PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X Review: Cool, Quiet, And Priced Right

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CaptainTom

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I just want to point out that this and most 290X's beat a stock 780 Ti. The fact is both 780 Ti and the 290X are trade blows and belong on the same GPU tier. However only one does cost $150 less and come with 4GB VRAM...
 

Memnarchon

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Well, since you are comparing a non reference GPU, you should take also a non-reference GPU to compare.
Tom's using Gigabyte's 780ti OC which costs the same as the reference card...

So even the non-reference models are on a different tier as well as their reference...
 

dave_trimble

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Surprised the benchmark graph show performance at 1080p. Aren't the 290 series kind of wasted at that resolution? I would love to see the results at 1440p or even 4k. I have a feeling the 780ti might not look quite as good in comparison at higher resolution.
 

dave_trimble

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Thanks for the response! I thought I had seen reviews elsewhere that showed the 290 series really closing the gap, or even surpassing the 780ti at higher resolutions, but perhaps I was remembering wrong. I recently decided to upgrade to a dual-290 setup, but if I had gone with a single card, the 780ti was at or near the top of my list (until the 290x prices came crashing down, that is).

 

That_Guy88

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So is the difference between 290x's almost entirely due to cooling (and some OC)? I have someone who wants to sell me a reference 290x for $350, but I have a gtx 770, so it would seem that I would need to buy an after market cooler as well to make it worth my while. Thoughts?
 

vertexx

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See these articles for after-market cooling options:
Air cooling:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/r9-290-accelero-xtreme-290,3671.html

Liquid Cooling:
How to:
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Using-NZXT-Kraken-G10-Watercool-Radeon-R9-290
And results:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-r9-290-and-290x,review-32872.html
 

Laytonoid

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Get the Sapphire R9 290 Vapor-X. This is almost exactly the same thing except that Sapphires card has a LED Sapphire logo that changes color based on heat and looks way cooler. Also, being an owner of the Vapor-X myself, I can tell you that this card has the Hynix Memory. Highly recommend. Also, the temp has never gone over 65C in my small MATX case in a room that is 71F.
 

Laytonoid

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Get the Sapphire R9 290 Vapor-X. This is almost exactly the same thing except that Sapphires card has a LED Sapphire logo that changes color based on heat and looks way cooler. Also, being an owner of the Vapor-X myself, I can tell you that this card has the Hynix Memory. Highly recommend. Also, the temp has never gone over 65C in my small MATX case in a room that is 71F.
 

That_Guy88

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I was more wondering about the value of getting the 290x for $350. I could buy an after market cooler for $50-75. I'm just not sure if it is a worth while upgrade.
 

RedJaron

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These types of cards have the benefit of being factory OC'd and cooled. Generally speaking, if you swap the cooler and personally OC your card, you void the warranty. If that's a big deal for you, then the 3rd-party boards might be to your liking.

For total upgrade worthwhileness ( is that even a word/term? ) what kind of resolution are you going for? Most of the top-end cards are complete overkill if you're not playing above 1080p. If you're not using 1440p or triple displays, I wouldn't bother going above a GTX 770 / R9 280.
 

redgarl

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After buying a pair of those, I can only recommend them. They are quiet as hell and perform incredibly.

I am questioning Toms review about the temps. Temps on Hardwarecanucks are showing something entirely different giving the PCS+ the best temps of all the 290x cards offered. A wooping 63C... even mines have never reach up 67C...
 

redgarl

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I just want to point out that this and most 290X's beat a stock 780 Ti. The fact is both 780 Ti and the 290X are trade blows and belong on the same GPU tier. However only one does cost $150 less and come with 4GB VRAM...
Not to forget the only viable 4k option right now in Crossfire.
 

Laytonoid

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I disagree on the the r9 290 being ever kill on 1080p. If you have a 144hz monitor you need a 290 or 290x. The difference between 280x and 290 is 10 fps in most games. I dont recommend 290x over 290.. thats a rip off. 290 is great on my 144hz. Thats the difference in fps between 780 and 780ti.. 10 fps in most games and the ti is 200+ more dollars.
 

redgarl

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I don't agree with your reply, but I have a similar point of view concerning the 780 TI. The 780 TI as a single card have no reason to exist right now because other single card option can render 1440p really well. Also, if you put 2 in SLI, they are getting destroyed at QHD by two 290x that cost 300$ less. It's the most powerful single gpu card, but it is not the best option in SLI and it cost way more.

Still, going 290x CF make sense over 290 CF at QHD.

 
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