XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation Edition CrossFire Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation Edition CrossFire Review - Take two custom XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation Edition video cards, enable CrossFire, and let your jaw hit the floor. We will test this combination against the competition in a triple-display Eyefinity setup as well as 4K Ultra HD display gaming. We will find out if custom cards hold any advantage over the reference designed R9 290X.
 
Sexy cards... I'd imagine this would look very sleek paired with a covered motherboard. The performance is quite good too, too bad the prices are still inflated on AMD cards.
 
Wow prices have gotten crazy. I'd love to be able to snag some non-reference 290Xs, but I paid $499 for my reference ones and these aftermarket XFX models are $699 on NewEgg :eek:
 
Until my recent hiatus from PC gaming, I have ran XFX cards because of their double lifetime transferrable warranty. I am glad to see that they are still producing cards that look top notch. It is a shame what cryptocurrency mining has done to gamers who really like what ATI has brought to this generation. I find it amazing how well these were able to run in CFX.
 
The best looking non-reference designed 290x. Classy look with no bells and whistles.
 
Man that was an ass kicking if I ever saw one! Thanks Kyle and the crew for a great review and also to XFX for providing not one but two cards to test 4K resolutions. I've got the upgrade itch and 4K is what I'm looking at. I know what brand and card I'm looking for to do this with.
 
Cooler seems to be a huge improvement over the 7970 DD, mine is noisy if not frame capped, except there doesn't seem to be much headroom for overclocking.
 
93% fan for 85C seems excessive. Then again, it was xfire.

sounds excessive but i wonder what the difference in RPM from these fans at 93% are compared to the asus fans at 75%. given how quiet they are i think the actual RPM of the fans may be much lower than the asus ones. which is completely fine by me, love the look of the cards as well. the think clean look almost reminds me of the 8800GT's straight lines and clean look.
 
fan % is pretty meaningless unless you know how loud they are.

I ran my fans on the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III at 100% and they were inaudible over my case fans.

These cards put off a TON of heat. You aren't going to fit them into a 2-slot cooler design without sacrifices. 85C seems fine by me.
 
Kyle, can't tell from the review shots, is there a backplate on the DD?
 
WOW, clean sweep by the 290x DD CF! Didn't expect them to do so well, against 780ti sli no less!

Good looking cards too. A few things I'm curious about are:

What were vrm temps?
With the fins being vertical, how hot did the motherboard get?
Experience using these in a closed case and ease of evacuating +/- 600watts of heat!
 
Would love to see a sngle card review, overclocking capabilities, etc. :) The new XFX cooler seems decent which is good to hear.
 
After the OC'd 780ti vs OC'd 290x review last week, I'm curious to see how that plays out in SLI/Crossfire, seems the scaling is different, would an OC'd 780ti be best for single GPU while OC'd 290x be ideal for multi-GPU setups?
 
Is it typical that db isn't measured for fan noise? It would've been nicer to have some quantitative comparisons of noise against others instead of qualitative comparisons. It looks like it shines in 4K environment. Looks really nice as well. $730 on newegg.
 
Wow great review but card is $729.00 now. I'm sure due to Bit miners! Hopefully they will drop in price in a couple months!
 
Got to say. Even on a open test bench. The combination of the cards, black mobo, and ram look fantastic.

That thing needs to go into a black case with a window.
 
Nice card.
But to keep the stock clock cool, you need nearly all the fan you have.....
If you can overclock these things, they'll be throttled by the (lack of) cooling support.

This looks like a good performer, but truly needs watercooling.
 
Nice card.
But to keep the stock clock cool, you need nearly all the fan you have.....
If you can overclock these things, they'll be throttled by the (lack of) cooling support.

This looks like a good performer, but truly needs watercooling.

Na, you just need a case configured too keep GPUs cool.
 
Impressive.
I wonder if the BIOS on these cards is compatible with reference cards.
(being a custom card it may represent voltages, stability control etc differently)
If so, I'd like to try it on my 290 (running as a 290X) with Xtreme III cooler as this can easily handle 1GHz and higher permanently with no problem.
 
Impressive.
I wonder if the BIOS on these cards is compatible with reference cards.
(being a custom card it may represent voltages, stability control etc differently)
If so, I'd like to try it on my 290 (running as a 290X) with Xtreme III cooler as this can easily handle 1GHz and higher permanently with no problem.
Why would you need to? The 290X isn't voltage locked, so you should be able to adjust the voltage on your own using MSI Afterburner. If you have an Accelero Xtreme III just use the 12v fan header to run the fans @ 100% always and you're set.
 
Why would you need to? The 290X isn't voltage locked, so you should be able to adjust the voltage on your own using MSI Afterburner. If you have an Accelero Xtreme III just use the 12v fan header to run the fans @ 100% always and you're set.
This isnt about the voltages, that comment was just for firmware compatibility.
Its because I still see throttling at times even though my fans are running at 12V/100%.
I would like to try a BIOS that doesnt drop the clocks below 1GHz.
 
This isnt about the voltages, that comment was just for firmware compatibility.
Its because I still see throttling at times even though my fans are running at 12V/100%.
I would like to try a BIOS that doesnt drop the clocks below 1GHz.
Have you raised your power limit?

Have you lowered your target temperature below 95?

Set the target temp to 95C and raise the power limit to +50%. I never saw throttling on my reference 290X even up to 1150 core with an Accelero, running on the stock BIOS.
 
Have you raised your power limit?

Have you lowered your target temperature below 95?

Set the target temp to 95C and raise the power limit to +50%. I never saw throttling on my reference 290X even up to 1150 core with an Accelero, running on the stock BIOS.

Power limit maxed, target temp maxed.
I'm using the standard XFX 290X BIOS.
I read that someone didnt get throttling with an Asus 290X BIOS, but couldnt get a response when I quizzed about it.

I dont have any performance issues which is why I havent bothered trying any other BIOS yet, but if I can get a guaranteed result, I'll try it.
 
Power limit maxed, target temp maxed.
I'm using the standard XFX 290X BIOS.
I read that someone didnt get throttling with an Asus 290X BIOS, but couldnt get a response when I quizzed about it.

I dont have any performance issues which is why I havent bothered trying any other BIOS yet, but if I can get a guaranteed result, I'll try it.
Ah, I am using a Sapphire BIOS (my cards are Sapphire, I'm just using the stock BIOS). I do think that some of the reference BIOS designs are not as aggressive. Try flashing the reference 290X ASUS BIOS. It will be compatible with your board as long as your XFX cards are also reference. For some people that has allowed them to raise voltages more consistently or unlocked voltages for other cards that weren't allowing it, so something with the ASUS BIOS is different. If you want me to dump my Sapphire BIOS and send it to you, I can do that as well.
 
Ah, I am using a Sapphire BIOS (my cards are Sapphire, I'm just using the stock BIOS). I do think that some of the reference BIOS designs are not as aggressive. Try flashing the reference 290X ASUS BIOS. It will be compatible with your board as long as your XFX cards are also reference. For some people that has allowed them to raise voltages more consistently or unlocked voltages for other cards that weren't allowing it, so something with the ASUS BIOS is different. If you want me to dump my Sapphire BIOS and send it to you, I can do that as well.

Thanks for the offer.
I'm well clued up in general (electronic engineer), just wondering if this new firmware would have issues on reference cards. I may as well use a BIOS designed with decent cooling in mind.
There are a ton of BIOS versions here, I'm looking out for the best of the bunch as I only want to do it once. (some new BIOS have been added since I last looked including the Asus DCII)
http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/...r=&model=R9+290X&interface=&memType=&memSize=
My card is a Powercolor 290 Hawaii running an XFX 290x BIOS btw.

Its a pita to flash my card as my USB pen wont boot on my PC (despite making it bootable) and I have no way to plug in my old floppy drives as my motherboard doesnt support them.
I tried a DOS CD boot disk but the USB drivers didnt load so I cant get access to the firmware file, scuppered doh.
I plug my gfx card into my spare machine to flash it, I only want to do this once cos its not simple to get it in/out of both cases, the Xtreme III cooler is mighty big!
 
Thx for the review. Cool looking card. Its been a long time since XFX received a gold award from [H].
 
Was there a throttling issue with the ti's? Your power draw for them is really low. For example based on your previous review of the ti it took 410 w for a single one and sli only increased the wattage to 522 at full load. While a single 290x reference went from 447 to 707, from previous review of single to xfire.
 
I'm very curious to see how these stack up to the Asus DirectCUII 290x non-reference design. I actually have one on pre-order for close to MSRP, but I'd consider moving to a XFX 290x DD or Black Edition if it is worth it... unfortunately, I have only found them in excess of $650, even on pre-order.
 
Strange Results... an Explanation of what was there exactly tested, would be quite interesting.
 
Hot damn that's some horse power, but good lord that power draw :D
 
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