MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr

They make noise, too.

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mkk
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MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr

Post by mkk » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:12 pm

Just sharing my experience as I found this card to be surprisingly quiet. The high point is that the two 100mm fans can go as low as 900 RPM, which is great. This is with using the MSI Afterburner software to create a custom fan curve. Previously I was happy with my Sapphire HD7950 Dual-X that could get down to 1050, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a base of 900 RPM here. I've been eyeing reviews of this card and the ASUS dual fan card, but as reviewers in general do not report this factor I kinda took a chance on this MSI card when it became available.

Otherwise it's similar to the ASUS card in that it's total length is a little shorter(28cm) than others, and that it also has a back plate providing rigidity and some protection for the PCB. The triple(80mm) fan cards from Sapphire and Gigabyte are naturally at least a little bit noisier at idle, but could potentially be less so at heavier loads.

Less impressive is the current state of power saving for these R9 290 series of chips. I'm using the same driver as for my HD7950, but the cards clocks rise up from the idle levels very often. Even when there is nothing running that should normally trigger it, like an video running without any hardware acceleration. While the card isn't exactly heating up at light loads, the power consumption at doing lighter loads like web surfing, Youtube'ing (with h/w acceleration off) or movie watching is definitely higher than with say a HD7950. I'm guessing that this can be improved with a future driver and to most it's probably kinda irrelevant if a performance gaming card draws maybe 10-20W extra outside gaming, but I know that it's an important enough factor for some. I'm more just unsatisfied to see any kind of backwards development, but I also know from the past that this is something that the driver crew can do to avoid some graphics glitch at idle clock levels until they work it out. The card certainly does enter its 300 GPU 150 Mem clock states when the system is truly idling at least.

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Re: MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:55 pm

mkk wrote: Even when there is nothing running that should normally trigger it, like an video running without any hardware acceleration. While the card isn't exactly heating up at light loads, the power consumption at doing lighter loads like web surfing, Youtube'ing (with h/w acceleration off) or movie watching is definitely higher than with say a HD7950.
Actually it seems pretty typical of AMD's clock profiles. Here's the generic AMD card @Techpowerup. The Memclock goes to max speeds when you watch video, play games, sneeze.... Is your 7950 a 2GB card? That could make up the difference in power use.
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mkk
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Re: MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr

Post by mkk » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:08 am

The 7950 is a regular 3GB card and its clocks mostly stays put while playing Youtube in Chrome(no hw acceleration on) or movies in MPC-HC with acceleration turned off (letting the CPU do the work). Now with this R9 290 chip the clocks jump about at most any 2D activity as well. So there's likely some code behavior that is particular to the new generation of hardware. The GPU clock is very granular which is good, but the Mem clock tends to be either idle or full on. Often the latter while anything bigger moves on the screen.

I haven't used a watt meter yet but I will have to compare the power consumption for movie playback to see if it might not indeed be better to start using h/w acceleration again, since the card raises its clocks anyway. But it will be later as I'm still mostly in awe by the gaming performance. :) (and waiting for the next beta driver that should be just hours away)

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Re: MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:10 am

Bow down to your graphics card! :)
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

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