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[SPONSORED] The often under estimated AMD card, R9 285.

review by duality92

The card I have in hand is a Club3D R9 285 royalQueen from their Poker Series lineup. I was sponsored this card from my Folding Farm project, which can be seen here.

The exact model I have is CGAX-R92856. Upon opening the brown box, which was plastered with Club3D tape, I noticed how nothing inside the box moved. This card was sent straight from their Netherlands office and arrived here in perfect shape. It was so well sealed with Club3D tape I didn't even know where to start opening it from! After a few careful incisions I managed to reach the goods inside, a foam packed, bubble wrapped anti-static bag with the video card was awaiting me to dissect it.
After removing all things keeping me from holding the card in my hands I immediately noticed the shroud. It?s not a common design and it seems like the bezel for the shroud is removable!

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I was almost too anxious to take it apart that I almost forgot to take pictures! Luckily, on that day, the lighting was perfect and with my new house, I have a perfect place to take pictures in my living room!
So I started dismantling this card and immediately noticed that all the logos on the card are printed with paint instead of stickers. I by far prefer this that other shrouds I have seen and owned.

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Now at this point, I couldn?t refrain from not removing screws. I removed the first four tiny black screws that seemed to hold the bezel (which is exactly what they ended up to be!)

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This makes modding the card a lot easier! (for painting the shroud at least). Doing this, it reveals the actual heatsink which contacts the GPU core only. Thermal paste was properly applied (maybe a tiny bit too much though).
The heatsink itself seems to be 2 bigger heat pipes each going on one extremity and the smaller in the center. The length of the heatsink is the total length of the card (not shorter or longer like other cards). The base itself is copper also. The fans are PWM (like all other video cards) and they each have their own connector that runs into a splitter making it easy to swap a fan if you break a blade. This heatsink design is called CoolStream which is labeled on the card itself.

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As far as performance goes, here are my results with Catzilla, Valley and Heaven benchmarks. Processor at 4 GHz (Intel i5 4690K) (although I forgot it at 4.5 GHz for the stock Valley and Heaven benchmarks)

Stock


Stock


1100-1500


1100-1500


1130-1500


1130-1500


Stock 576p


1130-1500 576p


stock 720p


1130-1500 720p


To conclude my benchmarks, the card overclocks to 1130/1500, absolutely nothing more. This is with +100%Power Limit and +200mV. This is an overclock of 19.6% on the core and 9% on the vRAM which is still a great increase compared to stock and the increased performance is moderately linear. (19% core/9% vRAM increase for around 14% average total performance increase)

Valley scores
Stock (1515)
1100-1500 (1718) +13.4% performance increase
1130-1500 (1720) +13.5% performance increase

Heaven scores
Stock (1136)
1100-1500 (1288) +13.3% performance increase
1130-1500 (1308) +15.1% performance increase

Catzilla 576p
Stock (17358)
1130-1500 (19803) +14.1% increase

Catzilla 720p
Stock (13346)
1130-1500 (15487) +16% increase

To conclude this review, I want to say a special thank you to Toshi from Club3D for this card. I really appreciate it!

ProsCons
Sleek appearance, short card at 225mm, stealthy, well builtnone yet

Ratings
Overall5
 
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