290x Crossfire experience

Discussion in 'AMD Flavor' started by Shlunky11, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Shlunky11

    Shlunky11 n00b

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    So, I have been offered a descent deal on a pair of Tri-x 290x cards. I haven't had an AMD card in about 4 years and it has been longer since I used Crossfire.

    To head off the questions people will likely ask,
    My PSU can easily handle them. I have plenty of air flow (not worried with the Tri-X cooler anyway), current resolution is 1080p, but that will change in a couple of months with the new IPS panels hitting the market.

    I game and fold. No I don't need an upgrade, but I fancy a change. I have run SLI a number of times since my last AMD card and have always been able to overcome any issues that arise.

    So, what are your experiences with them? Any suggestions/warnings?
    ยง
     
  2. LaCuNa

    LaCuNa [H]Lite

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    I am a performance enthusiast. Therefore , I get my moneys worth. I don't care whether i'm red or green.

    Now.

    Since AMD's R9 lineup came out , they have been working very hard on the software and drivers. The 290x is a POWERFUL card , don't let anybody fool you.

    I've got a pair of them running in Xfire. With the latest AMD drivers , it's excellent

    In the big picture though , you need to look at what the high end cards offer in terms of drivers and options. Things like GSync, FreeSYNC , mantle , etc etc. Some of these things DO make a large difference , for example AMD's Mantle API greatly improves my BF4 performance , whilst looking absolutely gorgeous.

    Personally I really like the Mantle API , the ideas behind it and how much performance gains come from it. Over time , the optimization will continue to be improved.

    however I must note , that AMD cards DO run HOTTER than their Nvidia counterparts. It's largely based on different design principles but you must keep this in mind. To be honest , most users would probably be better off with nvidia cards to save them from dealing with heat issues.

    I purchased the 290x(s) when they were introduced , at a much higher price than what they are going for now. At their current price , 2 of them in crossfire is an excellent deal IMHO. If you're going AMD , look for cards with better aftermarket cooling and DO NOT go for anything with STOCK cooling.

    Edit: A wise ,cheap choice right now would be buying used 290xs w/ stock cooling. Yes STOCK cooling , then replacing the stock cooling with third party solutions , and maybe even a water cooling solution or AIO. I personally strongly believe that a 290x, when properly cooled especially under water, is able to achieve insane OC's. The only thing that holds them back is heat.

    Edit#2: Like you OP , I hadn't had an AMD card for ages. To be honest , the last AMD card I owned that I was mighty proud of was the 9800Pro. Now, since the 7970 GHZ editions came about , I started to take AMD seriously again. I honestly believe the mantle API is going to grow into something much bigger because the real world gains are evident , and this will be improved over time.
    Goodluck
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  3. verylostindeed

    verylostindeed Gawd

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    I have 290x CF watercooled. These cards put off an insane amount of heat. They will raise the temperature of everything else in your rig - and your room as well.

    As with everything AMD and CF-related, it's a crapshoot. Mantle on BF4, for example, is great when it works. But it didn't work at all for months at a time because of game-killing memory leaks that DICE and AMD each blamed each other for. Lovely.

    I would say that for 1080p, this setup would probably be overkill (nothing wrong with that of course).
     
  4. Rizen

    Rizen [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have a pair of reference Sapphire 290X cards. Yes, they are hot and loud. You won't have to deal with the noise and the cards will run cooler with the Tri-X boards, though, so that's fine. Your room will get warm if it's small and/or not well circulated. It doesn't bother me as it's winter here and I had a second air dump installed in my office for gaming :)

    Performance is great. I play at 2560 and I haven't found a game yet that I can't run close to maximum settings without a very playable (60+) frame rate. Games like BF4 and Shadow of Mordor I can run at >100fps which is fantastic with my ROG Swift at 120hz.

    Depending on the price I would go for it!
     
  5. Shlunky11

    Shlunky11 n00b

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    Thanks for the replies!
    I currently have a 780ti. Yes, it is enough for what I am doing and works well. I plan to upgrade to either surround and/or 1440p (FREE/G)Sync. Plus, overkill is fun, lol.

    I have to agree with the fact that the 290x is such a great deal right now. Even used. The specific cards I am looking at is the Tri-X version from Sapphire. The reviews I have found are very kind towards it.

    I may just pull the trigger since I can't find a matching 780ti card for anything reasonable (under $450).

    Back when the R9's first came out, I picked up a couple of brand new reference 290x cards off of Craigslist. I threw them in my machine to see how they would run, and oh my lord did the noise make me chuckle. It was almost comical how loud they were. Mantle was just released for BF4 and it wasn't running right. I figured it would have to be much better by now. Just wasn't sure what people were typically seeing as obstacles when running in Crossfire.
    So, they lasted all of about 30 minutes in my machine before I sold them lol.

    We will see where it all ends up.
     
  6. rennyf77

    rennyf77 2[H]4U

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    non reference cooled cards are excellent for gaming systems with one video card, but the non reference designs can be more troublesome for muli gpu systems than reference cards. the best way to make sure your top card doesn't overheat or throttle significantly is to have a side fan blowing directly at your two video cards. you might also want to consider the r9 290s. a 290 overclocked to 1100mhz core/6ghz memory (all non reference cooled cards should do this really easily) puts it right at the performance of a stock gtx 980 at 25x16.
     
  7. LaCuNa

    LaCuNa [H]Lite

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    Mantle works properly in BF4 now. They've fixed that ol' memory leak , what a PITA
     
  8. caw2007

    caw2007 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I sold my 780 before 980 was released and used the proceeds to buy a used reference 290x, the Gelid VRM kit (important!), and the Kraken G10 bracket from NZXT. I had an extra H50 (newer version) laying around and I switched mainly because I wanted to run an AIO modified video card and I knew the 290x needed way better than stock cooling.

    It was all mostly an experiment to just play and test my modding skills. I have a Silverstone FT-02 case and am already running an AIO on my CPU so some fiddling was required.

    What I got was a badass, cool, quiet video card. I am going to start OC-ing soon but honestly, the fact that it can actually hit it's reference clocks makes it more than adequate at 1080p. I run my older games at higher than 1080p using the VSR feature in the Omega drivers (14.12) and it actually really cleans the jaggies up. Dirt 3 and GTA IV look noticeably smoother.

    I guess what I'm really saying is I like competition and AMD is making great hardware and great software right now. I am looking forward to the 390x and the next generation of 4K displays..
     
  9. jackstar7

    jackstar7 Gawd

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    If you don't mind sharing. How did you end up making things work in your FT02 with multiple AIOs? Did you move a rad to the 180s on the bottom? Or some other solution?

    Got any pics?
     
  10. delita

    delita [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have 2 Sapphire Vapor-X 290X's. I got them because I'm 8GB VRAM or bust at this point. Even having the best coolers they run hot as shit in my case, just not a lot of extra room in there for them. Wish I could have spaced them out better (they are huge though, and I also have a SB X-Fi Titanium I had to think about). In the future, probably going to get a gigantic case and longer mobo for my next build. My CF experience is good though, other than the heat.
     
  11. The Cobra

    The Cobra 2[H]4U

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    Jump on the 290x. While it can heat your room for the winter, it will also play the hell out of your games. I too switch between Nvidia and AMD certain times. I am very happy with my dual 295x2 with their performance.
     
  12. caw2007

    caw2007 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, I essentially zip tied the radiator down to the rear-most 180mm fan to make it a psudo push fan and then I went ahead and mounted a 120mm to the top of the radiator as a pull fan. I tried it with just the push fan, but it needed the pull fan. It all fits fairly well...it's not the cleanest looking setup, but it works like a boss.

    I will see if I can find a link.
     
  13. jackstar7

    jackstar7 Gawd

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    Okay. I was looking into a 295x2 for a while and wondered if what you've described would be the answer. Sounds like a way to do it while taking advantage of those 180s.

    Cheers!
     
  14. OmgitsSexyChase

    OmgitsSexyChase Limp Gawd

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    I have a pair water cooled

    I play 1080p, the games play tip top, some games give issue but most run fine.

    If I were you I would wait for this new 3xx series coming.out since it's such a huge architect change with hbm... Gonna blow minds...

    If anything the longer you wait the cheaper the cards become and if any of the rumors are true the 9xx gtx series and the 2xx amd cards will take a massive price reduction