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Is there anything bad about the DirectCU II R9 290? [Nevermind! I just ordered one]

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I found out that the Sapphire Tri-X 290 will be too long for my case (the original Cooler Master 690). So, I've set my sights back on what I wanted originally: the DirectCU II R9 290. Are there any reasons why I shouldn't get this? What I mean is, is there anything wrong with it? It seems like it received good professional reviews, but I'd like to hear from actual owners or ex-owners.

 

 

Edit: I just ordered it from Amazon.com for $489.99 shipped!


Edited by TwoCables - 4/3/14 at 2:26pm
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post #2 of 35
Only thing that turned me off was the Elpida memory chips, but you said before you won't be overclocking anyways?



Here is a solid review of the card:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/R9_290X_Direct_Cu_II_OC/1.html

Quote:
Pros

•No throttling with either the quiet or performance BIOS
•Low noise during gaming with the quiet BIOS
•Low temperatures during gaming with the performance BIOS
•Overclocked out of the box
•Memory is also overclocked
•Backplate included
•Colors customizable via stickers
•Voltage measuring points
•Dual BIOS
•Native full-size HDMI and DisplayPort

Cons

•Elpida memory holds back memory OC
•Idle noise levels not improved

My bad, regular 290, not the "X"
    
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post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

You're right: 290, not 290X, and no overclocking.

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(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
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250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
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post #4 of 35
I think the review is still plausible as the card itself is the same, just the chip is fully unlocked to a 290x.


Haven't heard anything bad about the DC II 290 or 290x. I have been looking at the DC II 290 for a while now for my other computer.

I have a DC II 570 in there right now running solid @900MHz.
    
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post #5 of 35
Well, the card isn't bad, but it isn't all that great either. The cooler came directly off of the GTX 780/Ti card, and two of the heatpipes don't make contact with the 290/x die because of that. VRM temperatures aren't good either. Since you're going to be keeping it stock, you shouldn't have any problems, but I'd choose the MSI Gaming over the DCII if a shorter card was needed. The MSI Gaming has a cooler made for Hawaii dies, there are heatspreaders for the VRAM, VRM cooling is much better, as is GPU cooling.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 

I found what I was looking for. My foggy memory was failing me. :) I remembered now that I heard that the DirectCU II cooler on the 290 is the same one that was used o the GTX 780. I confirmed that this is true, but it seems that this doesn't have a negative impact on the cooling performance:

 

http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/asus-r9-290-direct-cu-ii-oc-review-1600p-ultra-hd-4k/2/

It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
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Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
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It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
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post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airisom2 View Post

Well, the card isn't bad, but it isn't all that great either. The cooler came directly off of the GTX 780/Ti card, and two of the heatpipes don't make contact with the 290/x die because of that. VRM temperatures aren't good either. Since you're going to be keeping it stock, you shouldn't have any problems, but I'd choose the MSI Gaming over the DCII if a shorter card was needed. The MSI Gaming has a cooler made for Hawaii dies, there are heatspreaders for the VRAM, VRM cooling is much better, as is GPU cooling.

 

I'm finding better temps in reviews at a slower fan speed with the DirectCU II than the MSI Gaming Twin Frozr.

 

Regarding the VRM temps:

 

http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/asus-r9-290-direct-cu-ii-oc-review-1600p-ultra-hd-4k/28/

 

Screenshot:

 

R9290DirectCUIIVRM.png 

 

 

I just spent the past 45 minutes comparing both cards in reviews, and the DirectCU II seems to be superior, providing the same temps in Furmark at 50% fan speed vs. the 64% fan speed of the MSI Gaming. I won't be overclocking, but I do like the lower fan speed to achieve the same temps.

It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
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250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
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Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
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Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
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Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
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It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
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Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
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post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

Ok, that's enough. I'm ordering it. I mean, damn! Look at this! lol

 

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/asus_radeon_r9_290_directcuii_oc_review,20.html

 

R9290Crysis3FPS.png

 

Look at 1600x1200 and 1920x1200. Those framerates would make me sing Happy Happy Joy Joy all day long!

It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
  hide details  
Reply
It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
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Reply
post #9 of 35
I'm ordering it too, £350 here biggrin.gif
post #10 of 35
Well, buy whatever you want thumb.gif I just see the DCII as a rushed, incomplete card. In most reviews that show VRM temps, the DCII is always above the 90C range, whereas the Gaming is much lower (Gaming, DCII). Although it's said that those temps are within spec, there's no way in hell that it's recommended to keep them at those temps. The hotter the VRMs (or any component) gets, the less efficient they are, the less power is outputted (the hotter it is, the more power is absorbed by the heat, simply put), and the higher chance there is that they'll blow.

Looking at the cooling on the GPU, the DCII does seem to be a bit better since it's at a lower fan speed, but all things considered, the MSI Gaming is the better overall card. I'd be much more comfortable with a 2C hotter core, 20C cooler vrms, and cooler VRAM. Just my 2c.
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