Is the AMD Radeon R9 290X too hot?

Written by Edward Chester

October 28, 2013 | 08:37

Tags: #hot #r9-290x #radeon

Companies: #amd

Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark

Publisher: Unigine

Unigine's free Valley 1.0 benchmarking tool is incredibly taxing on the GPU whilst placing the CPU under very little stress, making it a great indicator of pure GPU grunt. It should also, therefore, be repeatable for most users running half decent systems.

We run the full benchmark at 2,560 x 1,600,with Ultra detail. The strongly coloured bars show the results at what we would consider the most sensible settings - with the case opening uncovered and with the fan in either 40% or 55% mode. The blue bar shows the result from a cold start.

Is the AMD Radeon R9 290X too hot? Is the AMD Radeon R9 290X too hot? - Performance Results Is the AMD Radeon R9 290X too hot? Is the AMD Radeon R9 290X too hot? - Performance Results

Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark

2,560 x 1,600, Ultra Detail

  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 40% fan, covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 55% fan, covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 40% fan, uncovered
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 100% fan, covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 55% fan, uncovered
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 100% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 55% fan, baseline
  • 1665
  • 1951
  • 1960
  • 2069
  • 2102
  • 2142
  • 2154
  • 2160
  • 2166
0
500
1000
1500
2000
Score (higher is better)

Noise

We measured the noise generated by the fan of each GPU using a decibel meter pointed at the side panel of the system at a distance of 30cm. The ambient noise level with the system off was 38dB. The fans of both the 290X and GTX 780 idled at 20% according to GPU-Z.

Noise

Fan noise in dB, from 30cm

  • Ambient
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - idling (20%)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - idling (20%)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 40% fan, covered
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 40% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 55% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 55% fan, covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 100% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - 100% fan, covered
  • 38
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 50
  • 52
  • 54
  • 64
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Noise in dB

Heat

The 290X is designed to run at 95C so it theoretically shouldn't waver from this temperature when under load. However, we took a temperature reading of the GPU anyway to see how it compared to the GTX 780. As ever we have calculated this as a Delta relative to the ambient room temperature, which on this day was 26C.

Heat (load)

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (2,560 x 1,600, default settings)

  • AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 40% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 40% fan, covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 55% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 55% fan, covered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 100% fan, uncovered
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 100% fan, covered
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - uncovered
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB - covered
  • 69
  • 69
  • 69
  • 69
  • 69
  • 69
  • 51
  • 56
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Delta T in °C

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