The Cause Of And Fix For Radeon R9 290X And 290 Inconsistency

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tttttc

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I never understand why ANYONE will buy the reference design cards.... even for the GTX780, the aftermarket cooler is way better and quieter than the stock fan.
 

eldragon0

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Thank you so much for this article, I've been waiting on a write-up of this sort. There is one thing I'd love to see. Assuming the 290 and the 290x have the same layout, is it possible for you to strap that aftermarket heatsink onto each of them and give us a comparison of both of them at retail without them being horribly throttled? I'd love nothing more than to see a 290 and a 290x head to head at full speeds !
 

itzsnypah

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That is not how powertune works.

It's: Get Hot -> Get loud -> Drop clocks -> Get as loud as necessary to keep GPU from melting.

So having a 'custom' fan curve does nigh nothing.

E: I wonder what would happen if you fed the card hot air. What happens when you're at 100% fan speed and still pushing 96c+? Does it shut down, clock down even more or melt?
 

FormatC

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is it possible for you to strap that aftermarket heatsink onto each of them
It is impossible. The reason is simple: thermal clue. As I wrote in my article about the thermal grease: after the burn-in it is nearly impossible to remove the small heatsinks. The risk to destroy the card is too high. This aftermarket cooler is good and quiet but it is a real one-way ticket. You can't return ;)

For addition - I've done the same thing with R9 290 cards and another benchmark before AMD has changed the driver. We worked hard to detect the reason for this big variances. But it seems that the difference between the R9 290 cards is a little bit smaller.

This was before:



 
Praise this card..
Now we can see 780Ti and 780 with more reasonable price..;)

Still waiting msi hawk version or directCu version of both of this card..hope that series will handle the heat..

Spend $100 more just for cooler (mk-26 + 2 fans) on reference card, is not a really good option..
 

FormatC

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This I've tested too. No mentionable differences. May be my cards were assembled by a very accurate robot ;)

The voltage is a little bit different:



But this is not strange. Typical tolerance.
 

iam2thecrowe

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I cant stand all this variable clock rate BS ever since it was introduced in nvidia and amd cards. the card throttles in the most demanding scenario's, where you need it not to throttle, so the "boost clock" speeds are just there to inflate benchmark figures without any improvement in real world performance. On my cards, i force a stable clock speed with Nvidia inspector, negating boost clock, games run more stable and predictably, the way it should be.

p.s. the add for nail fungus you have on your page toms, nearly made me vomit. please no more nail fungus adds!!!!!!!
 

eldragon0

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Thanks for the reply! I'm still dying to see the the 290x does when it's fully unleashed. Keep up the good work :D.
 

s3anister

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Nothing wrong with the GPUs. Honestly I don't see any issue, if you buy the reference boards get a waterblock to go with it otherwise wait for the 3rd party solutions with better stock coolers.
 

Crashman

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Because to a CPU overclocker, the aftermarket cooler is crap? I just had the same style cooler on another card cause a factory-built PC overheat its CPU. As in thermal throttling. And the CPU was liquid-cooled!

The type of cooler your praising blows heat into the case, rather than out of the case. They're just a bad design concept done right, as opposed to a good design concept that's poorly executed.
 


Well, reference card usually has the highest component quality..
That means more durable and has longer life than common 3rd party cards (xfx, zotac, his, polor, and another lowly cheap brand)..

i've still running my 4 years old 5850 reference card..overclocked to 1ghz since out of box, and cooled by mk-13..well, no issue until today, and still rock..
 
amd needs to be anal about quality check. take a page out of intel's q.c. playbook.
the gpu is good, the ref. cooler is bad.
to me, the press gpu still looks like a golden sample, the clockrate remains higher than retail ones throughout...

will different cases affect hawaii performance with ref. cooler (or aftermarket cooler, when they launch)? imagine running a centurion cpu with reference hawaii boards in cfx.... (a scorpius gaming pc).
 

jk47_99

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It has to be the TIM, but still something that should have been picked up by the QA process. It really is a poor quickfire response to just ramp up the fan speed and hope for the best. However in the interests of fairness, will you pick up a retail 780 Ti and make sure the performance matches the press card?
 

joditas

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Even with the new driver the 2 retail cards still aren't on par with press card. The differences are small but you can't ignore the impression here. Either their partners really drop the ball quality wise in manufacturing or there is problem with the chips, it's like Asus is 290X Lite, Sapphire is 290X Lite OC, and press card is regular 290X, the tiers still carry over to the new driver... I want to support you guys but you guys really need to step up to shake off the second-rate impression in many people's mind when come to quality control.

THG what you need to do next is to test the power consumption of these cards with the new driver.
 

somebodyspecial

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The difference is NV guarantees you won't go below what they advertise, and perhaps give you whatever is there extra free (there way ALWAYS means at very least you get what you paid for OR MORE). AMD seems to be the complete opposite of this strategy.
 

iam2thecrowe

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good point, at least in reference to the 290(x) cards, nasty marketing, slows down when the going gets tough. performance is going to be extremely variable depending on your airflow setup/ambient temps. the 7xxx series and other 2xx series work the same as the nvidia cards with the boost clock. still BS though, the boost clock causes crysis games to crash, at least in the case of my gigabyte cards (although crysis 2/3 does warn on the disclaimer factory overclocked cards may not be stable in their games). Would be interesting to see long duration stability of these cards under load. 90c is too hot, they will develop micro cracks in the solder in under a year. i see many RMA's in the future for the 290 series.
 
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