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PowerColor R9 290X PCS+ Review

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PowerColor R9 290X PCS+ Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920x1080 using 8xAA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a twenty minute cool down, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.



  • Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920x1080 8x AA
  • 5-run sequence
  • 20-minute idle duration
  • Temperature measured in degrees Celsius
























Clearly we see just how well the PCS+ cooling solution works on the R9 290X PCS+ from PowerColor. More robust than the cooling solution used on XFX's Double Dissipation R9 290X, PowerColor's solution just cleans house, with temperature results under load that are almost 30 degrees cooler at stock speeds than the reference design. Running the fan at 100% on both the PCS+ and reference card reduces the gap, but does not eliminate it, showing the PCS+ cooling solution still is a top cooling solution.

Where you get the most from the PCS+ cooling solution is when you compare the noise levels generated by the reference card and the PCS+ card. Ultimately there is no comparison. You can choose to have a Hoover next to your head or you can go for a card that generates a little noise. Comparing the PCS+ cooling solution to the Double Dissipation cooling solution on XFX's version of the 290X is a closer comparison. XFX's card is quieter, but to do so gives up some cooling performance. Ultimately I would go with the solution that did both well and that would be the PCS+ cooling solution as tested today.

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