Sunday, December 1st 2013

MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning PCB Pictured

Here are the first pictures of a custom-design PCB for AMD's 28 nm "Hawaii" silicon. Pictured below is a pallet (a set of two uncut PCBs that are just punched, wired and stacked) of the MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning. It exposes both the obverse and reverse sides of the PCB. MSI is taking no chances in giving "Hawaii" a strong electrical muscle, given that it's quite possibly the most power hungry GPU out there (even if not the GPU with the most transistors).

The MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning PCB features a 15+2 phase VRM that draws power from a trio of power connectors, which is a first for single-GPU graphics cards. These include two 8-pin connectors, and a 6-pin. One can also make out three 4-pin fan connectors, and a few voltage measurement points. Display connectors include a pair of piggy-backed DVI connectors, and the usual DisplayPort and HDMI fare. The PCB overall, appears to be a good centimeter taller than what constitutes as "full-height" for add-on cards. The extra height creates room for a BIOS switch, some VRM circuitry, and the power connectors.

Our recent conversations with hardware vendors in Hong Kong indicate a late-December to early-January timeline for custom-design R9 290 series graphics cards. It could mean that either AIB partners are rationing their custom-design cards over to "X'mas" markets, or that the custom-design R9 290 series cards really will skip the Christmas shopping season.
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17 Comments on MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning PCB Pictured

#1
FR@NK
Nice. Waiting for an Asus Matrix.....
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#2
buggalugs
Awesome, well its only a few weeks away. I think the 290X is going to be a different card with a decent cooler.
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#3
happita
No worries, I can wait. But I hate it when I have BF4 + Premium just sitting here waiting to get used and abused. I'm gonna try it with my 5850 and depending on my mood, compare it with the 290 or 290X I will be getting. Just for shits n giggles. The custom coolers I think will make the 290X a much more attractive buy depending on how they price it vs other 780/780ti competitors. I say a $20-$30 hike should be ok.
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#4
harry90
This card could be equal to 780Ti kingpin if not better. This is mine with just the core overclocked to 1150. Overall score depends on the CPU so cant really compare it with a 780TI using Intel i7 cpu.
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#7
SKBARON
Am I the only one here who thinks even this bare pcb is looking cool? :)
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#8
AsRock
TPU addict
Not that impressed yet even more so of the VRM area and the possible lack of a screw on vrm heatsink.. Better waiting till they are released to actually see how good they really are.
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#9
The Terrible Puddle
Hope they release it without the TriFrozr cooler and horrible yellow colour scheme.
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#10
Prima.Vera
Video card pr0n. :cool:
I'm more interested on its "clothes", and how better they cool that hot body! ;)
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#11
the54thvoid
by: harry90
This card could be equal to 780Ti kingpin if not better. This is mine with just the core overclocked to 1150. Overall score depends on the CPU so cant really compare it with a 780TI using Intel i7 cpu.
You can use the gfx score for comparisons. My Titan at 1150MHz gets 5711 on extreme. My Titan is clock for clock, slower than a 780Ti (but faster than a 290X). The Kingpin (or Classified) will run way faster than I can touch. I think the 780Ti Kingpin/Classified is going to be faster, although the price of it would make most a wee bit queasy. Also, for giggles, the power draw of a GK110 with all cores at 1200-1300MHz is really, really high.


Posted on Reply
#12
harry90
by: the54thvoid
You can use the gfx score for comparisons. My Titan at 1150MHz gets 5711 on extreme. My Titan is clock for clock, slower than a 780Ti (but faster than a 290X). The Kingpin (or Classified) will run way faster than I can touch. I think the 780Ti Kingpin/Classified is going to be faster, although the price of it would make most a wee bit queasy. Also, for giggles, the power draw of a GK110 with all cores at 1200-1300MHz is really, really high.



Still your cpu has twice the power of mine, over 15700 in physics! so it will effect the minimum frames at the graphics score leading to better average frames and higher score. Ill redo this with 8350 pushed higher, this is interesting. That is an Overclocked Titan and it is only 133 points better on the graphics score. eventually I don't think a gamer will notice the difference between your card or mine, these are just synthetic numbers. but you paid $1000 for titan card vs 290x $560.
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#13
the54thvoid
by: harry90
eventually I don't think a gamer will notice the difference between your card or mine, these are just synthetic numbers. but you paid $1000 for titan card vs 290x $560.
I completely agree that you wont notice the fps in most games. In either case, your card will perform better in one or two games coded better for AMD and my card will work better in Nvidia titles. I've also had my card since early March, NINE months ago. It's a bit funny how people forget that. Back then, it was the single most powerful gpu by a long shot (and as i'm tired of saying - it replaced crossfired 7970's that cost me the same price but performed worse in some games).
If I did not have my Titan, I would have bought a 290X as soon as the water blocks came out for it. Although, the 780 Classifieds also dropped to the same price as 290X, so I'd have bought one of those instead.

You've got to remember as well that the Titan price is as it is because it is the K20X compute card with ECC and some other driver related things missing. Titan can't ever be sold cheaply - it would piss off the HPC market that pay several thousand dollars for a K20X, which for all intents is the same card I own.

But, back on topic - It's very good to see that the Lightning is having better outputs. They ruined the 7970 version for having no dual DVI and relying on HDMI and display port that required more investment.

I think this gen's big fight will be the Classified or Lightning version of the 780Ti versus the Lightning 290X.
Posted on Reply
#14
harry90
by: the54thvoid
I completely agree that you wont notice the fps in most games. In either case, your card will perform better in one or two games coded better for AMD and my card will work better in Nvidia titles. I've also had my card since early March, NINE months ago. It's a bit funny how people forget that. Back then, it was the single most powerful gpu by a long shot (and as i'm tired of saying - it replaced crossfired 7970's that cost me the same price but performed worse in some games).
If I did not have my Titan, I would have bought a 290X as soon as the water blocks came out for it. Although, the 780 Classifieds also dropped to the same price as 290X, so I'd have bought one of those instead.

You've got to remember as well that the Titan price is as it is because it is the K20X compute card with ECC and some other driver related things missing. Titan can't ever be sold cheaply - it would piss off the HPC market that pay several thousand dollars for a K20X, which for all intents is the same card I own.

But, back on topic - It's very good to see that the Lightning is having better outputs. They ruined the 7970 version for having no dual DVI and relying on HDMI and display port that required more investment.

I think this gen's big fight will be the Classified or Lightning version of the 780Ti versus the Lightning 290X
well said I agree. here is the result with cpu pushed higher and memory oc on 290x. CPU matters a lot on overall score not so much on graphic.
Posted on Reply
#15
the54thvoid
by: harry90
well said I agree. here is the result with cpu pushed higher and memory oc on 290x. CPU matters a lot on overall score not so much on graphic.

Cool :rockout:

Firestrike loves the Reds! Mind you, your bandwidth is a silly 384, mines at 7000MHz is only 336.

Still, my old overpriced card performs admirably. Now if you want to bench Unigine Valley... :p
Posted on Reply
#16
harry90
by: the54thvoid
Cool :rockout:

Firestrike loves the Reds! Mind you, your bandwidth is a silly 384, mines at 7000MHz is only 336.

Still, my old overpriced card performs admirably. Now if you want to bench Unigine Valley... :p
yup I didn't compare it with yours. just showing what can be achieved with overclocking 290x.
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#17
west7
thats sounds very nice , tweaking this card will be crazy
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