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AMD Radeon R9 290X Review

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Marquee 24th October 2013, 05:33 Quote
can't wait to see more of these cards. Finally David has arrived to slay Goliath
SAimNE 24th October 2013, 06:36 Quote
this is the first review i've seen that actually addressed the quiet mode vs uber mode, and bothered to overclock it, and mention the price differences. While at the same time not making amd to be the new prophet of the world that will deliver us from the dark clutches of the nvidia and intel overlords of death communism (insert propoganda words #7,#8,#2b, and #4).... no by the miracles of the internet it was a review that actually reviewed a product.

love bit-tech :D
megadriveguy 24th October 2013, 06:40 Quote
Surprised to see it uses more power than a 690

And I don't care what AMD say I would not be happy with a card running at 95 degrees
GuilleAcoustic 24th October 2013, 06:53 Quote
This card is based on volcanic island .... which means volcano like temps :D.

Jokes aside, this is a nice review. But all the love I have for AMD won't be enough to hide my dispointment. While perf and price are good, the card runs TOO hot and consumes TOO much for me. I can't imagine this card, without hairdrier style blower inside an ITX case ...
megadriveguy 24th October 2013, 07:02 Quote
The stock cooler is just plain **** get the ASUS Direct CU II and MSI Twin Frozr versions out immediately
Kovoet 24th October 2013, 07:06 Quote
This is almost forcing people to go water cooling. Price point brilliant though.
Talking to a huge amd fan here. So a little disappointed here especially using a little case like I have.
One night consider rather going crossfire with a couple of 280's instead
GuilleAcoustic 24th October 2013, 07:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by megadriveguy
The stock cooler is just plain **** get the ASUS Direct CU II and MSI Twin Frozr versions out immediately

.... But they'll dump the heat INSIDE your case. You'll need serious airflow and exhaust capability to prevent the system from heating itself
YEHBABY 24th October 2013, 07:28 Quote
At least it will keep the house warm on a cold winter night. Don't know what I'd do on a hot summers day. Might have to turn my PC off and actually go outside

I'm just glad that things are heating up in the graphics card market, after its been lukewarm for so long.
damien c 24th October 2013, 07:37 Quote
This is just to funny.

So it's a little cheaper than the 780 and performs pretty much the same.

The power usage and temp's are a killer though.
Harlequin 24th October 2013, 07:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by megadriveguy
Surprised to see it uses more power than a 690

And I don't care what AMD say I would not be happy with a card running at 95 degrees

so you never had a gtx 480 then.... was hotter and used more power



uk price is under a GTX 780 by about £40.... for titan performance = ocuk have 1 for £429
Kovoet 24th October 2013, 07:41 Quote
Can't argue the price point is low. I remember how much the 480 was slated and still is today. I reckon the cuii will cool this down nicely
Harlequin 24th October 2013, 07:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kovoet
Can't argue the price point is low. I remember how much the 480 was slated and still is today. I reckon the cuii will cool this down nicely

I`ve had 2 GTX 480`s - 1 with stock cooler and 1 with aftermarket ; they don't run as hot or load as they were perceieved , and if your really that worried about power cost - turn a light bulb off!


and tbh a GTX 480 still has a lot of `umph` for today`s games - I wonder if BT could run one with the latest drivers in the latest games?
Pete J 24th October 2013, 07:53 Quote
Given the deal Scan has on for the 7990 at the moment, it'd probably be better to pick one of those up.

Mind you, this new series of AMD GPUs seems to have eliminated Crossfire stuttering, so there is that to consider.
xaser04 24th October 2013, 08:10 Quote
Decent performance and price but the temperature "target" leaves me a little concerned.

Most of the reviews I have read so far either have the card in a large open case or on a test bed. What sort of clocks and thus performance can we expect to see after a couple of hours in say Crysis 3 with the card in a "normal" case (like my Define R3)?


A price drop on the custom cooled, Titan equally GTS 780's (EVGA SC ACX) would makes things quite interesting. You may have slightly lower performance in a few games but end up with a card that can overclock further (in a real world case situation) and run much cooler and quieter.

I think we will have to wait and see what the custom cooled cards can offer as for me the temperature and noise levels are a bit much (it runs hotter than the 780m in my laptop FFS)
Cei 24th October 2013, 08:35 Quote
Good price for the performance, as expected (if AMD got that wrong they would be all kinds of stupid), and as the review said it is going to force a price drop on the GTX 780 cards. The 290X won't hold that crown for long though I don't think, with the 780Ti expressly designed to beat it. However, it's good to finally see some competition at the high end.

Also can't quite believe the temperature and power consumption figures. This is a single GPU drawing more power than a dual GPU 690 and topping the temperature charts? I build mATX and ITX rigs, so a 290X is going nowhere near them!
Adnoctum 24th October 2013, 08:50 Quote
The way that AMD Power Tune works is to dynamically change the clock as many as hundreds of times a second so that the card can push the maximum number of pixels within a given power/cooling envelope.

Poor case cooling = Card reaches its headroom sooner = Card dynamically limits clocks to stay within temperature ceiling.
Excellent case cooling = Card reaches its headroom later = Card dynamically raises clocks to stay within temperature ceiling.

It means that if you have a poor cooling set-up, you aren't going to fry your card like you might have in the old days. The card will just clock down in order to stay within limits.
If AMD isn't worried by 95C temperatures, then I wouldn't be. It just means it is pushing the most pixels the card can push given its installed environment.
It should also act as an incentive for users to sort out their case cooling. A poorly cooled case will leave performance unused instead of just abusing ears with highly spinning fans.
captain caveman 24th October 2013, 09:11 Quote
i was actually contemplating buying one until I say 95 degrees
Corky42 24th October 2013, 09:14 Quote
Is it just to early for aftermarket company's (Asus, Gigabyte, etc.) to show what their take on cooling will be ?
All i can find are pictures of their cards but with the stock cooler on them.
DbD 24th October 2013, 09:27 Quote
Needs after market cooler, needs watercooling really - put it in a closed case and wait a few months for some dust build up and it'll have real problems. The noise levels are also pretty insane when you go to uber mode. Xfire still broken according to other reviews too.

That said one of these with an aftermarket cooler is easily the best value out there. Hopefully it'll force a bit of a high end price war.
megadriveguy 24th October 2013, 09:29 Quote
Custom cooler variants of the 290x wont be released until late december
xaser04 24th October 2013, 09:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Is it just to early for aftermarket company's (Asus, Gigabyte, etc.) to show what their take on cooling will be ?
All i can find are pictures of their cards but with the stock cooler on them.

IIRC the initial release is reference coolers only with the custom cooled cards coming sometime in mid/end November.
maverik-sg1 24th October 2013, 09:30 Quote
We're stuck now, 28nm is maxxed out (judinging by power and thermals) as far as current architectures go - 20nm is rumoured to be in production in Q1 2014 so 20nm GPU's not expected until Q2.....will reds or greens release any new architecture on 28nm?

For this card, it puts AMD right in the mix, Nvidia has enjoyed a very fruitful number of months being unchallenged top dog, there's money in the bank and margin to spare....expect to see 780's drop in price.

As for 780Ti - I don't see any point releasing this beyond e-peen, probably better dropping Titan prices, unless they had a stock pile of gpu's binned and ready with the unlocked SMX unit?

Congrats to AMD, this is a solid, albeit Toasty GPU at a reasonable price point.
Baz 24th October 2013, 09:46 Quote
Excellent review Matt, great job. Glad to see GPU testing at bit-tech is in safe hands :)
bawjaws 24th October 2013, 10:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
It should also act as an incentive for users to sort out their case cooling. A poorly cooled case will leave performance unused instead of just abusing ears with highly spinning fans.

I can't really agree with this - most users who are considering buying a GPU like this will already have a pretty good cooling set up. As it stands, the power and heat performance of the stock cooler means that this card isn't going to be a good choice for those with smaller form factor cases, no matter how well they optimise their cooling set ups.

Hopefully, we'll see some improvements once the usual suspects release their own cooling solutions, but I'd be worried that any cooler that doesn't exhaust hot air out of the case is just going to lead to the rest of your gear getting pretty damn toasty :D
GuilleAcoustic 24th October 2013, 10:24 Quote
cheapest 290X I can found 499€ ... cheapest 780 I can found 569€

Power under load :
- 290X ........ 426W (Uber) / 423W (Quiet)
- GTX780 ... 344W

Heat (delta T at idle) :
- 290X ........ 19W (Uber) / 30W (Quiet)
- GTX780 ... 10W

Heat (delta T under load) :
- 290X ........ 71W (Uber) / 70W (Quiet)
- GTX780 ... 59W

The price tag is good regarding the performance .... but the price gap between 290X and GTX780 is tight (and will for sure be thinner soon). I can immagine that a GTX780 OC to the point of consuming and heating like a 290X will completly obliterate it ! 80W more power and +12°C is too much considering the little performance gap.

I'm a huge AMD fan, but I'm really disapointed. I remember the GTX480 vs HD5870 ... where the GTX480 was a little faster but consumed more and heated more.
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