ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC Review
The Radeon R9 290X was an impressive card that was only, in our opinion, let down by a couple of issues. Firstly it was incredibly hot. We understand that AMD designed the card to hit 95°C but the asthmatic cooler really struggled to keep things under control without deafening us with fan noise. The second problem was a symptom of that disease, namely that it barely overclocked because there was almost zero headroom.
ASUS have taken up the gauntlet of correcting these issues with an otherwise great card. From the redesigned PCB, greatly improved power phases, and topping it off is the always excellent DirectCU 2 cooler, this has all the potential to be the R9 290X that we were hoping for in the first place.
Indeed given how great the R9 290 is, the non X variant, the 290X was in danger of becoming the card nobody brought. So have the ASUS tweaks finally unleashed the potential of the Hawaii GPU?
As befits a model bearing the "OC" suffix, the DCUII 290X has a healthy boost on the GPU core out of the box, boosted up to 1050MHz. Otherwise it is the fairly standard specifications table for a graphics card. Of course a table doesn't highlight all the improvements, so let's take a look at the card itself.