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Pros Fast and cheap Good Cooling Performance, one of the coolest 290's on the market Lifetime Warranty when registered within 30 days
Cons XFX logo lights up bright white. I'm not a fan of that Coil Whine when benchmarking the card Card does not allow AMD Overdrive Core Clock Slider
Summary I picked up this card for a friends computer I am building and decided to test it in my system. I currently use an XFX R9 280X Double Dissipation, and since this is one step up the ladder to my card, I wanted to see what the differences were.
I didn't test it for very long, but in Unigine Valley Benchmark, the 280x averaged about 47 FPS and had a score around 1877 while the 290 had an average around 60 FPS with a score around 2300.
I also ran a quick test with ATI Tool to max out the card and see how it handled the temperatures. I noticed immediately that this card has a bad case of coil whine when pushed to the limits, so I stopped. The 280X had a very minor coil whine that was barely audible.
Through the Unigine test, I noticed the fans spin up to a point where they were fairly noticeable, more noticeable than my 280X after the same length of testing time, which is to be expected from a more powerful and hotter running card.
The game came with 4 free games and a $30 MIR so if you factor in the value of those items, this card as a bargain.
Summary After installing the card I put it through a few stress tests using various benchmarks and Furmark. The card performed beautifully and handled everything nicely. 1080p performance is spectacular and from what I've seen it should handle most titles at 4k as well.
My system isn't quiet to begin with so I can't comment on how loud the fans are though I didn't notice them over the noise of my numerous 120mm Antec system fans set on high. During stress testing the card reached 77 degrees celcius when using a custom fan profile that had the fans running at 80%, which I find to be more than acceptable in terms of cooling.
Make sure you have a large enough case and big enough power supply for the draw of this card. It really is huge, even in my EATX Thermaltake Armor.
Pros Handles 1080p gaming at >60fps Beautiful design Lifetime warranty with registration
Cons High TDP Runs hot under load Loud at high fan speeds
Summary I bought this card to replace an aging GTX 480, and I am pleased with the frame rates that this R9 290 delivers in 1080p gaming. It has run everything I throw at it at max settings and above 60 fps. It is truly overkill for single monitor 1080p gaming.
However, unlike all of the other reviews and benchmarks I have read, I find this card to run much hotter than my GTX 480 (which is saying a lot). Even without overclocking, I max out at 80C core temperature in my Corsair 600T under load and am currently sitting at 46C while writing this review. My GTX 480, albeit with aftermarket air cooling, never exceeded 70C under load and 35C idle (completely silent under load). To compensate for the increased temperatures under load, I have started running my case fans at max speed while gaming. However, the cooler on the XFX R9 290 Double Dissipation is so loud that I can still hear it over my case fans. Honestly, I was surprised to experience such loud fans, since I was expecting a quiet and cool card from the reviews I read.
Obviously, I have had a different experience with this card than the other reviewer who has posted before me. I find the card to be annoyingly loud at high fan speeds and still runs too hot for my preference. However, for such a low price to performance ratio, I am still pleased with my purchase.
Pros Very powerful card; Excellent cooler; Lifetime warranty if you register your product; Support up to 4 display; Reference design; Nice led effect on the XFX logo.
Cons Draws a lot of power; The bottom screw of the bracket can be a hard fit due to the size of the cooler.
Summary This is a very powerful card with an excellent cooler. The original 290's cooler was having a hard time cooling the card, but XFX solution is pretty impressive. Even at full load, my GPU never went over 70C and the VRM never reached 80C (note that I manually set the fan to 100% in Overdrive because the cooler is so silent that even at full speed I don't hear it over my regular fans). Also, the XFX logo is lighted up by some leds and this give a very nice effect if you have a windowed case.
Note that the card itself is still a reference design so if you are into watercooling, you won't have trouble to find a compatible waterblock.
On the downside, this thing is power hungry since it require a 750W PSU (850W recommended).
I haven't seriously tried to OC yet, but the card was rock stable when I tried a little OC of 1040 on the GPU.
AMD HD3D Technology
Graphics Core Next (GCN)
HD Media Accelerator
Unified Video Decoder
ZeroCore Power Technology
Video Codec Engine (VCE)
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Lifetime available on many XFX VGA products. Warranty available directly from XFX.
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