Originally Posted by primal92
Hello everyone, I've managed to get hold of a msi reference 290 non X for a very good price, second hand with invoices from scan. Once I sell my current DCUII 7970 the upgrade should only cost about £30-40. Is there anything I should be aware of before using this card ? Any issues cropping up with them? My 7970 has been great should I expect the same from this card or more issues ( drivers, reliability) ? And is there anything I should I.e. modding to keep temps down or gain more performance ?
I have had great luck so far with my XFX R9 290 Black Edition. Great overclocker, stable, crushing benches and games. Drivers are stable thus far from my experience. Your biggest hurdle will be that reference blower if you plan to get the full potential out of your purhcase!
Reference cooler does a pretty awful job of cooling the card quietly
They are capable of cooling the card even under high overclocks, but the sound is quite outrageous. I pushed my XFX 290 BE, with the stock blower, to 1215/1650 with the fan cranked up to 75%. The card maxed at 88C and never throttled. It also kept the VRMs cool enough to sustain these clocks and bench/test very well; never broke 79C on VRM1.
I haven't seen any information for what changing TIM and/or thermal pads can do on a reference cooler...it may help, but the bottom line is the reference blower is inadequate; especially if you plan to OC.
Your best bet with these cards is upgrading the cooling solution and make sure you keep the main VRMs cool
. Main VRMs are highlighted in yellow and secondary VRMs circled in orange.
You have a couple options...Full cover waterblock
if you are setup for water cooling already. Best solution for cooling everything on the card cool, especially the main VRMs.
Upgraded air cooler
Two most popular I've seen are the Arctic Accelero Extreme III and the Gelid Icy VIsion.
[*] Arctic Accelero Extreme III
Arctic is currently sold out at NewEgg because of its popularity and capability to tame these cards and overclock them. The kit includes heatsinks for RAM and VRMs
To give you an idea of how well the Arctic works here's a link:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/r9-290-accelero-xtreme-290,3671-4.html[*] Gelid Icy Vision
Is in stock and a bit cheaper. Several reviews stating it works well. The kit includes heatsinks for RAM and VRMs
One of our own has installation instructions and results from this cooler.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1437634/installation-guide-tips-of-rev-2-icy-vision-on-r9-290xAttach an AIO CPU water cooler
. Will do a fantastic job of cooling the GPU, but you will need to attach heatsinks to RAM and VRMs. You have a couple options here as well.
Heatisnks for RAM and VRMs
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid which is the most expensive of the lot, if you can find one as it seems they may be discontinued. They are listed as compatible with the 290(X). These have a built in fan to assist in cooling the RAM and VRMs. The kit includes the heatsinks for RAM and VRMs
- NZXT Kraken G10 This is a bracket designed to attach the Asetek style AIO coolers to the card. It also has a fan holder on it to assist in cooling the RAM and VRMs. I believe these are still on backorder because of there high demand and stylish looks
You must purchase heatsinks for RAM and VRMs
Asetek AIO coolers are the round ones like this. You can also see a compatibility list on NZXT website.
- KeplerDynamics AIO adapter bracket. This bracket is compatible with the Asetek coolers as well. Downside is there is no fan attachment. You will still need to attach heatsinks to RAM and VRMs and then make sure you have sufficient air flow over the heatsinks/card.
Orders from here can sometimes take a little while. A friend of mine ordered a few for his 7970 miner cards and it took several weeks for them to arrive. He is very happy with the results though
You will require two sizes. Larger for RAM and smaller for VRMs.
My brother has these on his Xfire 7950's that have AIO coolers on them.
Larger Sinks for RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835708012
Smaller Sinks for VRMs - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835708011
Aluminum - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3TR18A6835
Copper - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3TR18A6835
You would require more than one package of the copper as there are 16 RAM chips
Here is one example, there are many more you can choose from if you search for RAM heatsink. The prices are very low on eBay and I have seen people mention them working well.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/8pcs-Aluminium-Heatsink-For-Motherboard-DDR-VGA-RAM-Memory-IC-Chipset-Cooler-W-/370655913100?pt=US_Memory_Chipset_Cooling&hash=item564cd0648cEdited by Roboyto - 2/17/14 at 6:11pm