Monday, December 30th 2013

PowerColor Radeon R9 290X PCS+ Unveiled

PowerColor may have been the first AMD add-in board vendor to launch a custom-design Radeon R9 290X graphics card with its R9 290X LCS, which is basically an AMD reference PCB with a factory-fitted EKWB FC-R9-290X water-block; but its air-cooled non-reference cards have been nowhere in sight, until now. PowerColor posted these pictures of the Radeon R9 290X PCS+, its premium factory-overclocked and air-cooled graphics card based on AMD's flagship GPU. The company's Radeon R9 290 (non-X) PCS+ is expected to look identical.

Pictures reveal the card's PCB to be largely based on AMD's reference design, perhaps with variations on the choice of components. PowerColor has a knack of splurging on expensive, high-quality components on its PCBs (think International Rectifier and Coilworks VRM components, Samsung and SK Hynix memory chips, etc.), and we expect a similar treatment for the R9 290X PCS+. The two-slot cooling solution featured on this card is making its debut with it. It features a network of aluminium fin stacks to which heat is fed by copper heat pipes, and which are ventilated by a trio of 80 mm fans. PowerColor didn't reveal clock speeds, launch date, or pricing.
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22 Comments on PowerColor Radeon R9 290X PCS+ Unveiled

#1
happita
This is incredibly good-looking. I hope the R9 290 (non-x) will get the same treatment as this. I think everyone has been waiting long enough for these cards to come out. Looks like it will be the usual 3+ weeks of agony until they hit retail :cry:
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#2
psyko12
Wow that's one secksy beast. Hope it does well.
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: happita
I hope the R9 290 (non-x) will get the same treatment as this.
It will look identical.
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#4
NeoXF
If AMD's "designed to run at 95 degrees" holds any weight, than these cards, with these coolers, should be great for running insane OCs 24/7.
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#5
Dj-ElectriC
Beastly 5-6 heat-pipe cooling for R9 290X is acceptable and decent.
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#6
NeoXF
by: Dj-ElectriC
Beastly 5-6 heat-pipe cooling for R9 290X is acceptable and decent.
Somehow most of you people keep insinuating that R9 290/Xs run hot or something, I haven't found a shred of proof of this being the case. Is the stock cooling very bad? Hell yeah. Are the chips themselves very hot? Uhm, nope.
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#7
Dj-ElectriC
I've never said it's hot, all i did is that these type of coolers are decent for R9 290X. Otherwise, how would you cool a 300W+ core?
Maybe slap a 3-4 6mm heat-pipe based cooling on it and see how it runs? :)
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#8
BiggieShady
by: NeoXF
If AMD's "designed to run at 95 degrees" holds any weight, than these cards, with these coolers, should be great for running insane OCs 24/7.
by: NeoXF
Somehow most of you people keep insinuating that R9 290/Xs run hot or something, I haven't found a shred of proof of this being the case. Is the stock cooling very bad? Hell yeah. Are the chips themselves very hot? Uhm, nope.
Weren't you the one insinuating the very same thing in your first post and saying it's perfectly fine running hot? You'd even run non-reference card overclocked inside same temperature margins.
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#9
Random Murderer
The Anti-Midas
Is that an LGA775 board they have it in? :wtf:
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#10
BiggieShady
by: Random Murderer
Is that an LGA775 board they have it in? :wtf:
Hmm, could be, I do see PATA (IDE) connector and cable ...
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#12
NeoXF
by: BiggieShady
Weren't you the one insinuating the very same thing in your first post and saying it's perfectly fine running hot? You'd even run non-reference card overclocked inside same temperature margins.
AMD said they can run hot and it's just fine, GTX 480s ran hotter "back in the day" and were fine just as well. That's not to say the chips themselves have some kind of Satanic mill that churns out gratuitous heat and are just hot for the sake of it, reference cooling is just bad, period. I think AMD chose to cut down on cooling costs a little too much, when they realized making the chips flame-retardant has an upside...

by: Dj-ElectriC
I've never said it's hot, all i did is that these type of coolers are decent for R9 290X. Otherwise, how would you cool a 300W+ core?
Maybe slap a 3-4 6mm heat-pipe based cooling on it and see how it runs? :)
Well, stock cooling is acceptable as well, but surely not "decent". :p

You do need good cooling for these cards, but nothing out of the ordinary, nothing you haven't seen in past generations, just maybe with a bit of tweaks.
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#13
Dj-ElectriC
I don't think you got it... stock cooler doesn't even fit the category of "OK" to this.
This cards throttles in an instant due to its own extremely high temperatures.
No card running at these temperatures survived long.

The stock cooler of R9 290 series is putting AMD to shame, it's embarrassing and and inconvinient. It let's the card throttle and lose it's performance against a normal cooler.

Happy components are cooler ones, and they will be just cool enough to survive a few years with Powercolor's solution, it ain't different than any other AIB solution for the R9 290X such as DCUII, WF 450W and TwinFrozr, containing about 5-6 8mm heatpipes with many aluminum fins across a 28-29cm long PCB.

That's the simple mathematics of how you cool a core that takes more power than the GTX480's and spreads it on a half-sized die.

There's no such thing as "95C at gaming is totally fine". The GPU isn't made of weird space-metirial. A sillicon die and PCB components will have a much shorter life when running this hot compered to about 20c lower per say. With time, components will consume more, temperature will keep rising and the card would not be able to deal with it's own self.

Ask thousands of X1950 and HD2900 series owners.
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#14
micropage7
nice, i like the shroud. reminds me of decepticon pattern
and wait, wait they still use IDE drive
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#15
BiggieShady
by: NeoXF
That's not to say the chips themselves have some kind of Satanic mill that churns out gratuitous heat and are just hot for the sake of it, reference cooling is just bad, period.
So you are telling me it runs hot because it's not cooled enough :rolleyes: maybe it's also loud because it's making a lot of noise .... people who bought reference 290X don't really care, they just wan't to hurt someone at AMD
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#16
TheinsanegamerN
by: Dj-ElectriC
I don't think you got it... stock cooler doesn't even fit the category of "OK" to this.
This cards throttles in an instant due to its own extremely high temperatures.
No card running at these temperatures survived long.

The stock cooler of R9 290 series is putting AMD to shame, it's embarrassing and and inconvinient. It let's the card throttle and lose it's performance against a normal cooler.

Happy components are cooler ones, and they will be just cool enough to survive a few years with Powercolor's solution, it ain't different than any other AIB solution for the R9 290X such as DCUII, WF 450W and TwinFrozr, containing about 5-6 8mm heatpipes with many aluminum fins across a 28-29cm long PCB.

That's the simple mathematics of how you cool a core that takes more power than the GTX480's and spreads it on a half-sized die.

There's no such thing as "95C at gaming is totally fine". The GPU isn't made of weird space-metirial. A sillicon die and PCB components will have a much shorter life when running this hot compered to about 20c lower per say. With time, components will consume more, temperature will keep rising and the card would not be able to deal with it's own self.

Ask thousands of X1950 and HD2900 series owners.
i think you need to give third party coolers more credit. the sapphire triple fan cooler does significantly better with temps than the stock cooler does, while having no throttling whatsoever. any chip this big is gonna be tough to cool.

edit: from anandtech, the sapphire r9 290 triple fan hits only 81c at full load, compared to 95c for the reference card, while running at a constant 1 ghz. the reference usually ran at 947 mhz, but occasionally drops to 930.
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#17
Dj-ElectriC
No GPU in GPU history was that hot with the most advanced mass-produced dual-slot air-cooler you can put on it.
overclockers' redemption with these might come just with water-cooling.
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#18
bpgt64
by: TheinsanegamerN
i think you need to give third party coolers more credit. the sapphire triple fan cooler does significantly better with temps than the stock cooler does, while having no throttling whatsoever. any chip this big is gonna be tough to cool.

edit: from anandtech, the sapphire r9 290 triple fan hits only 81c at full load, compared to 95c for the reference card, while running at a constant 1 ghz. the reference usually ran at 947 mhz, but occasionally drops to 930.
That's awesome, but when the stock cooler is so terrible that it can't be overclocked at all. Then your kind of stuck. On top of which, all the bit coin mining has driven prices way out of wack...in alot of cases 150-200 dollars above MSRP, killing there value.
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#19
fullinfusion
1.21 Gigawatts
by: NeoXF
Somehow most of you people keep insinuating that R9 290/Xs run hot or something, I haven't found a shred of proof of this being the case. Is the stock cooling very bad? Hell yeah. Are the chips themselves very hot? Uhm, nope.
Take what I say with a grain of salt mkay... are you an idiot? Do you read? The 290 runs hot as hell so why do you troll about an issue that is widely known and spout on about no proof? ??

So now if I told you that there are a heap of sites reporting the cards run hot do you bebelieve me? Or ya take what the almighty AMD ppl say.. im a huge amd fan but do you think I want a jet engine running beside me and have a card throttle from heat while gaming. . Nope!

So anyways back on topic. I love the looks of this PC card. That cooler is a beast and wont be so dam limited like the reference cooler imo
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#20
buildzoid
by: bpgt64
That's awesome, but when the stock cooler is so terrible that it can't be overclocked at all. Then your kind of stuck. On top of which, all the bit coin mining has driven prices way out of wack...in alot of cases 150-200 dollars above MSRP, killing there value.
The current 4 way crossfire OCing record was done on the stock cooler and the cards ran at 1200mhz core and 1500mhz memory. So while the cooler is really bad it's not so bad as to stop OCing you just have to learn to with stand the noise of 4 r9 290Xs with their fans at 100% :P.
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#21
TheinsanegamerN
by: bpgt64
That's awesome, but when the stock cooler is so terrible that it can't be overclocked at all. Then your kind of stuck. On top of which, all the bit coin mining has driven prices way out of wack...in alot of cases 150-200 dollars above MSRP, killing there value.
which is the reason i got an nvidia card. the pricing thing killed it for me.
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