XFX R9 290 DD Double Dissipation GPU Review
It's been a long time since we've had an XFX graphics card in our bench rig, and the R9 290 DD makes the wait worthwhile.
With any graphics card you're balancing three distinct elements. The first is of course price, and it can be found for £270 so the XFX is one of the better priced offerings out there, largely thanks to its default clockspeed instead of a factory overclock. Although overclocking is really simple these days we know that the majority of people enjoy hardware they can just plug in and get on with their busy lives, so it's to this end that we've run the XFX at stock today.
That brings us neatly onto the second important element, the performance. To some people that can be the be all and end all, but we like graphics cards we can live with. Otherwise we'd strap Delta fans to everything wouldn't we. However, the XFX R9 290 DD is very consistent with only a couple of our benchmarks giving a lower result than expected, and a couple doing much better than we'd expected. In general it's very solid and even the most demanding person wont be disappointed with the frame rates that can be obtained from the XFX card.
The third and final of the important parts of choosing your hardware is the cooler. Or, perhaps more specifically, the cooling capabilities when balanced to the noise generated and, to some degree, the looks. On every count the XFX Dual Dissipation absolutely smashes the opposition. It's one of the best coolers it's ever been our pleasure to use. 30°C lower temperatures under loading than many of its contemporaries. What really sets it apart is how easy it is to live with. This thing is quiet. Really, seriously, quiet. The nine bladed 90mm fans manage to push a huge amount of air without ever raising the decibel level. We also adore the way it looks. The DD really seems to have been designed for this PCB, and the results back that up.
Although the XFX R9 290 Dual Dissipation might not be the absolute peak of performance, it's so awesome in every other department that it would be impossible to give it anything other than our Gold Award. The Radeon graphics cards of recent times have been really fast, but hotter than the surface of the sun and louder than the front row at a 1 Direction concert. The XFX is quiet, cool, looks awesome and is plenty fast enough. Highly recommended.