ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

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?

Technical Specifications

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.

ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC Review  

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Most Recent Comments

29-12-2013, 16:09:35

We'd like to see some blue stickers included to make the ASUS Pro range of motherboards, but that's nit-picking.
Oi asus do this. Also do it for the 280x and send me a sticker sheet as my red gpu doesn't go well with my blue theme :c.

I'm really tempted to sell my 280x and get the 290 version of this or get the toxic 290.Quote

29-12-2013, 16:18:48

heh, just checked the 290x prices again, no custom coolers on mindfactory yet, but the price is around 500 euros. so with a custom cooler it will be around 550-600 i suppose. at 590 euros the 780ti already starts, even with custom coolers.
that card needs a price drop, at 500 euros with custom cooler it would fit between the 780 and the 780ti.Quote

29-12-2013, 16:19:56

Very nice improvements over the reference release, some very nice results there.Quote

29-12-2013, 16:20:35

Nice to see that Asus has tamed the temps with the DCUII

I'm waiting for my Sapphire Tri-X 290 from OCUK, they were supposed to get stock on the 27th to be delivered on the 28th. That didn't happen though so it's some time next week now. I'll compare results against this 290x version to see how much difference there is between a custom cooled £380 290 and a custom cooled £500 290x when I get my card.Quote

29-12-2013, 16:25:45

still dont see how 83*c is tamed.Quote

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