Monday, December 16th 2013

MSI Radeon R9 290 Series Gaming PCB Pictured

Here's the first picture of the PCB under the hood of MSI's Radeon R9 290X Gaming OC graphics card, which was unveiled in Japan, over the weekend, and which was detailed in a slightly older article. It turns out that MSI will use the same board design (including the back-plate) on both the R9 290X Gaming OC and the R9 290 Gaming OC, both of which have been put up for pre-order by Canadian e-tailer NCIX. The R9 290X Gaming OC is priced at $699 CAD including taxes (US $660); while the R9 290 Gaming OC is priced at $529.99 CAD including taxes (US $500).

The PCB itself is a slight variation of MSI on AMD's reference design. The layout is identical, but there are subtle differences in component choices MSI made. For example, it ditches Coiltronics-made chokes for MagicTech. Appears to use SK Hynix made memory chips (instead of Elpida on a vast majority of retail R9 290 series boards), etc. It also appears to retain dual-BIOS. According to NCIX, both cards will feature untouched memory clock speeds of 5.00 GHz, yielding memory bandwidth of 320 GB/s, but feature 5-7 percent overclocks on the GPU. The R9 290 Gaming OC features GPU clock speeds (possibly PowerTune boost) of up to 1000 MHz (vs. 948 MHz reference), while the R9 290X Gaming OC features 1040 MHz.
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15 Comments on MSI Radeon R9 290 Series Gaming PCB Pictured

#1
wotevajjjj
only $500 for the 290, just a euro conversion + 20 for shipping to here is great value.. now why arent these availible yet... stupid miners
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#2
SimpleTECH
by: wotevajjjj
now why arent these availible yet... stupid miners
What does Bitcoin mining have to do with the shortage of AIB custom R9 290 / 290x cards? Last time I checked, AMD is having yield issues which is causing the lack of cards available. E-tailers are jacking up the prices to compensate (supply and demand). Same thing happened when the 7970/7950 was released.
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#3
wotevajjjj
by: SimpleTECH
What does Bitcoin mining have to do with the shortage of AIB custom R9 290 / 290x cards? Last time I checked, AMD is having yield issues which is causing the lack of cards available. E-tailers are jacking up the prices to compensate (supply and demand). Same thing happened when the 7970/7950 was released.
I think because miners love these cards, there's a much bigger demand which helps sellers to make them more expensive, but it also means that amd can't make them fast enough. Great for them, but I'm being a bit selfish :p
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#4
Relayer
by: SimpleTECH
What does Bitcoin mining have to do with the shortage of AIB custom R9 290 / 290x cards? Last time I checked, AMD is having yield issues which is causing the lack of cards available. E-tailers are jacking up the prices to compensate (supply and demand). Same thing happened when the 7970/7950 was released.
I haven't read this anywhere. Where did you check and could you share? I've seen posts on OCUK that they are getting heaps of cards but they are simply selling out due to mining.
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#5
buildzoid
Wow much PCB design they put a bit of metal on it and gave it 45-50A magic inductors to replace the 70A Coiltronics inductors that the reference design had.
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#6
happita
Dear AIB partners,

Stop teasing, start pleasing.

Love,
happita
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#7
alwayssts
Dear AIBs,

Don't use Elpida ram on any 290x models. I find it despicable this is occurring on a premium product. It is a pretty dirty way to save a couple dollars when those chips use more voltage at 6ghz bin (and hence will clock lower at whatever mem voltages amd set obviously planning for use with hynix), and the 'default' 1ghz clock is pretty close to in parity with 5ghz. Obviously overall power consumption is a key factor to these skus and elpida will offset the balance in one way or another (by becoming a bottleneck or using more power hampering clockspeeds).

Good on MSI for Hynix all-around, but Elpida is a ridiculously stupid choice that will bottleneck 290x cards and make them less desirable. It makes sense as differentiators on 290, us cheapskates don't really care, and it shouldn't be a limiting factor in any meaningful degree for that card...but I really think amd should put their foot down on the 290x....

...Unless they plan on shipping an XTX model with 1.35v 5500mhz (essentially newer node 1.5v 7ghz stuff binned for lower power consumption) Hynix memory as a refresh sku, in which case allowing such a setup so a future product will look better (just like 7870 vs 270x) is just plain insulting...especially when review samples (and some aibs) use hynix that can max out the gpu's potential (with slight variances on newer products using less ram voltage) from the start.

AMD needs some tighter design regulations across their whole damn BOM so they have tighter control of what their products are and they want them to be. Be it from caps, vrms, memory, cooler, whatever...It's freaking embarrassing.
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#8
ISI300
What's the deal between Magic and Coiltronics? NVidia cards seem to use Magic ones across the board across the board. Which is higher quality?
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#9
Xenturion
I have to admit, I hate to see that they've priced the 290 at $100 more than the original retail release price. I've been waiting for the AIB partner boards to be released, but at $500, I could have bought the reference model and the Arctic Accelero aftermarket cooler. I'm definitely considering a 780. Pretty much is GSync v. Mantle at this point. I'd rather have the compute strength of the 290, though. Just wish they'd hurry up coming to market.
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#10
night.fox
wooo hooo....

I sure hope they will have a normal horizontal heatsinks instead of the vertical one in which the MSI 290x has...... just a wishful thinking
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#11
fullinfusion
1.21 Gigawatts
by: Xenturion
I have to admit, I hate to see that they've priced the 290 at $100 more than the original retail release price. I've been waiting for the AIB partner boards to be released, but at $500, I could have bought the reference model and the Arctic Accelero aftermarket cooler. I'm definitely considering a 780. Pretty much is GSync v. Mantle at this point. I'd rather have the compute strength of the 290, though. Just wish they'd hurry up coming to market.
Yeah kinda sucks the price is higher but thats NCIX for ya. I dont buy from them just because of there high prices. I hope msi does this card good!
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#12
buildzoid
by: ISI300
What's the deal between Magic and Coiltronics? NVidia cards seem to use Magic ones across the board across the board. Which is higher quality?
Coiltronics > Magic in terms of current capability. Nvidia VRMs go boom when you push 1.5V through them this is true for the TITAN, 780, 780Ti(I suspect but have no proof as of yet), 680 and 770 but I have yet to hear of any AMD reference VRM going boom because of too much current draw so when a board partner choose a cheaper brand than AMD did it is not a good sign about the quality and durability of the VRM.
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#13
maza90210
So out of curiosity, would the MSI gaming r9 290 be compatible with reference waterblocks? like would an XSPC razor r9 290x waterblock be compatible with the r9 290 MSI gaming?
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#14
buildzoid
by: maza90210
So out of curiosity, would the MSI gaming r9 290 be compatible with reference waterblocks? like would an XSPC razor r9 290x waterblock be compatible with the r9 290 MSI gaming?
Yes but it's worse than the reference design so you should just buy the regular one if you plan to use a water block
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