Thursday, December 19th 2013

ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC Launched

ASUS announced its Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II series graphics cards, which include a model that sticks to AMD-reference clocks (up to 1000 MHz core, 5.00 GHz memory), and one that offers factory-overclocked speeds of up to 1050 MHz core, and 5.40 GHz memory, the DirectCU II OC. The card features a completely non-reference design, with a PCB designed in-house by ASUS, which features a 10-phase VRM, which draws power from a combination of 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The features Samsung-made GDDR5 memory chips. There's 4 GB of memory on board, across a 512-bit wide memory interface.

The DirectCU II cooling solution is nearly identical to the one deployed on the recently launched GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC. It features a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink to which heat is fed by 8 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes. The heatsink is ventilated by a pair of 92 mm fans, one of which features ASUS's unique lateral+axial hybrid impeller, called CoolTech. Niceties include a back-plate, and an all-black cooler shroud, with sheets of red and gold stickers, so you could style the card the way you want to. The card is expected to be priced as low as 499€.
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32 Comments on ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC Launched

#1
Nihilus
People will be glad to see that it was reviewed as being quieter and much cooler! Power consuption the same as expected and not much oc ability. still, damn fine card!
Posted on Reply
#2
evilacg
Thumbs Down to Asus for not including brown stickers that match the colour scheme of their TUF series motherboards.:banghead:
Posted on Reply
#4
HumanSmoke
by: jigar2speed
You will be surprised, it is faster (most scenarios), OC friendly, quieter, cooler, cheaper and minor power efficient compared to GTX 780Ti - http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/ASUS-Radeon-R9-290X-DirectCU-II-Graphics-Card-Review/Overclocking-and-Conclus
Well, you would hope a factory overclocked custom cooled 290X would be competitive against a stock reference 780 Ti...wouldn't you?
A better indicator might be vendor OC'ed special vs vendor OC'ed special. Personally, at $630 a pop, I'd judge the a $500 AIB 780 (non-Ti) a better deal unless you're into mining
Posted on Reply
#5
adulaamin
290X prices in europe and north america are skyrocketing while here in the philippines they're going down. Before they were around 29,000 PhP (without BF4) and now I'm seeing prices of 26,000 PhP for the BF4 Editions, around the same price as a 780 (a 780TI costs 32,000 pesos). What's keeping me from pulling the trigger is the reference cooler. I hope the non-ref versions don't come with a hefty premium. If they do, I just might keep my 7970 and buy a new 2560x1440 monitor instead.
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#6
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: adulaamin
290X prices in europe and north america are skyrocketing while here in the philippines they're going down. Before they were around 29,000 PhP (without BF4) and now I'm seeing prices of 26,000 PhP for the BF4 Editions, around the same price as a 780 (a 780TI costs 32,000 pesos). What's keeping me from pulling the trigger is the reference cooler. I hope the non-ref versions don't come with a hefty premium. If they do, I just might keep my 7970 and buy a new 2560x1440 monitor instead.
They have stayed pretty constant in UK, in fact in someplaces the straight 290 is cheaper than when it was introduced.
Posted on Reply
#7
adulaamin
by: Tatty_One
They have stayed pretty constant in UK, in fact in someplaces the straight 290 is cheaper than when it was introduced.
Then I guess it's only the US that's getting jacked up prices then. :(
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#8
jigar2speed
by: HumanSmoke
Well, you would hope a factory overclocked custom cooled 290X would be competitive against a stock reference 780 Ti...wouldn't you?
$570 R9 290X Factory overclocked is far better deal than stock $650 Ti when it is performing better. No ?

by: HumanSmoke

A better indicator might be vendor OC'ed special vs vendor OC'ed special. Personally, at $630 a pop, I'd judge the a $500 AIB 780 (non-Ti) a better deal unless you're into mining
Price jacking happened recently, my comment was based on the suggested pricing.
Posted on Reply
#10
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: adulaamin
Then I guess it's only the US that's getting jacked up prices then. :(
Thats fine by me, you don't pay much tax anyway! :)
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#11
swirl09
Got that ah-crap feeling in the pit of my stomach after reading the review. I didnt quite expect the custom versions to achieve both strong performance bumps while getting the out of control heat and noise right down to acceptable levels. My 780ti oc is due tomorrow and while its probably slightly faster, its not €120 faster.

I'll just have to keep reminding myself of the coil whine nightmare of the 7970's I went thru before jumping the fence.

:s
:s

(EDIT: Going to back peddle a tiny bit, after looking at more reviews, I feel like the premium is a little more justified than my first reaction conveyed. Its not just slightly faster, but a lil cooler and quieter also - still impressive results from asus on this fella, bringing the term bang for buck appropriately to flagship cards is commendable

And poor TITAN, may not be a tailored gamer card, but sitting so low on graphs in the same year its launched - something you'd more expect from a graph displaying the next die shrink gen of gpu)
Posted on Reply
#12
BiggieShady
by: swirl09
And poor TITAN, may not be a tailored gamer card, but sitting so low on graphs in the same year its launched - something you'd more expect from a graph displaying the next die shrink gen of gpu
It may seem so relatively and only from gaming perspective. Titan and it's less restricted double precision performance is still a great choice for compute heavy research on the budget (as a Tesla alternative).
Posted on Reply
#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
So where's wiz's reviews of these cards?
Posted on Reply
#14
the54thvoid
by: swirl09
And poor TITAN, may not be a tailored gamer card, but sitting so low on graphs in the same year its launched - something you'd more expect from a graph displaying the next die shrink gen of gpu)
I have to lol at that. Yes, we paid a massive premium for our Titans way back in Feb/March but the fact is, I run my Titan for gaming at 1124MHz core and 7000MHz memory. At that I get a graphics score on Firestrike of 11954 (10778 with cpu). When i re-benched there at 1176MHz to match the OP card overclock (Guru3D score) I got 12284 on gfx score (11036 overall).

Remember that all Titan's are 'stock' cards and it's only through customising that people could let them fly. So regardless of pricing, there's no need to feel sorry for Titan - it still performs very well indeed. I feel sorry for people that bought Titans and didn't flash the BIOS. It's remarkable how fast hey are when you bypass Nvidia's ridiculously low ball limits.

But back OT, it really shows how much lack of thought AMD put into their final 'stock' cards when the partner custom cards do so much better. Shame on you AMD for not trying harder at launch. And kudos to Asus for making such a terrific card. Maybe a few more of these custom coolers with this greatly improved performance might tempt the greedy greens to reduce their stratospheric pricing?
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#15
human_error
by: evilacg
Thumbs Down to Asus for not including brown stickers that match the colour scheme of their TUF series motherboards.:banghead:
The cards come in all-black and have red and gold stickers you can apply, so if you don't want the red don't attach the stickers ;)
Posted on Reply
#16
swirl09
by: the54thvoid
Yes, we paid a massive premium for our Titans
Agreed ;)

This part is not for you, Im sure you completely got the point I was making. To the rare, rare soul that purchased this as a gaming card coz it was king-of-the-hill "way back" this year, who perhaps dont have a water-cooled rig and dont tinker to a high degree with their hardware. Just those, no one else, I was extended a kind of "ouch" sentiment.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be looking at graphs way into the future (I mean not that way into the future, we're not talking flying cars and terraforming Mars, but like 8/9 months way into the future) and my gpu will be looking tired and ... okay, I'll shut up!

Merry Xmas
Posted on Reply
#17
the54thvoid
by: swirl09
Agreed ;)

This part is not for you, Im sure you completely got the point I was making. To the rare, rare soul that purchased this as a gaming card coz it was king-of-the-hill "way back" this year, who perhaps dont have a water-cooled rig and dont tinker to a high degree with their hardware. Just those, no one else, I was extended a kind of "ouch" sentiment.
I concur. I think it's silly to spend 'Titan' amounts of money if you're not an enthusiast and not going to get the best out of your hardware. I second your 'ouch' with a 'silly billy'. :laugh:

by: swirl09
Merry Xmas
And to you too! :toast:

But again, to mention the Asus card, The problem i'm seeing here is that it ties with the stock 780Ti (game dependent as always) but in the UK it's been listed at just £15 cheaper than some of the basic 780Ti's. We tend to see some retailers putting excessive premiums on custom cards. I'd rather have a 4GB card like this though than a 3GB vanilla 780Ti.

I think what we all want to see is a Nvidia and AMD have a 780TI versus 290X Lightning fight!! :clap:
Posted on Reply
#18
Nihilus
by: HumanSmoke
Well, you would hope a factory overclocked custom cooled 290X would be competitive against a stock reference 780 Ti...wouldn't you?
A better indicator might be vendor OC'ed special vs vendor OC'ed special. Personally, at $630 a pop, I'd judge the a $500 AIB 780 (non-Ti) a better deal unless you're into mining
Prices will stabilize and the custom 290x cards will be a much better deal than the custom 780ti unless nVidia decides to chop $100 off. Not likely in the near future though.
As for a $500 deal, sneak a peak at the custom 290 non-x from sapphire. This card smokes the 780 non-ti at EVERY measure.
Posted on Reply
#19
Yorgos
by: evilacg
Thumbs Down to Asus for not including brown stickers that match the colour scheme of their TUF series motherboards.:banghead:
I agree.
Also it's hard to find a pair of socks to match that h/w.
How are we supposed to live in this world?
Posted on Reply
#20
N3M3515
by: HumanSmoke
Well, you would hope a factory overclocked custom cooled 290X would be competitive against a stock reference 780 Ti...wouldn't you?
A better indicator might be vendor OC'ed special vs vendor OC'ed special. Personally, at $630 a pop, I'd judge the a $500 AIB 780 (non-Ti) a better deal unless you're into mining
And then comes a custom R 290 and ruins all of them......;) for the same perf.
Posted on Reply
#21
haswrong
by: Yorgos
I agree.
Also it's hard to find a pair of socks to match that h/w.
How are we supposed to live in this world?
its harder to find two socks that match each other..
Posted on Reply
#22
Casecutter
What it's all going to come down to is which if either side is going all in full production, or do they just see this more a bridge to span over to whenever 20Nm parts are to show? I don’t think many who went in for GTX680's and Titan over the last year are considering upgrading. Those who have been on 7970 from early on perhaps, but with what sounds like 6-8months till they can bring 20Nm, if someone is holding at 1080p most are not seeing the need to change.

Nvidia isn't likely to be selling much of GK110 into professional markets by this point, most of the big numbers came early in its' release to known corporate clients. I see Nvidia being very prodigious with their production "starts" in the future. They probably are just using chips that are no longer being moved in great volume to the professional side.

Then there's AMD a new chip and I don’t believe is destined for any professional brand usage... AMD surely have/had a good idea of what the gaming market would absorb, but now with crypto currency sucking up what "feels like" a lot of that volume... how does AMD react? Does AMD believe that crypto currency isn’t going to go "bust" and schedule more starts? I think with of volatility of mining and its' currency values AMD can’t run head long into believing they’ll up "starts" to furnish that demand also. That means tight supply especially if currency values hold/increase, while then if it does go "bust", figure plenty of these speculators will drop their GPU like hotcakes. They'll recoup as much of their cost before the cards become devalued. Those miners can’t/won’t hold onto such cards to rely-on for next boon, even if it happens soon. If and when it does will a 20Nm do it better and more efficiently, probably so. That floods Ebay with cards and stores and E-tailers are stuck.

AMD can’t increase production without it coming back to bite them, by the point the pipe is full crypto currency could be "kaput" and they have tons of inventory 4-5month ahead of 20Nm? While hold steady and crypto currency might continue to eat a large amount of sales at inflated prices. AMD isn’t making any of that inflated profit, in most cases not even the AIB’s (except not yielding to rebates and incentives that normally are granted if product sits), the stores and E-tailers almost exclusively garner those windfalls. While when mining goes away will AIB’s provide assistance... just to then see some spike, and retail receiving another windfall?

So I see prices for all this "Enthusiast" stuff holding as long a "mining" pulls AMD volume and not moving much once it does. Nvidia could if they were astute keep their pricing "in check" and hope that it draws gamers from the AMD side. But there again Nvidia more needs stretch the GK110's they have (or maintain). They don't intend to flood their base with such cards, and end up having those purchases forgo sales when 20Nm part come.

I see this hinging on when will 20Nm arrives, and do they believe mining is just "blip" or does its effects play into Q2 2014?
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#23
haswrong
i would like to know how this piece performs in tw3, could w1zzard possibly ask cdprojekt for a little demo and test some fps?
Posted on Reply
#24
HumanSmoke
by: Casecutter
Nvidia isn't likely to be selling much of GK110 into professional markets by this point, most of the big numbers came early in its' release to known corporate clients.
Quite what Nvidia math co-processors have to do with the 290X escapes me...although the obvious questions raised from your assumption are:
What are IBM and Nvidia planning on using in their newly announced partnership (bearing in mind that the iDataPlex systems are already qualified for *and using* Keplers) ? Or the supers upgrading from 2050/2070/2090 Fermi's? Not to mention the raft of systems going live supposedly using Kepler Tesla's (TACC's Maverick, Tsubuka's CCS, and the likely Cray XC30 upgrade at Stuttgart University come to mind)
by: Nihilus
Prices will stabilize and the custom 290x cards will be a much better deal than the custom 780ti unless nVidia decides to chop $100 off. Not likely in the near future though.
Firstly, you don't know that prices will stabilize. If LTC etc remain a viable commodity then mining cards are stuck in the supply/demand loop. If crypto currencies remain viable long term, then I'd suggest that AIB's would look to offer a stripped down, reduced BoM series of cards to maximize their profit line. Likewise, you also don't know that Nvidia won't drop prices if their margins are threatened. At the moment there is no incentive for the company to do so, since AMD sales are funnelling into mining- where Nvidia aren't competitive regardless of price thanks to a less than optimized integer performance architecture.
by: Nihilus
As for a $500 deal, sneak a peak at the custom 290 non-x from sapphire. This card smokes the 780 non-ti at EVERY measure.
Except the most important measure - availability.
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#25
Divide Overflow
Really looking forward to a W1zzard review of this card!
Posted on Reply
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