Friday, November 22nd 2013

SAPPHIRE Releases Performance Boost for R9 290

SAPPHIRE Technology has just announced that it is releasing a performance enhancing BIOS for the recently introduced SAPPHIRE R9 290 graphics card.

Based on the latest GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD, the new SAPPHIRE R9 290 introduced enthusiast level performance and some exciting new features at a more affordable price point than the flagship R9 290X model.

Many enthusiasts and gamers like to tune the performance of their systems, and SAPPHIRE has always provided tools for this to be achieved safely. For many current models, the SAPPHIRE TriXX software, free to download from the company's website, offers the ability to adjust clocks and fan speeds to optimise operation of the graphics card for different applications and save different profiles.

In the case of the new SAPPHIRE R9 290, it is recognised that performance is capped by the system when the GPU temperature reaches its operating maximum. Therefore, by providing better cooling, maximum performance levels can be raised. As all the current products are shipping with the standard blower style cooler, this can only be achieved by increasing the fan speed to increase airflow in the cooler, with the trade-off that fan and air flow noise will also be increased.

After internal testing under various operating conditions, SAPPHIRE is now releasing a BIOS specifically for the currently available R9 290 which operates with a different fan profile, and a maximum fan speed of 47%. The company believes this offers the user the best compromise for enhanced performance, noise and reliability. The new BIOS and Flash tool are available free to download from the company's website.

Always looking to provide the user with the best solutions, SAPPHIRE will be introducing new models in the R9 290 family over the coming weeks based on the company's own designs and with innovative and enhanced cooling solutions.
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19 Comments on SAPPHIRE Releases Performance Boost for R9 290

#1
jboydgolfer
So basically turn a GPU into a Leaf Blower? :p
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#3
progste
Soooo... when do we get a decent cooler on that beast?
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#4
Jorge
Any number of suppliers will have quieter offerings though most folks don't find the reference model noise level anything unusual or annoying.
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#5
adulaamin
"SAPPHIRE will be introducing new models in the R9 290 family over the coming weeks based on the company's own designs and with innovative and enhanced cooling solutions."

Non-ref models at last??? :)
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#6
kn00tcn
wtf? it's the same % that the drivers have been doing for weeks, so unless sapphire was testing for amd, their claim of doing anything is faulty

on top of that, the user has complete control to go back to the old way or use even faster fan speeds...
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#7
SteelSix
Crappy ass stock cooler, no sugar coating it..
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#8
Relayer
by: kn00tcn
wtf? it's the same % that the drivers have been doing for weeks, so unless sapphire was testing for amd, their claim of doing anything is faulty

on top of that, the user has complete control to go back to the old way or use even faster fan speeds...
As you say, the drivers, not the bios. I prefer having the bios control it. Having it done in the driver is just asking for trouble. Remember the nVidia drivers that turned the fan(s) off?

Also, this is likely a different fan curve. The standard fan curve ramps up very slowly. Some users of 290X for example, have simply set their fans to ~50% without ramping down, and the cards no longer reach 94°, even while gaming.
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#9
manofthem
by: BackSlash
That's a good idea, I prefer performance over noise.

Any news about 290 convert to 290X over BIOS?

it's true, I just want the BIOS flasher tool and I will flash my 290.

take a look here: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-014-VX

;)
Have you checked this thread out? Lots of info in there.


I'll be trying this bios for sure, as soon as I get my 290 back up and running. Yayo time :roll:
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#10
manofthem
Just came back to this. As I take it, this will help users that are air cooling, but it won't affect those who are watercooling, eh? I mean if all it does is up the fan at a bios level, then it won't matter once the card is on water, and if this is the case, I suppose I won't bother flashing
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#11
BackSlash
by: manofthem
Have you checked this thread out? Lots of info in there.


I'll be trying this bios for sure, as soon as I get my 290 back up and running. Yayo time :roll:
I just waiting until today, on the night, I should have my fresh new card.
Let's see if I'm lucky with the "unlock", and of course...water cooler it's the next step.
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#12
LagunaX
Basically since all cards are reference models at this point, this should work for all manufacturer 290's, right?

Plan "B" if your card won't unlock...
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#13
BackSlash
Any clue to put the fan at 100%???
I have the card now, and after water cooling I will try to run it on "safe" ground, talking about temps.
I want to crank the fan at more high speed, but I can't even see the option on the CCC.
Any program to solve this?
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#14
manofthem
Under the Performance tab in CCC, fan settings are way at the bottom. However in the latest beta there seems to be no Performance tab; mine is missing as well as others from what I've seen.

However have you tried a 3rd party utility, like Sapphire Trixx or MSIab?
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#15
BackSlash
Yes, Performance settings are missed on the latest. Anyway I'm with Asus GPU Tweak, the GPU is from HIS, but it works.
Now I looking for ATI Flash, to try with my card. BTW, using GPUz trying to upload the bios to the database, says it already exist, but there are no HIS 290, any idea on this?
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#16
kn00tcn
by: Relayer
As you say, the drivers, not the bios. I prefer having the bios control it. Having it done in the driver is just asking for trouble. Remember the nVidia drivers that turned the fan(s) off?

Also, this is likely a different fan curve. The standard fan curve ramps up very slowly. Some users of 290X for example, have simply set their fans to ~50% without ramping down, and the cards no longer reach 94°, even while gaming.
well... if they did change the fan curve... that would be nice, afterall i modded my 4870x2's bios specifically to change the fan curve

you mentioned the drivers being a problem, but it's just % target & temp target (unchanged), i would assume the drivers always overrode the bios targets in the first place, regardless if overdrive & its sliders were enabled/changed

plus the drivers have an important update, something about switching to rpm instead of % measurements, which is seriously what all fan profiles should be (my 4870x2 again, its fan was dying & rumbling many times, resulting in lower rpm, lower cooling capability, while the % stayed the same)
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#17
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
I notice now (aso mentoned earlier) that some retailers in the UK are openly advertising the 290 Xboost models, seems HIS is popular already Bios flashed for unlocked shaders with a warranty, maybe at some point if individuals get some success it may be an idea to keep a record of what has unlocked. Unfortunaty this retailer has increased the price to almost 290X levels ayway...........................

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-094-HS&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1752
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#18
BackSlash
Fan curve problem solved! using MSI Afterburner 3.0.0 Beta 17. Before Afterburner, with GPU Tweak and the Fan at 50% (while gaming) the card get 71º at max, I think for this chip it's a safe temp.

now I will try to unlock my HIS.
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#19
danwat1234
Or here's an idea, allow the fan to reach 100% RPM in certain scenarios. It's sad that the GPU clocks down, reducing computation before the fan even reaches 50% speed. 47% max fan speed? Sure there is a lot of noise but you should give consumers a choice to be able to ramp up the fan to full blast if they want to.
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