Cooling, Noise, and Power
As always, performance numbers only do so much for me. Once you have decided you are going to get a specific card like an R9 290, its best to have an idea of how cards from each manufacture perform. Where most cards differ the most is in their cooling designs. Because of that it is always interesting to see how things go in our cooling, noise, and power section. Today with the XFX R9 290 DD Edition I’m going to start with power consumption testing. I put the card under a load representative of a game using the Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0 and documented the peak load seen. In the case of the XFX R9 290 DD Edition, its idle numbers came in just slightly under the slightly higher overclocked Sapphire card and within one watt under load.
Into the noise testing, I did decibel testing at idle, 50% and 100% fan speeds. Our 50% results are still being collected so there isn’t a graph for that just yet. But idle and 100% fan speed results are below. As you can see the idle noise level is basically in line with the other cards. Its 100% fan speed results on the other hand are actually down on the low end of our results. This is much better than I expected from the Double Dissipation cooling. At 50% the fan noise was even more impressive coming in just a few decibels above idle noise at 65.3.
Heat testing on the other hand weren’t as impressive as our noise testing. The end result actually topped our charts with a whopping 91 degrees. After a little research this is due to this card using the BIOS/software that AMD provides where the Sapphire card that I tested previously runs its own BIOS. That means that the XFX R9 290 DD Editions power temperature goal is the 95 degrees that AMD has set as the default. Personally this is to hot for me, but thankfully they do allow you to adjust this in the Catalyst Control Panel. I would highly suggest turning this down a little when you pick up the card.
Because I wanted to make sure the cards cooling could do its job, I turned the fans up to 100% and ran through the same test and the maximum temperature was 46 degrees. I can’t compare this to any other cards, but this does conform that the Double Dissipation cooling is capable, just limited by the default AMD settings.