Radeon R9 290 Review: Kick-ass value, same top notch performance

By on November 4, 2013, 11:00 PM

With the enthusiast community demanding a response to the latest GeForce GPUs, AMD answered last month by delivering Titan-like performance for nearly half the price. At $550, the new Radeon R9 290X is set at the same rate as the HD 7970 when it debuted two years ago. With its age-old adversary swinging full force, Nvidia's back hit the ropes and it quickly countered by slashing prices across its affected upper-tier products.

Before Nvidia can strike back, however, it'll have to eat another blow in the form of the new Radeon R9 290. At $400, the R9 290 offers fantastic value when you consider it still packs much of what made the R9 290X a GeForce killer.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 56

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Guest said:

AMD has already made the 290X useless when the 290 is within 3fps of it across the board. Damn noobs working at AMD now. G-Sync better be good because I want off the red team.

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

Thanks for another excellent review Steve.

An awesome bang-for-buck card.

I think there are more than a few that lament the fact that AMD don't let the AIB's off the leash faster with proprietary coolers. With a quieter and more effective (lower incidence of throttling) solution this card seems like a home run. There will be queue forming for the non-reference varieties.

1 person liked this | misor misor said:

Wow, awesome performance at an awesome price (albeit at higher temps).

maybe nvidia will drop prices again before thanksgiving and another drop before the holidays.

hopefully, the price drop will cascade from the west into the eastern hemisphere (including the philippines).

in this current price war, the consumers win again.

1 person liked this | Puiu Puiu said:

I think they were forced to price this card so low because nvidia also dropped prices lower than expected. Competition at work guys! Now if only AMD was this good at making CPU's ^_^

jeffz6 said:

95 degs is insane, if you are like me and run a compact mitx unit, 95 deg heats up hdd's, ram, etc. My 780 sits at 70 deg and already heats up my hdd's etc. Put these things in crossfire and you have a fusion plant.

Chazz said:

95 degs is insane, if you are like me and run a compact mitx unit, 95 deg heats up hdd's, ram, etc. My 780 sits at 70 deg and already heats up my hdd's etc. Put these things in crossfire and you have a fusion plant.

What? Mini-ITX? Crossfire? Why?

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

This is great, but surprised you guys didn't touch on how loud the thing is at full load. Then again that's the trade off for the price/performance, you get heat/noise.

1 person liked this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

The Radeon R9 290X has a target temp of 95C

And in "quiet mode" the fanspeed has a limit of 40%

In "Uber" mode the fanspeed limit is increased to 55%

The regular 290 has only a fanspeed limit of 47%, otherwise it's the same

What this means is that if the fan is unable to keep the card cool it will reduce the voltage & clockspeed to the GPU, reducing performance.

Anandtech has some numbers on this page for the 290X: [link]

Twixtea said:

I heard the 290X will drop performance levels if playing for hours non-stop, given the heat temps and possible throttling in clocks, is that true?

If yes is it the same with the 290?

1 person liked this | backo said:

Really want to see a Gigabyte Windforce version ot this card. Pretty sure that will be my new GPU.

4 people like this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

@Twixtea yea the 290X drops, as can be seen in Sweclockers graphs here:

Uber mode: [link]

Quiet mode: [link]

As can be seen the performance in Uber mode is a flat line, so it is maxed, while in quiet mode the clockspeed drops over time and stabilizes below 900Mhz in their open bench test...

The regular 290 seems to have just enough fanspeed (remember it is fixed at 47%) to not throttle.

But then again all reviews I've seen run an open bench test, so it's not very representative.

Of course the rooms ambient temperature plays a big role aswell...

Tom's hardware slapped a Arctic's Accelero Xtreme III cooler on their 290, made a very big difference in noise...

[link]

"Even at 7 V, the upgraded Radeon R9 290 is barely louder at prolonged full load than the stock versions are at idle"

Guest said:

Fantabulous card and incredible price to perf ratio.Very well done and the heating issue will be resolved by AIB partners with better coolers,np :)

Twixtea said:

@Twixtea yea the 290X drops, as can be seen in Sweclockers graphs here:

Uber mode: [link]

Quiet mode: [link]

As can be seen the performance in Uber mode is a flat line, so it is maxed, while in quiet mode the clockspeed drops over time and stabilizes below 900Mhz in their open bench test...

The regular 290 seems to have just enough fanspeed (remember it is fixed at 47%) to not throttle.

But then again all reviews I've seen run an open bench test, so it's not very representative.

Of course the rooms ambient temperature plays a big role aswell...

Tom's hardware slapped a Arctic's Accelero Xtreme III cooler on their 290, made a very big difference in noise...

[link]

"Even at 7 V, the upgraded Radeon R9 290 is barely louder at prolonged full load than the stock versions are at idle"

The stock cooler at 47% is pretty much unbearable to my ears.

The custom coolers seems pretty nice though.

This card + the custom cooler seems to be a way better deal than the 290X, even at stock clocks the performance difference isn't that much and with the custom cooler you can OC the 290 even higher.

The cooler's listed as 75$ on newegg, would make a total of 475$, still beats a 780 in price and also the 290X.

9 people like this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

Some updated info guys. I took the IceQ X2 cooler off the HIS Radeon R9 280X and stuck it on our R9 290 sample. Cooling was dramatically improved. The FurMark stress test maxed out at 76 degrees while the card never exceeded 63 degrees in Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4. So it seems as expected the board partners will be able to solve the heat issues of the reference card.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

Bring on the Vapor-X, Saphire.

One thing that I still don't get, however: with over half the PC games now being console ports, why are they nearly always optimized for Nividia when the consoles all run AMD?

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Some updated info guys. I took the IceQ X2 cooler off the HIS Radeon R9 280X and stuck it on our R9 290 sample. Cooling was dramatically improved. The FurMark stress test maxed out at 76 degrees while the card never exceeded 63 degrees in Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4. So it seems as expected the board partners will be able to solve the heat issues of the reference card.

@Steve so wait, that worked just slapping that on, I had not noticed the board design was so similar to the 7970/R80X. That's cool to note because now it seals the aftermarket cooler market because modifications are not really needed to make their coolers work. Cool thing to note, with such a huge difference with just that, it makes you wonder why they didn't put something with better cooling if just that cooler dropped the temps to the mid 70's.

Bring on the Vapor-X, Saphire.

One thing that I still don't get, however: with over half the PC games now being console ports, why are they nearly always optimized for Nividia when the consoles all run AMD?

A lot of that has to do with the game engines, many for years have already been optimized for NVidia and even with changes to make them more optimized to AMD, they are still going to have some of the NVidia optimization still on board. Honestly in the case of recent game from what ive been seeing in performance, the current scenarios are the way I think it should be because of how close all the games are starting to get. It really is nice that gamers no matter what their card choice is can play a game on par with the other side, its not longer a choice that can harm your experience with other game companies.

On the R9 290, wow the performance is so close to the 780 and 290X is shocking to say the least, I actually did not expect them to be within 5FPS of eachother like that. Im still waiting on the 290X, but I noticed that the 290's are in stock on newegg and that's very tempting. Still think ill hold off and try for the X versions.

Great review.

TheBigFatClown said:

A lot of that has to do with the game engines, many for years have already been optimized for NVidia and even with changes to make them more optimized to AMD, they are still going to have some of the NVidia optimization still on board. Honestly in the case of recent game from what ive been seeing in performance, the current scenarios are the way I think it should be because of how close all the games are starting to get. It really is nice that gamers no matter what their card choice is can play a game on par with the other side, its not longer a choice that can harm your experience with other game companies.

On the R9 290, wow the performance is so close to the 780 and 290X is shocking to say the least, I actually did not expect them to be within 5FPS of eachother like that. Im still waiting on the 290X, but I noticed that the 290's are in stock on newegg and that's very tempting. Still think ill hold off and try for the X versions.

Great review.

According to this article:

[link]

one of the most popular games in recent days will be implementing the Mantle API into their game engines. And 3 more big names will more than likely follow. NVidias days could be numbered. Of course, I wouldn't want them to be put out of business. We all win when AMD and NVidia play the game of leap-frog.

Lionvibez said:

What? Mini-ITX? Crossfire? Why?

Agreed why the hell would you put one or even two of these cards in a Mini itx case that is a dumb idea and you are just asking for trouble.

If you are in need of a gaming videocard in a HTPC you will need a bigger box than a mini itx case.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

This is a stupid move by AMD. I have been trying to get a pair of R9 290x cards for 5970x1080 on Battlefield 4. Those cards are almost impossible to find for near retail price ($550). Now, AMD flooded the market with these $400 cards that are almost the same performance. Most people that don't need that extra 10% (myself sadly excluded) are going to just save $150 and get the 60 fps they need. AMD should have waited a month to release, crank the price for a month, or just resupplied the stock for the R9 290x.

TheBigFatClown said:

This is a stupid move by AMD. I have been trying to get a pair of R9 290x cards for 5970x1080 on Battlefield 4. Those cards are almost impossible to find for near retail price ($550). Now, AMD flooded the market with these $400 cards that are almost the same performance. Most people that don't need that extra 10% (myself sadly excluded) are going to just save $150 and get the 60 fps they need. AMD should have waited a month to release, crank the price for a month, or just resupplied the stock for the R9 290x.

The naming scheme is retarded also in my opinion. Don't extra letters normally correspond with extra features, speed or benefits? I guess AMD used the x to mean "crippled" product this time around.

Guest said:

"one of the most popular games in recent days will be implementing the Mantle API into their game engines. And 3 more big names will more than likely follow. NVidias days could be numbered. Of course, I wouldn't want them to be put out of business. We all win when AMD and NVidia play the game of leap-frog."

So we haven't seen Mantle in action, but we have seen (people have seen in person) G-Sync and loved it, but you think Mantle is better based on some slides and a keynote?

OMG LMAO. You silly boy!

Guest said:

You get what you pay for. Invest less in a CPU if you plan on gaming and drop that cash on Nvidia, one thing done right. I've seen people building rigs for gaming and they spent money on a powerful CPU and less for the most important part (for me) the GPU.

Guest said:

My R9 280X is pretty good. But yes, can become loud when the temp increases in BF4. But I play with headphones on so it doesn't bother me. My case is quite small and only has 1 fan in it - could buy a bigger case and stick some fans in it - to cool it down so it doesn't spin up as much... but end of the day, my PC is on the floor, under the desk so it isn't in direct line of my ears.

JC713 JC713 said:

Awesome value. Too bad the fan is loud. Bring on the aftermarkets!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

This is a stupid move by AMD. I have been trying to get a pair of R9 290x cards for 5970x1080 on Battlefield 4. Those cards are almost impossible to find for near retail price ($550). Now, AMD flooded the market with these $400 cards that are almost the same performance. Most people that don't need that extra 10% (myself sadly excluded) are going to just save $150 and get the 60 fps they need. AMD should have waited a month to release, crank the price for a month, or just resupplied the stock for the R9 290x.

Look on the bright side...You could have puller the trigger on a 290X (assuming you could find one in stock) only to have the card devalued almost immediately.

Third party cooling might serve to differentiate the two models (not by the 27% difference in cost though), but certainly not reference.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

"One thing that I still don't get, however: with over half the PC games now being console ports, why are they nearly always optimized for Nividia when the consoles all run AMD?"

A/ Those AMD powered next gen consoles aren't out yet, so how could they already affect half the games out NOW? Current gen PS3 using nVIDIA, and the 360 uses AMD, so I don't know how you are confused.

B/ A lot of games are optimized for nVIDIA, because nVIDIA took the time and put in the money to work closely with developers to get the best performance. AMD not so much back in the day. When AMD wasn't doing it, it was every AMD fanboy and his dog saying nVIDIA just paid devs to put TWIMTBP logos in their games. Man I hated those people.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

A good card/driver here and there is nice but I will need to see continued success on all of AMD's fronts for an extended period of time before I go anywhere near them again. That being said, this has been an excellent quarter for AMD as a whole. Great card here, the noise and heat was expected with AMD's stock cooler I hope this doesn't deter anyone's decision, aftermarket options will be here before you blink.

The people who bought Titans & R290X's are the same fools who bought dual GPU cards, good.... glad they got jacked. Posers. :p

Lionvibez said:

Bring on the Vapor-X, Saphire.

One thing that I still don't get, however: with over half the PC games now being console ports, why are they nearly always optimized for Nividia when the consoles all run AMD?

the answer to your question is Money!

Ploutonas Ploutonas said:

@Steve If you truly did that, how is it possible to give lower temps than the 280x!!? What about the performance at these temps, It should perform much better?

I think AMD said, that 290 and 290x are disigned to work at 95c. But if a custom cooler can bring them down to 62-72c that also kills 280x!

I would love to see some photos of it.

5 people like this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

Ploutonas did I say, I did it? Yes I did so that means I truly did it, we are not in the business of lying to our readers. Why do you think it is operating cooler than the 280X? It does nothing for the performance or at least nothing much since we didn't see any throttling. It could make a bit of a difference on the 290X however.

I have attached some photos for those that require evidence.

Ploutonas Ploutonas said:

Sorry if you took it wrongly... I didn't mean to call you that, it is just surprising... Then it's a killer card indeed, only the consumption is a bit high, especially in crossfire.

I am in the process to pick my new cards also, but I can't wait for radeon 290's, because its a replacement for me and I have to choose from the already existent in the market gpu's. 290 Is going to take about 1 month to come in my country.

So I am between gtx770 sli or 280x crossfire (I will get 1 free and I will buy the second one). And I dont know what to choose yet..

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Okay not a problem. Just to clarity something for earlier the Radeon R9 290X runs at 83 degrees with the AMD reference cooler (the same cooler from the R9 290). The HIS IceQ X2 gets the R9 280X down to 70 degrees in FurMark so the R9 290 was 6 degrees warmer with the same IceQ X2 cooler.

JC713 JC713 said:

A good card/driver here and there is nice but I will need to see continued success on all of AMD's fronts for an extended period of time before I go anywhere near them again. That being said, this has been an excellent quarter for AMD as a whole. Great card here, the noise and heat was expected with AMD's stock cooler I hope this doesn't deter anyone's decision, aftermarket options will be here before you blink.

The people who bought Titans & R290X's are the same fools who bought dual GPU cards, good.... glad they got jacked. Posers. :p

Yeah it is interesting how the 290 is basically the same as the 290x. I bet in future driver updates, the 290X will take the lead. Bad move by AMD IMO. The 290X could have been/continued to be a huge hit if it werent for this 290.

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

The people who bought Titans & R290X's are the same fools who bought dual GPU cards, good.... glad they got jacked. Posers. :p

Kind of depends what end use the user is putting the cards to. I'd agree that there is little to recommend a 290X over a 290, but Titan offers double precision and a larger framebuffer, so anyone using Maya (which utilizes both single and double precision) or Blender gets the best bang-for-buck from Titan:

For gaming, Titan is a complete waste of feature set, and was relegated to "also ran" status as soon as the GTX 780 Classified, iChill HerculeZ, and HoF arrived some time ago.

I'd also note that some people who'd never, ever pay more than $250-300 for a graphics card (singular), consider anyone buying a $400+ card that will halve in value inside 6-12 months, to be either a poser or a high-function mor0n. Probably depends upon priorities and disposable cash situation, as much as mental health status and poor self esteem.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Yeah it is interesting how the 290 is basically the same as the 290x. I bet in future driver updates, the 290X will take the lead. Bad move by AMD IMO. The 290X could have been/continued to be a huge hit if it werent for this 290.

I agree, having them so close together in performance is actually shocking to say the least, I was expecting a close race between them, but this almost seems insane. I bet if you bumped the clock speed of a 290 to 1050 around there, you would be right on par with a 290X, its a tough decision as I hold 2 Sapphires in my newegg checkout lol, though im fighting myself to wait for more X versions.

The people who bought Titans & R290X's are the same fools who bought dual GPU cards, good.... glad they got jacked. Posers. :p

"We" didn't get "Jacked" were more than happy stomping games out at ultra settings at high resolutions thank you very much.

Now I think all that's left is to hear the infamous 780ti and see where it lands, this is going to be a heck of a year for PC gaming seeing all these power houses come out like this.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

@GhostRyder tbh it sounds like you have plenty of cash to burn, if you're replacing 2x 6990's with 2x 290Xs. Unless I'm misunderstanding you? In any case, that's not a wise move unless you REALLY have countless money to burn, in which case you'd pick NVIDIA anyway.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

@GhostRyder tbh it sounds like you have plenty of cash to burn, if you're replacing 2x 6990's with 2x 290Xs. Unless I'm misunderstanding you? In any case, that's not a wise move unless you REALLY have countless money to burn, in which case you'd pick NVIDIA anyway.

Your right, I am going to replace them eventually probably with a pair of R90X cards when they get in stock though im now holding off till the 780ti comes out to see where it falls in the market. Do I have money to burn? Not really, if I did I would upgrade every new generation, I save money to the side for my computer and when the computer starts to struggle with High-Ultra settings, its time to replace. I paid 350 dollars a piece for my pair of 6990's (700 total from the same guy) lightly used November 2011 and bought a pair of water blocks 2 weeks after that. If your into running things at a high resolution and high graphics settings, then buying for more power and skipping a generation in the long run turns out to be a better cost effective plan. If newegg had not messed up my order, I probably would have an Asus GTX 590 with one waterblock instead at the 700 buck price point but I got lucky, not that I need to explain my situation.

I like the R90X because its power, performance, and price, all fit into a nice tight 2 card budget where I can grab a couple blocks and seamlessly replace my existing 6990s by undoing both quick disconnects and just sliding them in, simple as that. If anything, I would rather see some dual GPU variants come out to just replace my 6990's with the umm...Whatever they would call the Dual 290X's (295X?) but that's not going to happen as we all know unless AMD makes some miracle cards that can handle 2 of those on one PCB, or wait for the 790 which is sure to come before too long.

The R90 is a better overall value at this point, so its more than food for thought. Its a repeat of the Titan - 780 argument and whether or not getting that slight bump is worth (Now double) the price. But I guess this does pose one major point, you can get 3 r90's for 1200 respectively and 2 X variants for 1100, that's actually not a bad idea. Well you now got me thinking @St1ckM4n...

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I'd also note that some people who'd never, ever pay more than $250-300 for a graphics card (singular), consider anyone buying a $400+ card that will halve in value inside 6-12 months, to be either a poser or a high-function mor0n. Probably depends upon priorities and disposable cash situation, as much as mental health status and poor self esteem.

I love it when you deviate from all that tech jazz and lay it down, its good to hear someone as respected as you give us some raw material! But I gotta say Graham, this comment about pricing surprises me a little, especially coming from you. Surely you of all people know that all hardware quickly becomes yesterday's news and prices change drastically, especially after 6 months. Half a year is an eternity in this business.

Which is why I always buy second best. 90% of the performance of the top dog, but far less expensive.

Capaill said:

I'm curious about the testbed used in testing these graphics cards.

If it's a bench (devices laid out on a flat surface, not in a case) then an open air cooling solution will be miles better than a fan blower. But if it's a small enclosed case (like my Temjin TJ08) with high pressure positive airflow then an open air cooler is a poor choice as it will be starved of air and a fan blower might give better results. Plus a fan blower ejects the hot air out of the case whereas an open fan can throw it back into the case.

In reviews the open air coolers give significantly better cooling results than blowers but most reviewers use open benches for testing.

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

I love it when you deviate from all that tech jazz and lay it down, its good to hear someone as respected as you give us some raw material! But I gotta say Graham, this comment about pricing surprises me a little, especially coming from you. Surely you of all people know that all hardware quickly becomes yesterday's news and prices change drastically, especially after 6 months. Half a year is an eternity in this business.

Which is why I always buy second best. 90% of the performance of the top dog, but far less expensive.

Basically it comes down to different strokes for different folks. My criteria for buying hardware and the time I invest into getting it working is really only applicable to me - it's why I never denigrate another's choices in hardware, or try to talk them out of a purchase if they have their mind made up.

Looking solely from a gaming/benching perspective, there are a group of people out there who simply must have the latest benchmark queen on Day One. What is there to recommend the purchase? Inflated prices, generally reference only design, immature drivers, early adopter guinea pigs for software beta testing and hardware fault finding ? On the face of it, except for the e-peen value there is little to recommend the purchase....except that one thing that defines "enthusiast".

The enthusiast lives for the next big thing. Tinkering, fine tuning, modding, hacking, time, and resources required to produce the end result becomes its own validation. It is why the buyer of a prebuilt Maingear watercooled, quad GPU system is seen as something vastly less than the person who builds the same machine from parts.

Most of the people who come to me for system building/upgrades have entire systems that cost less than my graphics card- I'm sure they view me as mentally unhinged for pouring money into parts that depreciate as soon as I open the box they arrive in. Every person has a cut-off point where they simply can't justify the cash outlay to themselves; the $500 system buyer sees the $1000-1500 system as frivolous. Likewise, with the $1-1.5K system buyer viewing a $3K build, and the $3K system buyer can't justify the price or work required for phase change cooling or hardmodded graphics. The difference with the enthusiast is that they don't try to justify the price, need to justify the time, or care that much about the achievement once it is reached. New parts are now on the horizon, and a new journey to the next achievement awaits. The component cost is simply the price of admission for some people.

In the end it doesn't matter if you're talking about some guy with a compulsion to brag about their latest shiny thing with a GPU-Z validation, or someone frankensteining Titans to deliver more power and blowing up a few thousand dollars worth of hardware. The top parts sell and drive the entire product line (and the reason that people get locked into upgrade cycles) particularly second-tier parts with the reflected glory and kinship with the halo parts. There's also a reason that mainstream cards don't supply the bulk of reviews and forum wars even though they represent the vast majority of sales.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I'm curious about the testbed used in testing these graphics cards.

If it's a bench (devices laid out on a flat surface, not in a case) then an open air cooling solution will be miles better than a fan blower. But if it's a small enclosed case (like my Temjin TJ08) with high pressure positive airflow then an open air cooler is a poor choice as it will be starved of air and a fan blower might give better results. Plus a fan blower ejects the hot air out of the case whereas an open fan can throw it back into the case.

In reviews the open air coolers give significantly better cooling results than blowers but most reviewers use open benches for testing.

We don't use open air test beds, we use the Cooler Master HAF XB.

JC713 JC713 said:

Lol, props for bleeping out ass. I was wondering when I first saw it! LOL.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Do I have money to burn? Not really, if I did I would upgrade every new generation, I save money to the side for my computer and when the computer starts to struggle with High-Ultra settings, its time to replace.

Well, the only reason I ask is because I'm not convinced that 2x 6990 is worse than 2x R9 290. And, if it is, it's by the skin of its teeth. To me, this doesn't justify a $1100 price-tag (minus some for selling the existing cards). Doubly so, because probably no gamees have come out recently that really push the envelope (immature drivers for brand-new games not counted).

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

Well, the only reason I ask is because I'm not convinced that 2x 6990 is worse than 2x R9 290. And, if it is, it's by the skin of its teeth. To me, this doesn't justify a $1100 price-tag (minus some for selling the existing cards). Doubly so, because probably no gamees have come out recently that really push the envelope (immature drivers for brand-new games not counted).

@GhostRyder Just wait for 22nm based cards!

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

I think they were forced to price this card so low because nvidia also dropped prices lower than expected. Competition at work guys! Now if only AMD was this good at making CPU's ^_^

Surely retail coolers would be better...

And yes... Intel is busy counting their money with Ivy Bridge and Haswell. AMD should take the opportunity to catch up.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Well, the only reason I ask is because I'm not convinced that 2x 6990 is worse than 2x R9 290. And, if it is, it's by the skin of its teeth. To me, this doesn't justify a $1100 price-tag (minus some for selling the existing cards). Doubly so, because probably no gamees have come out recently that really push the envelope (immature drivers for brand-new games not counted).

Well look at it this way, remember scaling at GPU 3 and 4 starts to drop and while I have a lot of performance, each GPU now has almost the same amount of stream processors and the same amount of ram with a double sized bus for one GPU. The fact is then you have to support better scaling on multiple GPU's, 2 290X should outperform my current rig finally and a third later would go way beyond my setup. I always "Try" to skip the next generation (Though I've broken my rules recently) with GPU's. I may go for 3 R90 GPU's if this stretch of unavailability continues personally for the X variants.

@GhostRyder Just wait for 22nm based cards!

Im to impatient @JC713, im wanting to try something different this round and go back to Single GPU power with multiple cards since Dual GPU's (Minus the possibility of a 790) are probably not going to exist.

Logixx Logixx said:

Some updated info guys. I took the IceQ X2 cooler off the HIS Radeon R9 280X and stuck it on our R9 290 sample. Cooling was dramatically improved. The FurMark stress test maxed out at 76 degrees while the card never exceeded 63 degrees in Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4. So it seems as expected the board partners will be able to solve the heat issues of the reference card.

Would I be able to take coolers from 7970 cards (Like windforce, DCU2 or something like it) and install on R9 290 since 280X and 7970 is basically the same card, or am I missing something?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Would I be able to take coolers from 7970 cards (Like windforce, DCU2 or something like it) and install on R9 290 since 280X and 7970 is basically the same card, or am I missing something?

There is a very good chance but we cannot say with absolute certainty you can. The HIS IceQ X2 cooler is certainly compatible as we proved though. If you can't wait for the board partner versions you are best off buying an after market cooler from Arctic-Cooling or something along those lines.

Logixx Logixx said:

Would I be able to take coolers from 7970 cards (Like windforce, DCU2 or something like it) and install on R9 290 since 280X and 7970 is basically the same card, or am I missing something?

There is a very good chance but we cannot say with absolute certainty you can. The HIS IceQ X2 cooler is certainly compatible as we proved though. If you can't wait for the board partner versions you are best off buying an after market cooler from Arctic-Cooling or something along those lines.

I jumped the gun and bought two R9 290s, reference design. I would buy the Arctic Accelero if they didn't take up more than 2 slots. I'm running them in a micro ATX case, which means high heat output and confined space. Do you know if the Accelero Hybrid takes more than 2 slots?

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

@Logixx

As far as I know and can tell, the accelero Hybrid technically takes up 2 slots but the curved fan juts just a bit into the third slot area. It would be a tight fit to see if its totally possible, but watching the newegg video of it on a 7970 made it look like it juts over into the third slot a bit. I could not guarantee they would happily site right next to eachother.

Edit: those two are also 3 slot solutions.

Try looking on ebay for like some of the HIS coolers by themselves and see if you can purchase them then install them on your cards.

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