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PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X 8GB Review

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PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X Testing:

Testing of PowerColor's Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. The NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 334.69 drivers, while AMD-based cards will be using the Catalyst 14.6 beta drivers. The results generated in my testing were reached by utilizing the latest FCAT tools to illustrate the true picture of the gaming experience. To do so will require a second PC set up to capture the data stream generated by the compared video cards.

 

Testing Setup:

FCAT Capture Setup:

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

 

Overclocking:

  • PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X: Core 1085MHz, Memory 1603MHz

 

With a name like Devil 13, you would think the card overclocks like nothing else or it's at least going to work within the general ranges expected from the architecture. Two overclocking scenarios played out here with both offering more performance potential for the end user: you can choose to maximize core clock speed and tweak the 8GB of memory as high as it will go, or you can maximize memory speed and take a hit on the core clock speed. Working with the Devil 13, I found I could employ either scenario, but when putting the two maximums together, there was some compromise needed to get it fully game stable. First and foremost, the second BIOS was enabled since it offers a more aggressive fan profile for a higher overall fan speed of 100% once the thermals hit 95 °C. This just gave the card the added cooling it needed to run with the maximum clock speeds.

The short and simple answer to the overclocking questions is that I found the best full-time compromise at 1085MHz on the pair of cores and 1603MHz on the 8GB of GDDR5 memory. By using a +30 adjustment to the Power Limit setting, I was able to eliminate any clock speed throttling at these clock speeds. For short benchmarking runs, up to 1130MHz was stable on the core, depending on the test. All in all, not bad for an air-cooled, dual-GPU card.

 

 

 

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

 

 

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  3. BioShock Infinite
  4. Crysis 3
  5. Far Cry 3
  6. Battlefield 4
  7. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  8. Batman: Arkham Origins
  9. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  10. 3DMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption



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