Wednesday, December 11th 2013

Gigabyte Lists Its WindForce-Equipped Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 Cards

While no announcement was made Gigabyte went on and published on its website details on two custom-cooled and factory-overlocked graphics cards powered by AMD's Hawaii GPU, the GV-R929XOC-4GD (Radeon R9 290X) and GV-R929OC-4GD (Radeon R9 290).

Pictured below, both cards come equipped with the dual-slot WindForce 3X 450W cooling solution (three fans, 6 mm and 8 mm heatpipes), and feature a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 interface, a GPU clock of 1040 MHz (the stock R9 290X/290 go up to 1000/947 MHz), a 512-bit memory interface, 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM @ 5000 MHz, and dual-DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. The cards' prices are still unknown.
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32 Comments on Gigabyte Lists Its WindForce-Equipped Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 Cards

#1
Fourstaff
YES! The WindForce 660Ti I bought was whisper quiet while delivering good temps, I am excited to see this reviewed (along with the usual suspects DCII etc)
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#2
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
by: Fourstaff
YES! The WindForce 660Ti I bought was whisper quiet while delivering good temps, I am excited to see this reviewed (along with the usual suspects DCII etc)
I've also been long awaiting the arrival of this particular card ;)
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#3
roki977
It wont be whisper quiet on this one but it will be great. Its not that quiet on 780Ti and it wont be on this one for sure but that doesnt mean it will be noisy. AC Extreme is one of the best aftermarkets and it keeps 290x at 70c so I expect temps in that range. Much better that ref. crap in any way and I like it.
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#4
Darklyspectre
Uck. I just want to know the launch dates already.

I am going to america this sunday(till 5th of january) and I am planning to buy a New GPU over there(euro VS dollar yeah) and everything depends on the release/benchmarks of the non-ref 290/290X.

bluh. damn AMD
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#5
Pandora's Box
Watch it be traditional Gigabyte fashion and be voltage locked.
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#6
EpicShweetness
I want it, and yet I don't. It's to much power for 1080p, and it consumes roughly twice the power of my 7870. If I have no patience then I might spend some Christmas dough on it, otherwise I can wait till something 30% more powerful with equal consumption comes around.
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#7
Tallencor
At this point I just want any 290x. (non ref). It's a-boot time! Lol.
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#8
wotevajjjj
I don't quite get why they went with 5ghz memory when you can buy 7ghz stuff. Maybe some SOC-like cards are to come ?
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#9
Darklyspectre
by: wotevajjjj
I don't quite get why they went with 5ghz memory when you can buy 7ghz stuff. Maybe some SOC-like cards are to come ?
Don't they generally always pick the same speed memory as the reference? I have never seen a non-reference change the speed. overclocked yes but never a completely different memory type.
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#10
1nfa76
I am dying for this card to come out as I have bought a new rig and just need my gpu now so I can build the damn thing.

it was out of the 290x or the 780ti acx but the NVidia prices are just too high so I am hoping this card does as good a job as my current card the brilliant windforce oc hd radeon 7850. because that card has served me sooo well that is why I will stick with gigabyte.
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#11
happita
by: Darklyspectre
Don't they generally always pick the same speed memory as the reference? I have never seen a non-reference change the speed. overclocked yes but never a completely different memory type.
I think wotevajjjj is referring to the fact that Nvidia's 780ti uses 7GHz memory, in comparison to AMD's 290/290X using only 5GHz. Not a big deal since performance is increased much more by higher core clocks versus memory clocks.
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#12
EpicShweetness
by: wotevajjjj
I don't quite get why they went with 5ghz memory when you can buy 7ghz stuff. Maybe some SOC-like cards are to come ?
It's more down to the design of the bus on the GPU itself. It's at 5GHZ because that the max speed on each 64bit bus, you can overclock it, but just slapping a 7GHZ specification doesn't work (Unless you love them artifacts). Yes it's only 5GHZ, but it's also 512bit wide. I'm sure if AMD just stuck with a 384bit bus we would have seen 6GHZ+ fairly easy. However in internal testing they must have established that a slower 512bit bus was the better decision (most likely in higher resolutions).
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#14
alwayssts
by: EpicShweetness
I want it, and yet I don't. It's to much power for 1080p, and it consumes roughly twice the power of my 7870. If I have no patience then I might spend some Christmas dough on it, otherwise I can wait till something 30% more powerful with equal consumption comes around.
Why must you reinforce this perfectly reasonable thought into my brain?

by: wotevajjjj
I don't quite get why they went with 5ghz memory when you can buy 7ghz stuff. Maybe some SOC-like cards are to come ?
XFX did something like that some time back and got into a hell of a lot of trouble. Spec is spec...not only because skus are teamed with certain ram for performance parity while performing within a certain tdp/voltage (and 5/7ghz are not remotely close, especially on a 512-bit bus and 4GB), but also many times market segmentation. They don't want today's (7870 or 680) product beating tomorrow's (270x or 770)...even if they are the same chip.

As for why it's not realistic, Hawaii is built on the sound principle more slower memory controllers (and ram) consume a disproportionate less amount of die space and power than less controllers that run proportionally faster within a certain speed threshold. This therefore makes a slower/wide bus a good design decision as pad space allows in accordance to die space needed for the rest of a design. It is clearly shown to be the case (and methodology) in many products throughout ati's history...the most blatant comparison is Pitciarn vs GK106, which are the same die size but Pitcairn's spec is much more thoughtful (Again, designed to mesh with ~1170mhz per avg 28nm abilities and at least ~5300mhz using cheap Elpida ram). I think it's fairly safe to assume Hawaii uses Pitcairn's memory controller...it is more-or-less 2x Pitcairn + 4 CUs + dsp engine/bridgeless crossfire. On 40nm, amd mentioned that the controller on Cypress (4800mhz) was twice as large as the 4200mhz controller on redwood. When adjusted for the roughly 30% power/performance improvement of 28nm, you essentially get the Hawaii/pitcairn/etc and Tahiti/Bonaire controllers respectfully. It could conceivably even be argued Cayman may have been a trial-run for the former...but at any rate, faster memory would not do them any good without a faster memory controller. A faster memory controller would do them no good unless they had a larger power envelope. I imagine they were hoping for something like 1150/5700+ (overclocking is included in design obviously) for Hawaii...the same approx clocks you'll find on a 270x...which again fits with the controller, the ram, and scaling up to around the the norm for 28nm without absurd voltage, especially on large designs.
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#15
Casecutter
Gamers can’t indulge anymore... these like all Hawaii’s will just be sucked thorough the "Black Hole" at elevated pricing that feeds virtual currency minings' sucking sound.

AMD/AIB need a gelded Hawaii SKU that offers all the benefits anticipated for great mining (while not a distinguished for gaming / lower cooling) and then price it so the mining community flocks to that not gaming models.

Althought, just ponder when Litecoin mining goes "bust" (and there will be) all those 290X thru 280X (7970/7950) will flood the market. Might be an opportunity for mid-range gamer to elevate for cheap!
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#16
happita
by: Casecutter

AMD/AIB need a gelded Hawaii SKU that offers all the benefits anticipated for great mining (while not a distinguished for gaming / lower cooling) and then price it so the mining community flocks to that not gaming models.

Althought, just ponder when Litecoin mining goes "bust" (and there will be) all those 290X thru 280X (7970/7950) will flood the market. Might be an opportunity for mid-range gamer to elevate for cheap!
I hope there isn't a shortage of non-reference cards just like what happened a few weeks ago with pretty much the entire R9 stock depleted because of this virtual currency craze going through the roof. I want to be able to upgrade, it's about damn time for me anyway. I'm not waiting any more than I have to. I finally got my Battlefield 4 running on my machine (due to drivers & other issues with bugs). The first non-reference card I can get my hands on is going into my system :cool:
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#17
ManofGod
Well, I have been already enjoying my XFX R9 290 with ref cooler. Not at all noisy and very fast. Got it before this coin craze even started and love it.
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#18
anubis44
by: wotevajjjj
I don't quite get why they went with 5ghz memory when you can buy 7ghz stuff. Maybe some SOC-like cards are to come ?
It's 512 bit DDR5, not the more conventional 256 bit DDR5 found on the GeForces and the other Radeons. That's why it runs at 5GHz. Apparently, its very difficult to run 512 bit DDR5 at 7GHz.
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#19
03hdfatboy
Just ordered 2 GV-R929XOC-4GD, so excited cant wait to get my hands on 'em!
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#20
NeoXF
by: anubis44
It's 512 bit DDR5, not the more conventional 256 bit DDR5 found on the GeForces and the other Radeons. That's why it runs at 5GHz. Apparently, its very difficult to run 512 bit DDR5 at 7GHz.
From what I've read, I'm under the impression it was cheaper for AMD to go 512bit 5GHz than say, 384bit 6,5GHz or 7GHz. And (supposedly) do to the way this came out so efficient in cost, the controller can't handle higher frequencies that well.

It's also cheaper to stack it with 4GB of VRAM on 512bit than 6GB on a 384bit, as 3GB wouldn't do apparently (especially since they're hell-bent on pushing "4K").

by: 03hdfatboy
Just ordered 2 GV-R929XOC-4GD, so excited cant wait to get my hands on 'em!
Niiiice! BTW, know of any reviews of them? The ASUS and Sapphire ones reviewed so far are great, no reason to believe Windforce X3 will disappoint, but still, I'm curious.
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#21
1nfa76
Been waiting ages for this damn card. Bought the missus the r9 280x windforce oc and it seems ok but I want the bad boy top of the range.
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#23
03hdfatboy
According to fedex I should have all my goodies today. :D
If u check my system specs u'll see what I'm putting together. Bad part is it'll be Sat or Sun before I get a chance to put it all together. :mad:
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#24
1nfa76
Good luck with your build mate. Hope it goes all to plan and most importantly the card is as good as we hope they are. Im still waiting for it to get released over here in england. The wait is absolutely torture...
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#25
03hdfatboy
by: 1nfa76
Good luck with your build mate. Hope it goes all to plan and most importantly the card is as good as we hope they are. Im still waiting for it to get released over here in england. The wait is absolutely torture...
Still waiting on the fedex truck :(
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