XFX R9 290 DD Double Dissipation GPU Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

XFX R9 290 DD Review

Introduction

The AMD R9 290 is one of our favourite graphics cards at the moment. There is plenty of performance to be found and they usually overclock well giving a decent amount of free performance. The two big flies in the ointment are heat, always a problem but especially so on the R9 290, and that because they overclock so easily the stock performance isn't always eye-popping.

XFX have been producing graphics cards for as long as we can remember, but it's been a long while since one has entered OC3D Towers to be run through our benchmark suite.

The Dual Dissipation cooler has been the XFX equivalent of the MSI Twin Frozr, in that it's existed forever and gradually been refined across the variations. Whereas it once was merely okay, we've been told that the current evolution is the canines testicles so we can't wait to see if it finally solves the R9 290 temperature issues and allows the AMD drivers to make the most of the card without having to declock it.

Technical Specifications

Besides the addition of the Dual Dissipation cooler, the DD in the model name, the XFX R9 290 is a fairly standard model which is perfect for our plug in and go testing today. So let's take a closer look at it.

General

Product Description : DD RADEON R9 290 947M 4GB D5 DP HDMI 2XDVI
UPC Number : 778656065468

Processor & Bus

Bus Type : PCI-E 3.0
Chipset version : Hawaii Pro
GPU Bus (bit) : 512
GPU Clock : 947MHz
Performance Category : Performance
Stream Processors : 2560

Memory

Memory Bus : 512 bit
Memory Clock : 5.0 GHz
Memory Size : 4 GB
Memory Type : DDR5

Feature Technologies

AMD HD3D Technology : Y
AMD Hybrid Graphics Technology : Y
AMD PowerPlay Technology : Y
AMD Stream Technology : Y

Display Output
Display Port ready : 1.2
Dual link Support : Y
HDMI Ready : 1.4a
Max Supported Resolution (ANALOG) : 2048 x 1536
Max Supported Resolution (DIGITAL) : 2560 x 1600(DVI);4096 x 2160(HDMI;DP)
Output - Display Port : 1
Output - DL-DVI-D : 2
Output - HDMI : 1

Physical

Card Profile : Dual
Thermal Solution : DD Fansink
Card Dimension (cm) : 29.5 x 14.3 x 4.2
Card Dimension (inch) : 11.61 x 5.63 x 1.65

Includes
6-pin to 4-pin power cable : 1
8-pin to 6-pin power cable : 1
Driver Disk Installation Guide : 1
Installation DVD : 1

Requirements

External Power - 6-pins : 1
External Power - 8-pins : 1
Minimum Power Supply Requirement : 750 watt

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Most Recent Comments

11-08-2014, 05:42:22

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...113511309l.JPG

It's been a while since we've had a chance to review an XFX graphics card, and today we have the R9 290 Double Dissipation to look at.


Read More on the XFX R9 290 DD Double Dissipation GPU Review

11-08-2014, 05:44:29

RamboOC
Sexy beast

11-08-2014, 05:46:38

Dicehunter
This thing looks sexy as hell !!!

I remember having an XFX 8800GTX back in the day

11-08-2014, 05:57:40

barnsley
How were the VRM temperatures? They are pretty poor from what I've seen on the net.

For the record, you have to be very careful when buying this card that you get the version that actually cools the VRM. As it gets so bad it throttles.

This card may look like sex, but I still can't shake off ALL the damn build quality issues alot of us had with the previous gen of XFX cards.

(VRM not VRAM, Silly me)

11-08-2014, 05:59:53

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
How were the VRAM temperatures? They are pretty poor from what I've seen on the net.

For the record, you have to be very careful when buying this card that you get the version that actually cools the VRAM. As it gets so bad it throttles.

This card may look like sex, but I still can't shake off ALL the damn build quality issues alot of us had with the previous gen of XFX cards.
Luckily the XFX 8800GTX I had was reference so there were no issues

11-08-2014, 06:14:19

tinytomlogan
There is no Vram temp read outs?

11-08-2014, 06:17:40

Thelosouvlakia
Just watched the video. That's the card I'm going for. Definitely, and it sits way way cheaper than the other 290s

11-08-2014, 06:24:59

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
There is no Vram temp read outs?
I'm guessing others may of measured the VRM temps with one of those laser pointer thermometers, I think that's how it's done anyway.

11-08-2014, 06:29:49

ace1danhole
Hey you tech savy geeks and experts here, can someone tell my if it's normal for the 780 to out perform the 290 in unigine valley and heaven and why does that happen?

My max score and fps on Valley with extreme HD is 65 fps and around 2750, I have a 2600K and R9 290 Vapor X, however I see people boasting their 780 which crushes mine since they're around 3000 scores and around 70 fps and higher.

11-08-2014, 06:31:29

Feronix
Slap that cooler on a GTX 760 and I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

That really is one good looking card. I'm growing a bit tired of all the same old 'gaming' style cards. I want a classy looking pc

11-08-2014, 06:35:02

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
Slap that cooler on a GTX 760 and I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

That really is one good looking card. I'm growing a bit tired of all the same old 'gaming' style cards. I want a classy looking pc
So true, As much as I like Black/Red, Black/Blue and Black/Yellow, A good old classy design like this is very welcome

11-08-2014, 06:44:05

cooperman
The VRM's where running @ 90c+ in the video i don't think i could live with that kind of temp's on those.

http://i.imgur.com/XZNg7ZH.png

11-08-2014, 07:02:43

MaddenShadow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
Slap that cooler on a GTX 760 and I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

That really is one good looking card. I'm growing a bit tired of all the same old 'gaming' style cards. I want a classy looking pc
Why on a 760? The price would be so high, due to the cooler that you could just as well get a 770/280x for a similar price.

11-08-2014, 07:03:19

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
I'm guessing others may of measured the VRM temps with one of those laser pointer thermometers, I think that's how it's done anyway.
He said Vram not VRM?

11-08-2014, 07:11:19

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
He said Vram not VRM?
And this is why I should never skip morning coffee

But I have seen others use a laser thermometer to measure Vram and VRM temps, Works quite nicely but a little overkill for a review me thinks

11-08-2014, 07:21:57

TommyGunn123
If you dont like 90c on vrm, then never buy an ASUS card then, gotta love them skimping on nvidia vrm cooling because of no probs to call them out

11-08-2014, 07:24:56

barnsley
I meant VRM. Should have taken an extra week off work.

11-08-2014, 08:00:58

Modzy
Hi Tom, Just wondering what "benchmark" for BF4 you run. is it just a campaign level with a set path or is it a more custom run through. I'd like to compare your results against my own system and since BF4 is the main game i play id like to get an accurate measurement of comparison.

Cheers Modzy

11-08-2014, 08:06:35

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddenShadow View Post
Why on a 760? The price would be so high, due to the cooler that you could just as well get a 770/280x for a similar price.
Cause I want a mid-range Nvidia card myself

11-08-2014, 08:14:04

GadgetGarrett
Possibly a candidate for my planned Graphite 380t build... especially as the layout will show off its sheckshy shide (as Sean Connery would say).

11-08-2014, 08:25:37

oncloud9
Very nice review thanks now I want the GPU lol

11-08-2014, 09:06:17

Bang
Looking at the benchmarks, this review just convinces me to buy the MSI R9 290 Gaming, which is really unfair to XFX.

Without overlocking the XFX card there really is 'no comparison'. It's nice to know the XFX card is cool and quiet but would it be so if it were overclocked?

If the XFX card is locked at the factory to not be overclocked, please tell us.
If it can be overclocked, what are the max stable speeds and temps? How does it stack up against the competition when its given a level playing field?

Without this info I wouldnt buy one and would go for the best, which seems to be the MSI R9 290 Gaming.

11-08-2014, 09:07:21

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
Without this info I wouldnt buy one and would go for the best, which seems to be the MSI R9 290 Gaming.
The 290 Gaming is defiantly not the best 290...

11-08-2014, 09:12:04

Bang
So what is? I've been looking at reviews for the last 2 months mate. Money is supposed to hit my bank in a week and as soon as it does I'm buying a new GPU. Please. spill the beans If you know of a better 290, share.

11-08-2014, 09:37:32

Wraithguard
That card is gorgeous! From the front it's just stunning, crome edges meh, would like to see those maybe anodised black.. makes me think about doing a mirror PSU cover to fit in the 450D so I can see the underside of my GPU. mmmm Modding hat on!

11-08-2014, 12:19:24

Dicehunter
I love the little hint in the video at the 6 minute mark about swapping out the Rampage 4 Black Edition soon, X99 rig incoming ?

11-08-2014, 12:34:09

RamboOC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
So what is? I've been looking at reviews for the last 2 months mate. Money is supposed to hit my bank in a week and as soon as it does I'm buying a new GPU. Please. spill the beans If you know of a better 290, share.
Create a new thread

11-08-2014, 12:37:10

MaddenShadow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
So what is? I've been looking at reviews for the last 2 months mate. Money is supposed to hit my bank in a week and as soon as it does I'm buying a new GPU. Please. spill the beans If you know of a better 290, share.
Check out Sapphire

11-08-2014, 12:38:48

SieB
What man doesn't like double D's

Nice to see another 290 done right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
So what is? I've been looking at reviews for the last 2 months mate. Money is supposed to hit my bank in a week and as soon as it does I'm buying a new GPU. Please. spill the beans If you know of a better 290, share.
Best 290s are

Sapphire Tri-X
Sapphire Vapour-X
Powercolor PCS+
XFX DD

11-08-2014, 12:40:56

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
What man doesn't like double D's

Nice to see another 290 done right.



Best 290s are

Sapphire Tri-X
Sapphire Vapour-X
Powercolor PCS+
XFX DD
Don't forget the MSI Lightning, Best AMD card going

11-08-2014, 13:24:02

Thelosouvlakia
Did anyone mention that XFX provides customers with Lifetime Warranty?

11-08-2014, 13:28:36

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thelosouvlakia View Post
Did anyone mention that XFX provides customers with Lifetime Warranty?
Ever returned an XFX card, RMA etc... ?

I RMA'd my cousins 7970, Holy hell was that an ordeal, They sent the same card back to me twice without ever opening the packaging and said they tested it when it was obvious they never even opened the packaging.

I hope they've gotten better though.

11-08-2014, 13:45:46

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thelosouvlakia View Post
Did anyone mention that XFX provides customers with Lifetime Warranty?
lol that was a long time ago.

11-08-2014, 13:50:06

Wraithguard
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
Ever returned an XFX card, RMA etc... ?

I RMA'd my cousins 7970, Holy hell was that an ordeal, They sent the same card back to me twice without ever opening the packaging and said they tested it when it was obvious they never even opened the packaging.

I hope they've gotten better though.
I too have been on the bitter end of the XFX support team, when I returned my old GeForce 8300 motherboard. Just hope that with the new company management and site design everything is running ship shape.

11-08-2014, 16:19:13

ShaunB-91
My eyes zoned in on the DD's. I came here, what is this crap? Dat ain't no DD's!

Only kidding.

11-08-2014, 16:56:35

agent_x007
Tom, U mentioned in video about "White Gold Award" (around 17:56 mark).
Q1 : Why not Platinum or Titanium or Diamond Award ?
Q2 : Could any Nvida card tested so far get a "White Gold Award" (if so, which is it) ?

As for "DD" card VRM problem :
These days VRM's are always hot (apart from full water block or some reference cards).
This isn't XFX card problem, ASUS and Gigabyte cards have it aswell (and with both NV and AMD chips).

11-08-2014, 17:00:46

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by agent_x007 View Post
As for "DD" card VRM problem :
These days VRM's are always hot (apart from full water block or some reference cards). This isn't XFX problem, ASUS and Gigabyte cards have it aswell (and with both NV and AMD chips).
Except the ones with the issues have no VRM cooling and throttle because of it...

11-08-2014, 17:13:12

agent_x007
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
Except the ones with the issues have no VRM cooling and throttle because of it...
That's why I didn't said it's "OK" for them to always be hot.

11-08-2014, 18:51:13

UkGouki
smexy looking card loved the video too now reading the full review..

11-08-2014, 20:02:50

sixdean
I have always rated xfx cards, they give the best black pcb's, they always use good part and are well presented, I actually liked the last generation but these are way better than any other card on the market.

I just bought an XFX 280x and its a shame that the logo doesnt light up but I don't really care as my rig sits under my table anyway, none of my friends are computer geeks like me so will never see it but I love it, and knowing that its there makes me happy

11-08-2014, 21:29:26

ccaution
Great looking card - and nice review, but I have two pointers about it:

-We consider ourselves enthousiasts, aren't we? How can we buy a card that it's manufacturer doesn't even allow us changing thermal paste. XFX & MSI won't see a penny from me if they keep putting the silly stickers on the screws.

-Tom, stop being lazy and overclock the thing. Report the maximum overclock and the ASIC quality as well as the mem ic's used, for us to have an overall idea about the card. Pcb pictures would be welcomed too. I know those Hawaii card needs subambient for 1.2GHz stable, but it would be appreciated to know how close you we can get.

Keep up the good work & sorry if I came on too strong

11-08-2014, 22:43:41

Kirik
I have an XFX 280x. It also has the same stickers over the screws. I contacted XFX about re-pasting and was told that the stickers may or may not apply depending on your location. I'm in Canada and was allowed to re-paste without messing with the warranty.

I do have a slight beef with the cooler. The VRAM and VRM portion of the cooler is a fairly anemic piece of metal. See here for the GPU portion of the cooler removed: http://www.directupload.net/file/d/3...7wl2k5_jpg.htm

The raised parts and chrome parts in the photo (not mine btw, found it here: https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=16263.0) are all plastic. It's basically a few plastic bits screwed into the metal layer and had some sort of oil to help with heat transfer. I'm wondering if this is still the case on the 290?

I ended up doing some severe mods to get the VRM temps to where I was more comfortable. At max loads my mods drop VRM temps around 10C. Needless to say I won't be trying my luck on warranties.

11-08-2014, 23:02:55

Bang
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thelosouvlakia View Post
Did anyone mention that XFX provides customers with Lifetime Warranty?

Only two years warrantee here, which is a key reason why I'm not interested in XFX or Sapphire. I don't see the logic in shelling out $500+ on a card and not getting 3 years warrantee.

Edit: The Sapphire Tri-X goes foor $529 at the only shop I know of in Melbourne which carries it. The same shop also carries the XFX DD for For $439 on special. At that price I might not be so anal about getting a three year warrantee

They also carry the XFX DD Black Edition for $499, though I don't know the difference between that and the regular DD. Maybe slightly higher stock core clock.

------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaution View Post
Great looking card - and nice review, but I have two pointers about it:

-We consider ourselves enthousiasts, aren't we? How can we buy a card that it's manufacturer doesn't even allow us changing thermal paste. XFX & MSI won't see a penny from me if they keep putting the silly stickers on the screws.

-Tom, stop being lazy and overclock the thing. Report the maximum overclock and the ASIC quality as well as the mem ic's used, for us to have an overall idea about the card. Pcb pictures would be welcomed too. I know those Hawaii card needs subambient for 1.2GHz stable, but it would be appreciated to know how close you we can get.

Keep up the good work & sorry if I came on too strong
I couldnt agree more. I would really like to know how well it overclocks.

I was unaware that XFX and MSI did this with the stickers. Do Asus or Gigabyte do it? What manufacturers allow you to change the TIM without voiding the warrantee?

12-08-2014, 04:35:41

Relayer
It varies by country. In the States XFX allows changing TIM and/or coolers without voiding the warranty. They'll even do it for you if you send the card and cooler to them. You would have to check with XFX to see what they allow in Australia.

12-08-2014, 08:32:24

RizeAllard
This new DD design is really nice. Elegant, and has very nice lines. It would be perfect if it was a 290X and I would be on air...

12-08-2014, 08:48:24

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by RizeAllard View Post
This new DD design is really nice. Elegant, and has very nice lines. It would be perfect if it was a 290X and I would be on air...
It does come in the 290X version

http://xfxforce.com/en-us/products/a...on-r9-series#*

12-08-2014, 08:53:19

Feronix
Hmmm, just had a look at the price and it's €90 more than the GTX 760 I was (am) going to get. But it's soooo beautiful + that's a lot more power for games.

...even though I barely play games anymore and I wanted an Nivdia one for CUDA.

Decisions decisions...

12-08-2014, 09:10:16

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
Hmmm, just had a look at the price and it's 90 more than the GTX 760 I was (am) going to get. But it's soooo beautiful + that's a lot more power for games.

...even though I barely play games anymore and I wanted an Nivdia one for CUDA.

Decisions decisions...
If you want my opinion on the matter, those coolers aren't really that good for ITX builds so maybe you should look at the 280x version.

12-08-2014, 09:13:33

Dicehunter

12-08-2014, 09:14:04

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
If you want my opinion on the matter, those coolers aren't really that good for ITX builds so maybe you should look at the 280x version.
Sadly, that one has red rings on it. I wanted to get a GTX 760 ACX and customize the shit out of it Seems like it's still the best option style-wise, plus it gives me CUDA.

Sadly, that does mean getting a bit less gaming performance.

12-08-2014, 09:15:59

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
Sadly, that one has red rings on it. I wanted to get a GTX 760 ACX and customize the shit out of it Seems like it's still the best option style-wise, plus it gives me CUDA.

Sadly, that does mean getting a bit less gaming performance.
And not that much improvement over your 670
Honestly I'd try and get a blower type GPU if I was you. Then again it is quite expensive to get a good looking one so maybe not D:.

12-08-2014, 09:16:34

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feronix View Post
Sadly, that one has red rings on it. I wanted to get a GTX 760 ACX and customize the shit out of it Seems like it's still the best option style-wise, plus it gives me CUDA.

Sadly, that does mean getting a bit less gaming performance.
A LOT less gaming performance......

12-08-2014, 09:17:05

RizeAllard
Good to see that they have 290X version too... If i had to build a stelth design or suit like design pc I will know what to buy in it...

12-08-2014, 09:18:07

barnsley
Something still doesn't feel right about talking about XFX in a positive light though...

12-08-2014, 09:24:26

Feronix
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
And not that much improvement over your 670
Honestly I'd try and get a blower type GPU if I was you. Then again it is quite expensive to get a good looking one so maybe not D:.
Actually it's a small step down but I'm probably just getting carried away by gaming benchmarks, even though I barely game anymore myself. The only title I'm still looking forward to is GTA V.

And ohwell, a GPU is easily replaced in the long run I guess.

For cooling it won't matter much. The shroud of the ACX cooler on the 760 is closed off at the bottom and top so air can only come out from the front and back. It's a mid-range card so it probably won't run that hot anyway.

To add to that, there will be a massive 230mm fan in the front directly in front of the GPU and a 120mm exhaust at the back. There are also 2x120mm fan holes in the top. I won't put any fans there but at least warm air can still passively exhaust out the top.

I guess I'm going with silence over temps on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
A LOT less gaming performance......
I meant the 280x, but you're still probably right. Oh well, if GTA V runs on an xbox, it sure as hell should run on a GTX 760 at 1080p at medium-high settings.

Don't really think it's worth spending giving up on CUDA just for slightly better graphic settings in one game.

12-08-2014, 18:55:05

bluehowell
Is the metro last light benchmark the built in one?, I ran the built in one with max settings, 1080p and got 46 avg fps with my R9 290.

Link to benchmark results
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9s...it?usp=sharing

19-08-2014, 14:29:43

sixdean
I had to get one....

OVERCLOCKERS were doing this for under 289.99 with a free 60GB ssd and I know that's not a very big drive but it also came with HARIBO. I mean come on, HARIBO !!!!!! Haha

Other parts are arriving tomorrow, It's just under 800 build and I will take a nice few pictures when its built next week.

Also TOM, is the file size limit for pictures on the forum 1mg ???? I had to import this picture from my phone to photoshop to resize.

Thanks and much <3

19-08-2014, 15:28:28

paulstung
Yep I bit the bullet too and ordered a pair this morning, considering your getting 2 AMD gold reward codes, 2 60gb SSD's and a copy of Battlefield 4 in each and of coarse the HARIBO. When it's all said and done your getting about 150 worth of freebies. A Billy bargain if I ever saw one. Roll on tomorrow, an early night for me I think.

22-08-2014, 13:44:32

Haysleyez
I had the 290x on load and I wasn't disappointed
Although my machine ran super hot, but the fans were doing their job

30-08-2014, 04:17:36

Thelosouvlakia
Can I ask a silly question? The PCB looks reference design... Is it? Can I get this card in a custom loop? Because the Reference cards are more expensive than this card in Greece
Reply
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