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XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Review

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VGA Power Consumption

For power measurements, PCI-Express graphics cards are isolated for idle and loaded electrical power consumption. In our power consumption tests, Benchmark Reviews utilizes an 80-PLUS GOLD certified OCZ Z-Series Gold 850W PSU, model OCZZ850. This power supply unit has been tested to provide over 90% typical efficiency by Chroma System Solutions. To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. In this particular test, all power consumption results were verified with a second power meter for accuracy.

The power consumption statistics discussed in this section are absolute maximum values, and may not represent real-world power consumption created by video games or graphics applications.

A baseline measurement is taken without any video card installed on our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen before taking the idle reading. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using graphics test #4 on 3DMark11, and again with FurMark’s “Torture Test” for comparison.

This section discusses power consumption for the XFX Radeon R9 290 DD Black Edition Double Dissipation graphics card, model R9-290A-EDFD. This product operates at factory-clocked GPU and GDDR5 speeds, which means that our power consumption results are not representative of the entire Radeon R9 290-series product family which may be overclocked or feature modified designs by various board partners.

Radeon R9 290 requires one 75W 6-pin and one 150W 8-pin PCI-E power connection for normal operation, and will not activate the display unless proper power has been supplied. XFX suggests at least a 750 watt power supply for the Radeon R9 290.

In our real-world test results, the Radeon R9 290 graphics card consumed 21W at the lowest idle reading, and 296W during high-demand graphics from 3DMark11. Using FurMark’s “Torture Test” under full load with fan operating at 100%, power consumption increased to 358 watts.

Video Card Temperatures

This section reports our temperature results subjecting the video card to maximum load conditions. During each test a 20°C ambient room temperature is maintained from start to finish, as measured by digital temperature sensors located outside the computer system. GPU-Z is used to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU, and also under load.

Using a modified version of FurMark’s “Torture Test” to generate maximum thermal load, peak GPU temperature is recorded in high-power 3D mode. FurMark does two things extremely well: drives the thermal output of any graphics processor much higher than any video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. Furmark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output:

The temperatures illustrated below are absolute maximum values, and do not represent real-world temperatures created by video games or graphics applications:

Video Card Ambient Idle Temp Loaded Temp Max Noise
ATI Radeon HD 5850 20°C 39°C 73°C 7/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 20°C 26°C 65°C 4/10
AMD Radeon HD 6850 20°C 42°C 77°C 7/10
AMD Radeon HD 6870 20°C 39°C 74°C 6/10
ATI Radeon HD 5870 20°C 33°C 78°C 7/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 20°C 27°C 78°C 5/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 20°C 32°C 82°C 7/10
ATI Radeon HD 6970 20°C 35°C 81°C 6/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 20°C 32°C 70°C 6/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 20°C 33°C 77°C 6/10
AMD Radeon HD 6990 20°C 40°C 84°C 8/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 20°C 26°C 73°C 4/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 20°C 26°C 62°C 3/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 20°C 26°C 71°C 3/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 20°C 26°C 75°C 3/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 20°C 30°C 81°C 4/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 20°C 28°C 80°C 3/10
Sapphire Radeon R9 270X Vapor-X 20°C 26°C 68°C 4/10
XFX Radeon R9 290 DD 20°C 30°C 90°C 4/10
MSI Radeon R9 290X 20°C 34°C 95°C 8/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 20°C 31°C 82°C 3/10

Everything that consumes electricity produces heat, but when it comes to video cards it’s important how that heat is managed. Since power consumption for Radeon R9 290 is relatively high for a modern graphics card, an improved thermal management system is required. This is exactly why XFX utilized their Double Dissipation fansink for this video card.

After ten minutes at 100% load using Furmark’s “Torture Test” the XFX Radeon R9 290 DD reached 90°C, which is modest peak temperature by comparison to the R9 290X. Idle temperatures were exceptionally cool at 30°C. The dual-fan design with large aluminum GPU heatsink really keeps temperatures in check, but more importantly noise is dramatically reduced over the AMD reference cooler design. Only barely audible under load, the XFX R9 290 is far more quiet than the AMD Radeon R9 290X – which gets even louder than 8/10 when operating in “performance” mode.

The temperatures discussed in this section are relative maximum values, and may not represent real-world temperatures created by video games or graphics applications. Your results may vary depending on ambient room temperature and firmware revision.


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