,dreaming now.lol..

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

now NVidia will breakout the 780 ti and maybe a full capable Titan. oh ,hangon a sec, wasn't a 780 ti recently announced? and this 290x is already clocked to the near max.oh,and after some intense gaming its throttling already..lololololol,,, not much too see here .move along..

You can keep dreaming...The price is going to drop down to a range of 500-599 for a 780, I doubt the titan will move much because that's just how NVidia is, it may come down to 800. Even so, the 290X is still going to be the best card deal around and is a titan without the titan price.

The 780ti is only at the rumors and slight "Leaks" phase as no official showing are out yet (At least showing specs). Even if you count in that its going to land in-between a 780-titan, its not going to beat a 290X unless it specifically smokes a titan by overclocking with the additional Cuda Cores which would already diminish the already struggling value of the titan. I mean how many people talk about buying titans anymore, its much better to buy a 780 and overclock it. When theres some actual showings, that will be the time to talk, same goes for the full titan.

One thing im curious of: @Steve Im curious if the fan profile did hit 100% at these temps, ive heard some people say 60% but I find that hard to believe the card would go to that high a temp without hitting 100%. Also is there any word on the R9 290 GPU yet?

Im now considering just grabbing a pair of these, I would like to see how the CFX performs though without the bridge, its peaking my curiosity.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I really want to see the setting on the card to see how far it can go, im curious how high the voltage settings go. I bet with a nice liquid block I could get it up to 1100 at least before I warm up my entire apartment complex

Well LinusTechTips Has done the review whereby they have a stock 780 and stock R290x and overclocks both to as much as they can go:

It seems the 780 beats it considerably in all games, it's only when you turn the res up they even out, and even then the 780 beats it by a tiny bit in all games they tested. So I guess overclocking headroom is going to be based on having some decent cooling on this thing!

The 780ti is only at the rumors and slight "Leaks" phase as no official showing are out yet (At least showing specs). Even if you count in that its going to land in-between a 780-titan, its not going to beat a 290X unless it specifically smokes a titan by overclocking with the additional Cuda Cores which would already diminish the already struggling value of the titan.

They have shown it off, just not the specs:

[link]

But unofficially they've "been leaked":

[link]

It seems they are going to do exactly as you said, completely diminish the already low value of the Titan, I don't think Nvidia care though, hell they'll probably just start advertising Titan for its compute capability's I guess?

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

@Burty117

Ironically, I was watching that right as you posted to watch it

Yea it would seem so, however as they said they push things to the limits, plus they are doing it off the stock coolers and as we have seen, unless im mistaken, the card will adjust the clocks based on heat. So we would have to really push the cooling on the card to keep the temps more in-line to actually stop the card from adjusting on the fly so much. On here, the card shows to be above the 780 more and right at a titans level in most games (Which is weird because on here Far Cry 3 smokes on the 780 and titan but on Linus they are about even).

On the 780ti, yea that's why I phrased it that way, they have shown it, but have not put up specs other than a leak ive seen showing it having something like 2494 Cuda Cores I believe. Oh I see your link is the one I saw so yea it is 2496 Cuda Cores.

I don't like seeing "Boost" as the official core clocks because that's up to the cards software whether its Nvidia or AMD, I prefer Base clocks because that's what your guaranteed unless the card is going to die.

I actually read up on the new CFX handled by PCI-E and it seems to work just fine so far as I can see, I might actually be grabbing some of these for my current rig now! That was one thing I was worried was if they would handle well on PCI-E 2.0.

Boilerhog146 Boilerhog146 said:

For the record these 290x ,are hotter than my fermies.. Fermie Upsidedown cake anyone?

[Attachment: click here to see]

though doing the Btx swap recently .really helped with GPU temps. ,should have done it when I first built it..cable management is better too.

Pcie 3.0 Is supposed to handle the crossfire/ sli bandwidth,with ease .removing the need for a bridge.pcie 2.0 can on lower cards..like my 6770's I almost ,would bet that the 290x won't crossfire on a pcie 2.0 board? send me a pair, I'll try it..

slamscaper slamscaper said:

Boilerhog, I like that system. It reminds me of my old 680i build that used very similar hardware (even the Zalman 9700 LED, lol).

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

If I wanted to flash the BIOS though to a Firmware which keeps the clocks high (At the moment I'm using EVGA precision) is that possible?

With a reference card it isn't a problem.

The choices are flashing with a vendor OC BIOS or manually overclocking in EVGA Precision or Afterburner

You have the option for either utility to commence at system start up.

I'd steer clear of the NCP4206 voltage mod or some of the extreme BIOS's floating around the net (MSI's +300% power BIOS for example is meant for sub-zero benching) with a stock reference air cooled card. Maybe begin a thread if you require any BIOS flashing/Vdroop mod info and/or PM me.

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