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XFX R9 290X Black OC Edition Graphics Card Review with Mantle

XFX R9 290X Black OC Edition Graphics Card Review with Mantle

XFX R9 290X Black OC Edition Graphics Card Review

XFX R9 290X Black OC Edition Graphics Card Review

Today on our test bench we have a Radeon 290X from XFX, the R9 290X Black OC Double Dissipation. With custom design and expanded voltage tweaking it aims to exceed anything we have seen from a 290X to date. We will be putting it through a selection of real world tests to establish how it performs in the latest games… and taking a look at AMD Mantle too.

The XFX R9 290X Black Edition Double Dissipation (R9-290X-EDBD)

XFX go with familiar packaging on the R9 290X, giving us some key info about the card on the box and inside we find the bundled extras in their own tray. Those extras are power cables, documentation and a software CD. Consumers will of course also get a free copy of Battlefield 4 with their purchase.

R9 290X Black coolerR9 290X Black base

For their latest generation of cards XFX have revised the cooler used, moving away from the metal construction to a LED embedded, lighter plastic design. It retains the Ghost Thermal/Double Dissipation branding, so we have two fans present and beneath them are aluminium fins and copper heatpipes.

R9 290X Black powerR9 290X Black outputs

Our power inputs on this card are one 8-pin and one 6-pin which sit on the top edge of the black PCB, assisting the PCIe slot in providing the required 275w. XFX bump up the power phases to 6 from five on this design and offer enhanced voltage tweaking with both aspects combining for higher overclocks. For outputs XFX use the recommended AMD layout of two Dual-Link DVIs, HDMI 1.4 and then a full size DisplayPort connector. By using a MST hub (a box which takes one DisplayPort output and splits it into 3) we can connect up to six displays to the R9 290X. Alternatively we can take advantage of the latest Eyefinity revision and stick with 3 screens, for example using 2xDVI and HDMI, for resolutions such as 5760×1080. 4k displays are also supported.

For the key specifications XFX use a core peaking at 1050MHz and 4GB of Elpida GDDR5 memory running at 1250MHz (5000MHz). The Hawaii GPU is used here and for the Stream processors that means a 2816 "core" design and our memory bus is 512-bit. PCIe 3.0, DirectX 11.2 and DirectCompute are all supported on this card as is acceleration of high definition content and the card can output 7.1 audio over HDMI including DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. AMDs TrueAudio is also present, as is Mantle compatibility, more on that later.


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Stuart Davidson

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