PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X 8GB Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X Introduction:
PowerColor started off its Devil Series with a bang by going it alone when the company released the very first Devil 13 based on the HD 7990. In fact, PowerColor was first to market with a dual core card based on AMD's Tahiti XT architecture, proving that as an engineering exercise it could be done without cooking the hardware. It turned out that the Devil branding was strong enough to carry another few cards in the line-up, including the Devil HD 7870 and Devil R9 270X; both of which did the branding proud. Bringing the Devil 13 back to life, PowerColor has again been thinking outside the box to deliver what is essentially an air cooled R9 295X2... yes, let it sink in... wait for it... wait for it... there you go! A full-on, custom, in-house designed and built, air-cooled, dual-GPU card.
At this point, you are probably thinking the engineers at PowerColor are out of their minds for putting together a card that is not liquid-cooled like the AMD reference version I just looked at. You cannot possibly cool it without one hell of a cooling solution. For this chore, they put together a special ten-heat pipe based solution using three of its own all new double blade fans to rid the cores of its thermal load. Power delivery for this beast is by way of a 15-phase version of PowerColor's Platinum Power Kit. Competitively priced at $1499, and due for release today, the Devil 13 R9 290X Dual Core 8GB video card looks to cement PowerColor's reputation for bringing hell to earth with its Devil series cards. Let's see if this one lives up to the Devil name or if it takes a trip on the downward escalator with flames licking at its core.
PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X Closer Look:
When the box holding the PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X arrived, it was heavy to say the least. Opening it up revealed a black box with what appeared to be a wax seal on the top lid. Taking a trip around it, I found the Devil 13 logo prominently displayed on all the long sides with information about the card on the ends. Internally, the packaging is deep to house the impressive amount of accessories included with the card. The top section holds the included Razer Ouroboros mouse and the documentation for the Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X. Under the box that houses the mouse is the graphics card packed in a dense foam rubber to keep its massive weight in check while traveling on the way to its host. Underneath the Devil 13 is the balance of the accessories, including PowerColor's PowerJack and a pair of PCIe power adapters.
A standard accessory bundle for most graphics cards includes the driver disk, user manual, installation and setup manual, some PCIe power adapters (whether it be 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe or 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power adapters), and usually an assortment of gender benders to connect to different displays. PowerColor included this stuff, but also puts the documentation in packaging to match the theme of the outer packaging. In fact, it's all well integrated into the design, so props to the marketing folks who came up with the idea back in 2012. What is special about this bundle is the fact that PowerColor includes a high end gaming mouse from Razer. The $140 8200 DPI, fully customizable wireless/wired Ouroboros, to be exact.
Like I said, PowerColor did not skimp on the bundle. The Razer Ouroboros comes with four interchangeable side panels, adjustable palm arch, and a retractable back end to fit any of the most popular gaming grips for both lefties and righties. Much like the Mamba, the Ouroboros can be used with or without a hard-wired connection to the PC. A single NIMH AA rechargeable battery is used to provide the power for the internal ARM 32-bit processor, the green backlighting, and the 8200 DPI fourth-gen laser. You can get up to twelve hours of gaming before having to recharge the battery by placing it on the charging cradle. If you prefer running wired, that option is supported as well.
The packaging is superb and fits well with the intent of the card. The accessory bundle was wholly unexpected, but the addition of the Ouroboros is a great way to add value for any gamer who can step up to the plate and run a card of this caliber.