The newly released R9 290X WindForce OC from Gigabyte is meant to solve the issues which were found with the stock model (throttling, quite high Full Load temperatures, noise levels), by implementing a proven cooling system design; the WindForce cooling system has a tri-fan solution and a large heatsink which covers the entire PCB. Besides the GPU, the cooler also touches the VRM1, VRM2 and memory chips for providing better operating temperatures.
Speaking of the temperatures, we have ran the board in both available modes, Silent (Quiet) and Performance (Uber); the Silent mode keeps very low noise levels and in Full Load we have seen maximum temperatures of 84 degrees on the GPU and a bit higher temps on the VRM, which has reached a maximum of 94 after 33 minutes of Unigine Heaven. Performance mode is another story completely, when the fans are permitted to go even higher, but to our surprise the noise levels remained very good; this translates in a maximum of 72 degrees Celsius for the GPU and 67.9 degrees for the VRM.
In order to check if throttling occurs while running in Silent mode, we have run Unigine Heaven again while monitoring the temperatures via OC GURU II. The live graph tells us the story that the card does not throttle at all, which is impressive.
We would like also to mention that the temperatures and fan speeds might slightly vary depending on the ambient and also on the airflow inside the case. If we have a case with poor air circulation, most of it will be recycled and this will translate in higher fan speeds so the card will be able to keep the temperatures at bay.
Regarding the card performances, it is a winner in most cases, except when we are running heavily optimized Nvidia games, where the overclocked GTX 780 takes the crown.
The card still has some overclocking room left, and the performance difference can be observed quite easily:
The GV-R929XOC-4GD model can be found online for about 488 Euros, while the variant with bundled BF4 can climb up to 504 Euros.
Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 290X WF OC Video Card is Recommended For:
We would like to thank again to Gigabyte Taiwan for making this review possible!