Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB OC Video Card Review

PowerColor has introduced a new version of the Radeon R9 290 that brings its price point down to the realm of the GeForce GTX 960. However, The Radeon R9 290 can often pack nearly the same punch as a GeForce GTX 970, therefore, we will compare the PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC to both to see which reigns supreme.

Introduction

PowerColor is a leading supplier of AMD graphics and was established by TUL Corporation in 1997. PowerColor is best known for its production of AMD based video cards, but also specializes in producing cases, power supplies, and other computing accessories. PowerColor strives to provide quality products while maintaining a competitive cost and quality customer service.

On our test bench today is the PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC video card.

Why review an AMD R9 290 these days?

While the AMD R9 290 was introduced a long time ago when considering the usual rapid refreshing that occurs in a GPU product line, it is still a very relevant performer at its price point. This particular PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC is currently etailing for $234.99 after a $30 MIR and was as low as $219.99 at the start of this evaluation according to Hover Hound. Quite frankly, this is one of the lowest regular prices on an AMD R9 290 based card that we have seen in the market place.

It’s pricing puts it an interesting position where it is priced around the same price as the 4GB GeForce GTX 960 cards, yet will offer performance that’s much closer to the GeForce GTX 970 cards. Given that positioning, we have decided to compare it to the GeForce GTX 970 and the 4GB GeForce GTX 960 to see how the AMD R9 290 has stood up to the test of time.

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PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC

The PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC comes equipped with a factory GPU clock of up to 975MHz, a 28MHz increase over stock Radeon R9 290 GPU and features PowerColor’s TurboDuo cooling system. It is configured with 4GB GDR5 memory running at a 5.0GHz effective rate. The cooling system is comprised of three G shaped heat pipes that carry heat away from the GPU to an array of aluminum fins that are cooled by a pair of 90mm fans.

As the card is factory overclocked, PowerColor saw fit to improve upon the stock PWM solution by utilizing a digital PWM at a 1MHz switching frequency. It also sports a 6+1+1 multi-phase board power design to deliver reliable power. It is sporting two DVI-D, one HDMI v1.4a and one DisplayPort connector.

PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC Images

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The PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC is packaged in a black box that features a stylized TurboDuo logo on the front. The back of the box highlights the Radeon R9 290 GPU, the 4GB of GDDR5 memory installed, the improved PWM components and the TurboDuo cooling solution.

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The front of the PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC features a black metallic fan shroud that serves to house the fan and direct airflow away from the GPU. The cooling solution utilizes three G shaped heat pipes to pull heat way from the GPU to where it can be cooled by the two fans. The PCI-e power connectors are wedged between the TurboDuo cooling solution and the PCB such that it is very difficult to release the power connectors to remove them. If you are the type to swap cards on a regular basis, you will likely regret having this card in your rotation. The box included a 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe power adapter, a quick installation guide and a driver CD featuring ATi's logo.

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On the I/O panel there are four ports. These include one DP port, two DVI-D ports and one HDMI connector. The power connector is on top of the video card and requires a 8-pin and a 6-pin PCI-e power connection. The video card’s measurements are 10.5 inches in Length, 1.5 inches Wide, and 4.5 inches in height.

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