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XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation Review

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XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation Testing:

Testing of the XFX R9 290X with Double Dissipation cooling 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 14.1 beta 6 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:




  • XFX R9 290X DD : Core 1100MHz, Memory 1432MHz


Overclocking with a R9 290X Hawaiian Islands card has proven to be a challenge depending on the usage model for the card. Your typical tricks work on this card, as they have in previous generations. But here we also see a few twists not seen on those earlier cards. Simply adding voltage above +25mv, or an increase to the power limits, induces almost immediate throttling, throwing clock speeds into a tizzy. Once you induce the clock throttling, you really see performance drop off significantly. At stock speeds and voltages, this card stays dead on the 1000MHz core clock speed for well over thirty minutes of thermal testing. However, there is a definite line not to cross in terms of voltage and power applied.

Finally, after a few nights of watching the clock speed indicator bouncing around, I think I finally figured out the puzzle and set the clock speed on the core , memory, and voltage applied to 1100MHz core, 1500MHz memory, and +25mv on the core to push the voltage applied to 1.242v. This card does not have the Quiet/Uber switch the reference card has that seem to help crutch the card to higher clock speeds without throttling. Overall, I was able to pull 100MHz out of the core and 182MHz worth of free horsepower out of this R9 290X from XFX. These are definitely not the highest clock speeds I have ever run through a card, but seem to be par for the course with my two-card average.



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. Assasin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  8. Batman: Arkham Origins
  9. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  10. 3DMark
  11. Ultra HD


  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption

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