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Jan
27
2014

GIGABYTE R9 290X OC WindForce Unboxing Benchmarks and Review

GIGABYTE R9 290X OC WindForce Edition

When AMD first released the R9 290X, many criticized its insane heat output. It got to the point where many have held off on buying the card until the issue was fixed.

Now, several months after the release date, GIGABYTE has unleashed its own custom-cooled version of the card dubbed the 290X OC WindForce edition.

Out of the box, the GIGABYTE version comes in clocked at 1040 MHz and is cooled by the dual-slot WindForce 3x 450 watt cooler. It also features the same 2816 stream processors on the Hawaii chip with 4 GB of VRAM on a 512-bit memory interface

Benchmarks

Test Bench

Motherboard     ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
CPU     Intel 4960X at 4.6GHz
Memory     32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866MHz
Hard Drive     250GB Western Digital Velociraptor
Power Supply     Corsair ATX 1200i Power Supply
Monitor     ASUS 31" 4K

Graphics Tests

Battlefield 4

Being one of the most popular franchises to date, Battlefield 4 is the latest addition to the series that takes full advantage of the latest hardware. For our settings, we set everything to Ultra with 4x MSAA enabled. We tested on the 2560 × 1440p resolution.

Bioshock Infinite

We chose to use Bioshock Infinite to test the video card due to its magnificient visual qualities and the fact that it is one of the most popluar PC games out at the moment. This will allow us to get an accurate benchmark of how the card will perform in real life scenarios. We tested the cards using the built-in benchmark tool under the 2560 × 1440 resolution with ultra graphics and DDOF enabled.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is still one of the most demanding games currently out on the market. It's able to put any graphics card through its paces by throwing everything at it. For the settings, we cranked the graphics to Very High with 4x MSAA on 2560 × 1440p.

Heaven 4.0

Widely used to test the capability of a GPU, Heaven benchmark puts maximum stress on the GPU allowing you to check stability issues and real time performance of the card. It also generates real-time in game video that gives the user an accurate reading of the cards capability. The settings that we used to test the cards were as follows: 2560 × 1440p Full Screen, 4x Multisample Anti-Aliasing, and Normal Tessellation.

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme

3DMark Fire Strike offers extensive features and unbiased results by testing the full potential of DirectX 11 hardware. It is considered to be the best option out there when trying to find out the power of one’s computer as it tests both the graphics and physics capabilities of a GPU.

Temperature

After a 15-minute burn in using Furmark, the GIGABYTE R9 290X stuck around 77° Celsius making it much cooler than the reference card.

Conclusion

As you can see, the GIGABYTE version of the R9 290X is no longer handicapped by the insane temperatures that plagued the reference card. This means that you can enjoy gaming without worrying about heating up the room too much. It is also important to note that this card ran much quieter than the reference card.

Overall, I have to say that this is one great card. Currently, cryptocurrency mining has driven up the price of AMD cards and thus inflated the price of this card as well. Should you choose this card over a GTX 780 or GTX 780Ti? It all depends on how much the GIGABYTE card is going for in your area and whether or not you find NVIDIA’s extra features appealing to your needs.

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