ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC Review

Test Setup, Overclocking and Temps

ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC Review

Test Setup

ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair Dominator Platinum
Corsair AX1200i
Corsair Neutron GTX
Corsair H100i
Windows 7 x64  


The reference 290X had no real overclocking benefit to speak of due to the incredibly high heat already being pushed out by the Hawaii core. With the DCUII we have a factory overclock, but even then there is enough headroom to squeeze another 100MHz from the card. 

Memory overclocking was problematic as it froze so often we ended up with the choice of overclocking the memory of the GPU Core, and after some testing it was clear that the GPU Core overclock gave much higher performance increases, so we stuck with that as our overclock of choice.

Finally we usually use Afterburner for our overclocking, but on the 290X DCU2 it was incredibly unstable so for this particular card we'd recommend sticking with the ASUS GPU Tweak software.

ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC Overclocking


The only real change between the Uber and Silent modes is the temperatures and thus the amount of noise. There was no real overclocking benefit to be had. As you can see you definitely have a choice to make. The Silent mode is quiet, but the card is unbelievably hot. So hot that our RAM sticks were warm to the touch. Whereas the Uber mode drops the temperatures significantly but at the expense of extra noise. 


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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