Gigabyte R9 290X WindForce OC 4GB Graphics Card Review



/ 9 months ago

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Introduction


Gigabyte R9 290X WF OC (3)

When AMD released their R9 290X it was the new fastest consumer gaming graphics card (with a single GPU) on the planet for a short period of time. Since its release it has been surpassed by Nvidia’s GTX 780 Ti but the R9 290X is still an immensely attractive option costing around $150 less than the GTX 780 Ti and offering similar levels of performance. However, one major issue plagued the R9 290X and that was heat (which is a result of its high power consumption and also led to excessive noise). Whether in “Quiet” mode or Uber mode the R9 290X rapidly reaches its thermal limit of 95 degrees and starts to throttle its own clocks to keep temperatures under control resulting in that 1GHz engine clock dropping as low as 650MHz in some applications. We have been waiting for non-reference designs to come along and fix that and today we have the first of those from Gigabyte. Gigabyte have strapped their successful WindForce 450 VGA cooler to the R9 290X. Gigabyte are offering a modest 40MHz overclock, but the real win comes with their cooling solution which should allow the R9 290X to actually run at its rated clocks or at least a lot closer to them than the reference design allows. Gigabyte’s card offers the same dual BIOS we’ve come to expect on the R9 290X but Gigabyte are promising much quieter operation and much cooler operation all with much higher consistent average clocks on both BIOS settings. All in all its a small difference on paper that should give a big difference in reality.

gbt_r9290x_stock

The packaging denotes the stand-out feature, which is the WindForce 450 cooling solution capable of taming up to 450W – trust me with the R9 290X this is going to be necessary!

Gigabyte R9 290X WF OC (1)

The back of the box details more features about the card, we encourage you to check out the product page if you want to learn more about these.

Gigabyte R9 290X WF OC (1_2)

Our sample came direct from Gigabyte so lacks the retail accessory pack, it was merely a card in a box.

Gigabyte R9 290X WF OC (2)

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Pricing:


  • Skidmarks

    How’s this for coincidence, I was building a machine for a customer earlier this week who requested a R9 290X/R9 290 GFX. I advised him prices were all over the place but I’d try get him the best deal I could. After making a few calls I managed to procure the exact same model you tested here. After slapping my markup on it, the card cost him roughly GBP 350 (according to my crude exchange rate calculations). A fair deal in my book.

    • Matthew Humpherson

      Makes me a bit sad that you got it for over £100 less even with an extra mark-up. <3 UK pricing!

      • Skidmarks

        It’s the luck of the draw. Powercolor, Asus & Sapphire cost as much as 1.5X more at the moment. Gigabyte’s price will stay constant while stocks last but who knows how long that’ll be.

  • chefbauer

    Can you please tell your settings for mining with cgminer? i can only get 840khash out of the card.
    anything higher than 925 core clock decreases hashing power. thanks.

    • http://www.eteknix.com/ Ryan Martin

      -I 20 -g 1 -w 256 –thread-concurrency 35960, results will vary by system but I find higher thread concurrency gives better results.