XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition Review

Today on our test bench we will pit the XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition against a pair of green team cards to determine the king of the mid range. Prices have fallen a dramatically in recent weeks on AMD R9 290 GPU based video cards. Should you count these out in light of the new GeForce GTX 970? We will find out today.

Introduction

XFX is a well known company among PC gamers and hardware enthusiasts. It is a division of PINE Technology Holdings Limited. The XFX manufacturing branch specializes in high-performance PC hardware with a focus on gaming products including AMD and NVIDIA graphics processing units and motherboards.

On our test bench today is the XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition video card.

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Radeon R9 290

The Radeon R9 290 GPU was launched on November 4th, 2013 as the second member of the Hawaii based GPU family, filling in the price point below that of the Radeon R9 290X. While the two GPUs share the same transistor count, the R9 290’s stream processors were reduced from 2,816 to 2,560 and texture units were reduced from 176 to 160, however it maintained all 64 ROPs found in the flagship R9 290X. The Radeon R9 290 is clocked at up to 947MHz by default and is equipped with 4GB of GDDR5 memory at a 5.0GHz effective rate. The MSRP was set at $399 from AMD for the R9 290 at launch, but since then prices have fallen to $300 or below at online retailers.

XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition

The XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition comes equipped with a factory GPU clock of up to 947MHz which happens to be the stock Radeon R9 290 speed. It also features XFX’s Double Dissipation cooling system. It is configured with 4GB GDDR5 memory running at a 5.0GHz effective rate. The cooling system is comprised of four heat pipes that carry heat away from the GPU to an array of aluminum fins that are cooled by a pair of fans. The cooling solution uses the GHOST 2.0 design which emphasizes open thermals for maximum airflow. It is sporting two DVI-D connectors, one HDMI 1.4a connector and one DisplayPort 1.2 connector. The card requires one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

The XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition comes with a lifetime factory warranty if you register it within 30 days of purchase and is currently available in etail for $283.99. Prices on this video card have been in flux a lot recently. When we started this evaluation prices were as low as $260, and as high as $350 depending on which store you were looking at, just one week prior to this evaluation prices were above $300 now these are back to sane levels again. Right now the price is at its lower-end of pricing for this video card. There are other brands of R9 290 video cards for even less money. The XFX model seems to be averaging a higher price compared to some other brands.

Because of the fluctuating price, and knowing where its performance sits, we are going to compare this video card to a wide swath of video card comparisons to cover all the bases of price range and performance for the R9 290 GPU. We are going to use the two closest by price, and performance comparisons from NVIDIA. We are including a 4GB GeForce GTX 760 based video card, the ASUS ROG GTX 760 4GB STRIKER video card. Pricing on this video card has fluctuated as well. Right now it is right at above $300, but in the weeks prior, during this evaluation it was as low as $280 online matching better the price of the XFX R9 290. So we are going to include this video card just because its price is close very to the R9 290.

However, due to the performance of the R9 290, including the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 using the ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX makes sense. That is the proper performance comparison. We are including that video card, but remember its pricing is around $350, which is much more than the pricing on R9 290 at this time. However, if we were comparing by launch prices it would be much closer in price. The whole comparisons just became more complicated since R9 290's have dropped in price so much. It has moved these into a whole other category that NVIDIA doesn't have an answer for just yet. By including both of these video cards today, we cover all the bases.

XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition Images

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The XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition is packaged in a dark box with a turquoise hue showing on a few areas of it. The box is oriented to stand taller than the average GPU box and is also deeper while not as wide as the typical box. The front of the box also highlights the Radeon R9 290 GPU, 4GB of VRAM, the Double Dissipation cooling solution, and the 6 VRM Max Power capabilities. On the back, it goes into further detail about the card’s specifications in a variety of languages.

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The front of the XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Edition features a black plastic fan frame that is not a shroud, as it does not appear to attempt to direct the airflow in any direction as it is open on all sides. The cooling solution is flush with the back of the PCB and utilizes four heat pipes to pull heat away from the GPU to where it can be cooled by the dual fans. There is also a large white translucent XFX logo at the back of the card that lights up when the card is in use within a system. As mentioned before, there are one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCIe power connections on this card. The power connectors are oriented in a way that it is difficult to release the connectors as the tab lever is pushed up against the heatsink, nearly requiring needle nosed pliers to release it.

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On the I/O panel there are four ports. These include one DP 1.2 port, two DVI-D connectors, and one HDMI connector. The video card’s measurements are 11.5 inches in Length, 1.5 inches Wide, and 5.5 inches in height.

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