AMD Partners Release Radeon R9 390 4GB Variant

AMD is expanding its Radeon mid-range graphics cards by releasing a 4GB variation of the Radeon R9 390 through its AIB partners Sapphire, XFX, and PowerColor (via Chinese sites EXPreview and JD.com). The company hopes that the 4GB version, a variant on the 8GB original, will help it compete against NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970 and below.

The new Radeon R9 390 variants sport the Grenada PRO GPU and 4GB GDDR5 memory. The 4GB could be considered R9 290 rebrands were it not for 10% faster clock speeds.

Sapphire Radeon R9 390 4G D5 Platinum Edition OC

Sapphire’s R9 390 is overclocked by 10MHz, has a triple-slot Dual-X cooler, and features a backplate and reference PCB.

XFX Radeon R9 390 4GB ‘Black Wolf’ Double Dissipation

The XFX ‘Black Wolf’ has been overclocked by 15MHz, features a custom PCB, and a Double Dissipation cooling system.

PowerColor ‘Dataland’ Radeon R9 390 4GB

PowerColor’s ‘Dataland’ card is the first triple-fan 4GB R9 390, while its cooling is so efficient its fans will not engage until the GPU hits temperatures of 62oC.

EXPreview has put the cards through their paces, comparing them to the similar R9 290, showing the new variants to be up to 10% faster the old card.

There is no news yet on international release dates for the Radeon R9 390 4GB variants.

AMD Radeon R9 380X Release Date and Price Revealed?

Just last month, we heard that the AMD R9 380X was on its way, as a cards specifications, as well as a picture of the card from XFX leaked online. The new AMD card, although admittedly I use the term “new” lightly, looks set to topple the Nvidia Geforce GTX 970, offering impressive performance at a mighty affordable price range, which should make it ideal for 1440p gaming.

The new card features a 28nm chip, with a clock of up to 1100Mhz, 4GB of GDDR5 @ 5500Mhz – 6000Mhz and a 256bit bus. Of course, the specifications seem decent enough and no doubt a few AMD partners such as XFX, Sapphire, Gigabyte and Powercolor will put their own touch of magic in there to get the most of the card using custom cooling and PCB solutions; my money is on Sapphire putting out the best card of the bunch, as we’ve seen so many times with AMD cards in the past.

The card is expected to launch in just a few days time, November 15th to be exact, to the general public. Of course, this is just a rumour at this time, but Hardware Battle have proven a reliable source of leaks in the past.

What’s more exciting, is that the card is expected to retail at just $249, much lower than the GTX 970, which are often north of $300.

Are you looking forward to the R9 380X?

PowerColor R9 390 PCS+ 8GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


We have all had mixed opinions on the R9 300 series upon release, the rebranded nature of the 200 series was seen as the fall of AMD and short-changing consumers. However, while they are in fact rebranded, they are great cards and provided an excellent performance boost over the previous generation and are a great foundation for the Fiji range to be based on.

Today in the test bench is the PowerColor R9 390 PCS+. This is the only version of the R9 390 that PowerColor offer which is good as it’s not confusing to consumers to have to choose between different models. As with all other R9 390’s, it features 8GB VRAM, a 6000MHz memory clock and over 1000MHz core clock.

This R9 390 PCS+ edition in particular, features a 3 fan monster metal cooling shroud which hugs a large heatsink; ideal for 0db operation at low load levels. The design of this card is extremely deceiving, the shroud is wide at the top and comes in. This makes the card look a lot larger than it actually is, being 10mm shorter than the Gigabyte G1 gaming and 7mm short than the Sapphire Tri-X cooler.

Packaging and accessories

The outer skin of the box is plain, but also extremely attractive to the eye. The trio of colours and simple design show that this is a no fuss card and the specifications along the bottom show that it means business.

The back of the box has some key features with some images to be more appealing.

The accessories aren’t bursting from the seams with this card, PowerColor just offering the driver disc, installation manual and PCI-e power adapter.

PowerColor and XFX Prep AMD R9 Fury GPUs

Over the next few weeks, both PowerColor and XFX are expected to launch their own R9 Fury GPUs. Based off AMD’s cutdown Fiji die, the Fury initially only launched with cards from ASUS and Sapphire. With AIB partners joining in, it looks like the supply issues behind the Fury may finally have been resolved.

First off, we have PowerColor’s card which has been revealed on their website. At 3584 shaders, 224 TMUs and 64 ROPs, the cut-down Fiji will be clocked at 1000Mhz with the 4GB of HBM untouched. Connectivity features 3 DisplayPort and 1 HDMI output. The card measures 320mm x 125mm x 45mm which is a tad larger than the Sapphire Fury Tri-X overall while only a bit longer than the ASUS Fury Strix. Like the aforementioned cards, the PowerColor features 3 fans which speaks to the level of cooling required for Fury.

Moving on, we have XFX’s implementation which is also based off 3 fans. Interestingly, it looks like the XFX model is essentially the same as the PowerColor one, at least judging from the heatsink and shroud. It may be that the two firms are using the same cooling solution from an OEM. Like the PowerColor, it looks to have 3 DP and 1 HDMI as well.

Rounding off the major partners, we still have no word yet from MSI nor Gigabyte about when their cards might arrive. Given that Sapphire and PowerColor are AMD exclusive partners, it’s not surprising that they are moving in ahead of the last two.

Thank you Videocardz for providing us with this information

PowerColor ‘DEVIL’ R9 390X 8GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction and Packaging


The launch of the R9 300 series has been a very bumpy road. Not only was it released as a rebranded R9 200 series, it was then nailed by AMD itself by releasing the R9 Fury range. In themselves, they are a great progression from the original R9 200 releases, adding anywhere from 10-30% performance increase and the cost was more favourable than the NVIDIA counterparts. The market for the R9 300 series is small, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers designing some great additions to the range.

On the test bench today is the PowerColor DEVIL R9 390X, although it isn’t a DEVIL as we know it. From previous releases, the DEVIL graphics cards have been extremely big and completely bonkers. Just look back to the DEVIL 13 (290x x2), that was not only one of the biggest graphics cards ever made, but it came with its own tool kit, case support bar and even a RAZER mouse. If we all remember back to Computex 2015, PowerColor had sneakily left a prototype on display; initial reports flooded in that it was the first ever R9 Fury X pictured which was believable thanks to the AIO cooling solution. That rumour bubble was quickly popped though and it was confirmed that the card was, in fact, an R9 390X model. We already know how the R9 390X performs, so let’s see if PowerColor are able to unleash hell with this new graphics card.

The outer box skin is very plain, no specs or details to what’s inside apart from the logo’s. The actual “Devil” logo could be interpreted as the flames of hell being quenched by water, or an AMD CPU being cooled by water if you want to be more literal.

The back of the box is where a great deal of the visual information is. I feel it’s slightly too cluttered; maybe the card specifications should have been printed on the side panel along with power and system requirements to leave more room for the diagrams.

If you were expecting a tool-kit, GPU holder and mouse with this; you are going to be disappointed. The accessories include a premium hard covered gaming surface, PCIe power adapter, installation instructions and driver disk.

PowerColor Devil 370X Benchmarks Leaked

AMD’s budget-focused 370X is designed to compete with the GTX 950 and could instigate a price war in the lower-end market. The 370X features 1280 stream processors and utilizes the entire Pitcairn architecture. Finally, the raw performance numbers are emerging from custom-cooled models such as the PowerColor Devil 370x. This particular card contains a core of 1180MHz and memory frequency of 5600MHz.

The PowerColor Devil 370X opts for a rather understated matte black backplate which prevents unwanted drooping and implements a more premium feel.

This GPU is powered by 2 6-pin PCI-E connectors which should help with overclocking potential.

In terms of connectivity, the PowerColor Devil includes 2 mini DisplayPorts 1.2, 1 HDMI (most probably 1.4) and 2 DVI-I connectors. There is also a vent to help with airflow and push heat outside the case.

The cooler itself is based on a copper 4-heatpipe design with ample room for two extremely large heatsinks.

The shroud is constructed from metal and painted in a gorgeous black and red finish. While this colour scheme is overdone, it looks fantastic and oozes build quality. Additionally, a 3 fan setup allows for reasonable temperatures at a low decibel level.

A closer look at the PCB shows the card’s power circuitry, core and VRAM layout.

Moving onto the actual results, we can see the PowerColor Devil 370x reaches a 3DMARK 11 X-score of 2761. To put this into perspective, a reference GTX 960 usually manages around X3350.

The GPU was also tested in Fire Strike Extreme and achieved a Graphics score of 3035. This easily outperforms many overclocked 270X cards which attain a figure around 2700-2800.

Perhaps the most important results revolve around gaming benchmarks at the mainstream 1920×1080 standard. The chart below records the lowest and average frame rate from a wide array of demanding games. In descending order, the benched titles are Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Dragon Age Inquisition, Lords of the Fallen, Project Cars, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Zombie Army Trilogy, Moonlight Blade and World of Tanks.

Judging from the benchmarks and gaming scores, it seems the PowerColor Devil 370X will be a stonking card for customers on a tight budget.

PowerColor Unveils AMD Radeon R9 Fury

PowerColour is the latest board partner to announce a custom designed AMD Radeon R9 Fury which opts for a triple fan design, and reference PCB. The PowerColour variant contains a Core Speed of 1000MHz, Memory Speed of 500MHz (1.0 Gbps) and 4GB of High Bandwith Memory. In terms of connectivity, there are 3 DisplayPorts and 1 HDMI 1.4. Ideally, I would like to see support for Dual-Link DVI because many Korean import 2560×1440 monitors only use that interface. However, it looks like this isn’t a possibility on AMD’s Fury range.

The press release doesn’t divulge much information so it’s still unknown if the card has a backplate. I would presume so given the mammoth cooling solution which could be longer than Sapphire’s huge Tri-X GPU. From the pictures, you can see where the PCB ends, and how the cooling extends from the actual board. If the design can match PowerColour’s triple-slot 290x, then the Fury should remain extremely cool. One caveat is the complete lack of overclocking headroom of the Fury range. Hopefully voltage unlocks will remedy this but don’t expect huge performance gains from manual overclocking.

Overclockers UK have set a pre-order price of £439.99 which is £10 cheaper than Sapphire’s custom model. Additionally, the card should arrive on the 31st of July with most major retailers.

Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

PowerColor Showcase New Sound Cards @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – For a few weeks, PowerColour has been flashing a smaller card installed into a few computer builds; with only teasers of what it could possibly be. Rumours and speculation circulated this, but we can now confirm that this is a new range of DEVIL branded sound cards.

Specifications are scarce, but we can confirm that it will feature a 600hm amplifier, 24-bit sound quality and 124db noise level. With those specs, this will easily compete in the high-end sound card market.

We look forward to reviewing the new DEVIL HDX sound cards in the near future. We will keep you updated with any news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

PowerColor Showcase Updated Fan Design @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – While at the PowerColor booth, we noticed something a little different about the fans that are used on the current line-up of graphics cards.

The new ‘DoubleBlades’ design is the same as a standard 5 fin fan, but with notched taken out of the inner fin to concentrate more airflow downwards. Due to the additional fin and notch taken out of the larger fin, this creates negative air pressure which is filled in quicker than a traditional fan design; thus creating a more powerful flow of air.

We look forward to taking a closer look at these fans during an upcoming review. We will keep you updated with the rest of the news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

PowerColor Display Latest Graphics Cards @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – We stopped by the PowerColor stand to try and catch a glimpse of the upcoming R9 390x graphics card; sadly they either removed it from view or someone has leaked the wrong information.

To take our minds off this, we turned our attention to the current range of Radeon 200 series graphics cards that PowerColor currently offer. Due to the age of the 200 series, nothing really jumped out at us, but you can appreciate the cooling technologies that have gone into the revised PowerColor cooling designs.

We look forward to covering more from PowerColor in the future. We will update you with any news or events from the rest of Computex 2015.

PowerColor Clarifies Details on AMD 390X Photos at Computex

Computex 2015 – As we are live at Computex, we wanted to find out of the leaked photos actually were of the upcoming AMD Radeon R9 390X or not. So we caught up with PowerColor and asked them some questions to find out.

And we now know it for sure and sadly have to debunk the previous news. The pictured card is NOT the new R9 390X, nor is it an official cooling design.

The representative at the PowerColor booth confirmed this. Underneath the beefy cooler is an AMD Radeon R9 290X card and it is equipped with a prototype DEVIL 13 Hybrid cooling solution. So sadly, this is neither a finished new card nor the highly expected Radeon R9 390X card.

PowerColor could however confirm that they are working on the new AMD R9 300 series and will have their cards ready shortly after the official reveal June 16th at E3, so stay tuned and we’ll make sure to keep you updated as soon as we have more information.

PowerColor Showcase FreeSync @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – during our stop at the PowerColour booth, we noticed a computer in the background displaying AMD FreeSync Technology. This is still relatively new and the adoption rate by monitor manufacturers is surprising low. The technology itself is very good, the main purpose of the technology is to prevent screen tearing while maintaining the highest possible FPS. AMD does this very well and with almost zero performance penalty.

Currently the only set way to demonstrate this technology is with the Wind turbine demo; in person it is visually impressive.

We aim to get a review of an AMD FreeSync enabled monitor published as soon as possible. We will keep you updated with all of the news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

PowerColor Radeon R9 390X DEVIL 13 Pictured

Computex is going on and hardware manufacturers are busy showing off their newest products from all categories surrounding our PCs, and sometimes something gets released a little too early. This time we get pictures of what very well could be the new AMD R9 390X from Powercolor, equipped with the hybrid cooling solution dubbed the DEVIL 13.

While we can’t fully confirm that this actually is the R9 390X, it most likely is. TweakTown was the first to post the pictures and other outlets quickly picked up on the card too. The design might not be the final one as the launch of this specific card is still some time away, but it still gives us a great view on it.

The card has an 8-pin and 6-pin power connector as well as a black backplate to stabilize the card and give it a great look.

The PowerColor R9 390X DEVIL 13 is far from a slim or small card and it actually exceeds the 2 slots height with its beefy cooler. It still comes with an external radiator that has to be mounted to your chassis.

We know by now that the new AMD Radeon R9 390X card will come with 8GB memory and that it will be presented on the 16th during E3. We could also reveal the possible MSRP pricing earlier today.

I am ready for AMD’s new graphics cards and tired of waiting. Bring it on.

Thanks to TweakTown and Videocardz for providing us with this information.

PowerColor Announce a ‘High-End’ Graphics Card Competition

The release of the highly anticipated R9 300 series is so close it’s almost unbearable to think of; yet one company have jumped the gun and have announced a competition for one of the newest, high-end not yet announced graphics card:

“(One (1) for Grand Prize winner consisting in 2 High end not yet announced graphic cards will be awarded)”

That’s the closest we get to any written information regarding the graphics cards; however, the image on the promotional page does give a little more information. In the background, we see the cooling shroud from a R9 295×2, or could it be the cooling shroud of the R9 390x or maybe even the R9 395×2 (if there would be such a card). This indicates that the card could be water cooled, or maybe it is just PowerColor using an already known high-end graphics card just to cement the ‘high-end’ prize. Across the middle, there is a lighting bar. It is unclear whether this is counting down until the release or the cards or the end of the competition or if it is just there for show?

If you want to enter this competition, why not go over to the PowerColor event page and give them a like on FaceBook.

PowerColor Release PCS+ 290X 8GB Graphics Card

The current hot topic is certainly 8GB graphics cards, with more and more manufacturers hitting the market with revised graphics cards. The most recent addition to the party is the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X, which now comes with 8GB instead of the standard 4GB VRAM.

The card has been designed to boost 4K performance, which is a very demanding resolution, even for current flagship hardware. The PCS+ R9 290X comes with 2816 stream processors, a core speed of 1030MHZ and a memory speed of 1375MHz (5.5Gbps effective) over a 512-bit wide memory interface.

The card has been equipped with the PowerColor Gold Power Kit, Digital PWM, PowlRstage, a Multi Phase Design and more; all of which should help improve overall performance, efficiency and clock speeds. The cooler features a triple fan design, with three 8015 fans, two sets of aluminium fins and 5 heat pipes. There is also a high quality metal back plate and shroud on fitted to the card.

Currently no details on price, but we’ll update you as soon as we know.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PowerColor.

Powercolor’s R9 285 TurboDuo “Tonga Pro” Graphics Card Is Revealed

AMD’s Tonga Pro R9 285 is just around the corner, September 2nd to be exact, and so far we’ve seen a compact mini-ITX version from Sapphire as well as a STRIX version from ASUS. Now it is Powercolor’s turn for the spotlight with their TurboDuo R9 285. Powercolor’s card features their dual slot cooling solution with two “double-bladed” fans: that’s smaller blades at the centre and larger ones at the edge. A modest factory overclock takes the core from the stock 918 to 945MHz and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory retains the stock 5.5GHz speed.

Two 6 pin power connectors provide power to the R9 285 GPU core which has 1792 GCN cores, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs and a 256 bit memroy interface.

The Powercolor R9 285 TurboDuo will probably stick to reference pricing of $250 and will be available in early September.

Source: TechPowerUp

Images courtesy of Powercolor

PC Specialist Vanquish 270X System Review

Introduction


Intel’s Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition CPU release has been very exciting for the PC market, the main reason is that you can now get high-end desktop performance for the price of an entry level system. This is because the bulk of applications and games are still largely dependent on the performance of 1-2 CPU cores, so with the potential to get around 4.5-4.8GHz on both its cores the Pentium G3258 can offer Core i7 4790K-like performance in one to two threaded applications. Today we are testing PC Specialist’s Vanquish 270X system which they have configured and built especially for us! This system features a Pentium G3258 CPU overclocked to a whopping 4.7GHz and that’s paired up with a Powercolor R9 270X 2GB graphics card and 8GB of RAM. All in all this means there is more than enough grunt in this system to drive all the latest gaming titles maxed out at full 1080p or even as high as 1440p depending on the game, as well as to do a wide variety of other productivity and home tasks. What’s even more impressive is that the components used are really cost effective, so this build comes in at just £579! PC Specialist have made very sensible component choices to keep the pricing in that sweet spot zone: they’ve opted for the unlocked Pentium, AMD’s R9 270X, an SSHD, Gigabyte’s entry level Z97 gaming series motherboard and Corsair’s affordable 230T chassis houses it all. Below you can see the full specifications of this build:

Specifications

  • Name: PC Specialist Vanquish 270X
  • Case: Corsair 230T with Red LEDs and Side Window
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 3
  • Processor: Intel Pentium G3258 “Anniversary Edition” Dual Core at up to 4.7GHz w/ OC
  • Processor Cooler: Titan Universal CPU Cooler with Arctic MX4 thermal paste
  • System Memory: 1 x 8GB DDR3 Kingston HyperX Beast 2133MHz
  • Main Boot Drive: Seagate 1TB Hybrid Solid State Hard Drive with 8GB SSD Cache
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Not included
  • Graphics card: Powercolor AMD R9 270X 2GB
  • Power Supply: Corsair VS 450W
  • Optical DriveSuper WriteMaster DVD RW
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year Warranty (1 month collect & return, 1 year parts, 3 year labour)
  • Price: £579 (accurate at the time of writing)

Packaging & Accessories

PC Specialist’s Vanquish 270X system comes very well packaged with soft cell foam to absorb shock and vibration in transit as well as some protective plastic to prevent dust and scratches.

In terms of accessories you get PC Specialist’s welcome pack which has all the additional manuals and documentation that came with all the components in your system. There’s also a welcome guide written by PC Specialist that they advise you to read before using your new PC.

CPU-Z

Jumping into CPU-Z and we can see that as promised our Pentium G3258 (which CPU-Z is mistakenly reading as the Pentium G3420) is clocked at 4.7GHz using 1.35 volts. This core voltage is a little high for 24/7 operation, I maybe would have preferred to see 1.3 volts and a slightly lower clock speed.

The memory is just a single DIMM so we have to use single channel mode, that memory is clocked at 2133MHz.

GPU-Z

On the GPU side we have Powercolor’s R9 270X which comes clocked fairly high and has bags of overclocking headroom if you want to push things further.

Powercolour Devil13 Graphics Card at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: Powercolor pulled out the big guns at Computex, with their Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X 8GB GDDR5 graphics card. This thing is an absolute monster, easily one of the biggest GPUs ever created and certainly one of the heaviest I’ve ever picked up.

It features an engine clock of 1000MHz, memory clock of 1350MHz x 2 (5.4 Gbps), a dual 512 bit interface, and all the usual bells and whistles such as DL DVI-D/DL DVI-D/HDMI/DP and PCIE 3.0. Expect the price to be enough to make your bank balance go into nuclear meltdown, and that’s assuming you have a system that can run it, given that this beast needs no less than four 8-pin PCI-e power connections and will chew through 1000W of power, yikes!

Of course, if you’re wanting air cooled extreme 4K gaming performance, then you’re going to have to pay for such a privilege.

Powercolor Planning 8GB “Dual Core” R9 290X Devil 13 Graphics Card

Powercolor have recently made it known they are working on their own dual GPU R9 290X graphics card. From what we can see Powercolor are choosing to opt for the “Dual Core R9 290X” moniker instead of the “R9 295X2” moniker, probably because AMD have quite specific requirements of what an R9 295X2 GPU must be like – maybe it requires water cooling as standard? Powercolor’s variant gets the Devil 13 treatment which means it will use Powercolor’s own special air cooling solution featuring their patented double bladed fans and their Turbo Timer device which ensures the fans spin for a short period of time after the card shuts down to ensure better cooling.

The two fully fledged R9 290X GPUs will be powered by a 15 phase power delivery system based on PowerIRstages, Super Caps and Ferrite Core Chokes. The cooling solution has three double bladed fans blowing down onto a dense aluminium heatsink with 10 heat pipes and a huge triple slot width. Powercolor have added red LED backlighting for the Devil 13 logo as well as a dual BIOS system and four PCIe 8 pin connectors instead of the two PCIe 8 pin connectors used on the AMD R9 295X2 reference design card. Powercolor are also sprucing up the bundle package offering a Razer Ouroboros gaming mouse with every graphics card sold.

From what we can see this Powercolor Dual Core R9 290X Devil 13 graphics card is an air-cooled R9 295X2 with slightly lower clock speeds of 1000MHz instead of 1018MHz – the memory remains untouched. It also has the advantage of having four PCIe 8 pins. Expect pricing to be similar to the R9 295X2 in that $1500 region, especially considering Powercolor bundle a $150 gaming mouse with it.

More details will be released by Powercolor during Computex 2014.

Source: Powercolor

Images courtesy of Powercolor

Powercolor AMD Radeon R7 250X 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


While Nvidia’s GTX Titan Z and AMD’s R9 295 X2 graphics cards may be stealing all the headlines, the real battle between Nvidia and AMD is occurring at those lower end price points where the bulk of graphics cards are sold. A quick look at the Steam Hardware Survey reveals just how popular the sub $200 price point is. For those looking for an even more affordable entry into gaming, the $100 price point is vital. What’s currently on offer at the $100 price point from AMD? Well their latest addition is the R7 250X, a rebranded HD 7770 GHz Edition looking to steal the title of “best $100 gaming graphics card”. Nvidia is yet to refresh their entry level range so at the $100 price point they still offer the GT 640 for $90 or the GTX 650 for $110. Yet, as we will see throughout this review, the AMD R7 250X finds itself in an incredibly competitive position because of Nvidia’s unwillingness to reduce prices on their entry level product stack. Today we are taking a look at a Powercolor R7 250X, but it is as close to a reference R7 250X as you will find. This card packs a basic cooling solution, stock R7 250X speeds and is about as “cheap and cheerful” as you’ll find. How do Nvidia’s offerings stack up against AMD’s newest budget friendly offering? Well let’s proceed through this review and find out!

Specifications Analysis

As we’ve mentioned this particular Powercolor R7 250X is identical to the reference R7 250X. The only difference is Powercolor are not offering this with 2GB of GDDR5 memory whereas you will find some other vendors offering the R7 250X with 2GB. The closest Nvidia competitors are the GT 640 GDDR5 and GTX 650 which cost $90 and $110 respectively.

Packaging and Bundle

Our sample came direct from AMD and isn’t a retail package so there’s nothing fancy to see in terms of the packaging.

The accessory pack is representative of retail though. This card simply comes with a quick install guide and driver CD. No power adapters are provided so you’re expected to have a 6 pin to spare from your power supply…while the card has a VGA output so a DVI to VGA adapter would be redundant.

Powercolor R9 290X PCS+ 4GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


The rationale for owning a graphics card like the R9 290X is that it is an absolute price to performance champion for driving high resolution and multi-monitor gaming: it offers smooth gameplay experiences on Eyefinity set ups, 4K panels, or 1440/1600p panels. Yet there are a few caveats to the R9 290X. If we first set aside the mining inflated pricing issue, which is something AMD and its board partners can do little about, then the main issues with the R9 290X are the immense noise and heat. However, noise and heat should be a thing of the past on the R9 290X since board partners started releasing custom designs – today we have with us one of those really high end custom designs. We are taking a look at Powercolor’s R9 290X PCS+ edition graphics card. It features a factory overclock, on both the memory and the GPU core, a backplate, a custom metal shroud and a triple fan cooling solution. This card really is everything you could hope for in an R9 290X, at least on paper it is. I’ve said this in the past about Powercolor graphics cards but I’ll say it again – they deserve kudos for being one of the only vendors who bother to overclock the memory on their high-end graphics card. It may not seem like much but it actually makes a surprising amount of difference in many games. The specifications of the graphics card can be seen below:

Our GPU-Z validation indeed reveals everything we would expect to see.

We get Powercolor’s usual red and themed product packaging with a raised PCS+ logo.

On the back we have the usual specifications, features and so on. More of those can be found on the product page if that interests you.

Included with our sample was a driver and utility DVD, quick installation guide and 6 to 8 pin PCIe adapter.

Passive Cooled Powercolor R9 270 Launched

Powercolour have rolled out their latest R9 270 graphics card, which features a completely passive cooler design. Now of course this may not be the most powerful graphics card on the market, but the temptation of having a card that runs at 0dBA is great for those wanting a silent build or HTPC.

The heatsink is of course huge, featuring six heatpipes to keep the thing from overheating and given the overall specifications its not exactly easy to keep it cool. The card features a clock speed of 920MHz for the GPU, 2GB of GDDR5 memory at 5600MHz and a 256-bit memory interface. This being part of the R9 270 range, the card is based around AMD’s Pitcairn architecture, which features 1280 stream processors, 80 TMUs and 32 ROPS.

Of course you’ll want a nicely ventilated chassis if you’re going to install this kind of card, but a little forward planning can get you a long way to a virtually silent, or at least a lot quieter rig. With prices of around £149.99 from places like overclockers.co.uk the card is affordable too.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Overclockers.

Powercolor R9 280X TurboDuo 3GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


We seem to have been inundated with AMD graphics card of late and the trend isn’t stopping today as we have another AMD graphics card in the office. Today we have a rather swanky looking solution from the guys over at Powercolor as we are putting their R9 280X TurboDuo overclocked graphics card on the test system. The first and most obvious feature about this graphics card is the rather epic looking cooling solution. It boasts a pair of 90mm cooling fans, three large 8mm heat pipes and a massive aluminium heatsink. That’s all enclosed in a rather beautiful looking red and black metal shroud and topped off with a solid metal backplate for good measure. In terms of clock speeds Powercolor haven’t been too adventurous opting for a up to 1030MHz clock speed which is up from the stock R9 280X speed of of up to 1000MHz. This means it is the lowest clocked Radeon R9 280X graphics card we’ve tested, though that doesn’t mean it can’t be pushed a bit further with some overclocking. Powercolor have also left the memory at the default 1500MHz actual, 6GHz effective.

Powercolor’s packaging comes with the usual textured plastic emblem with the product branding which is in this case TurboDuo. It also points out the UEFI compatibility, 4K support and support for up to 4 displays out of the box. Of course if you have an MST Hub then you can support up to six by splitting one of the DisplayPort connections.

The rear of the box has more details about the design and features of the graphics card. You can check more of those out on its product page here.

Powercolor’s accessory package includes a 6 to 8 pin power cable adapter, CrossFire bridge, DVI to VGA adapter, mini DisplayPort to full size DisplayPort adapter, quick installation guide and driver CD.

Powercolor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


AMD graphics card partners seem to be churning out R9 270(X) GPUs like there’s no tomorrow and today we’ve got another one to put onto the test bench. Powercolor are the provider this time and they’ve sent us their R9 270X PCS+ overclocked graphics card for review. As the name suggests this graphics card uses Powercolor’s PCS+ cooling solution which consists of two 90mm fans with their new double blade fan design and three heat pipes (Two 8mm and One 6mm), that’s all encased in a red and black themed metal shroud with a black metal backplate. Powercolor have also done some work with overclocking taking this GPU to 1060MHz core and 1100MHz boost (up from 1050MHz reference clocks) as well as bumping the memory up to 1425MHz (5700MHz effective) from 1400MHz (5600MHz effective) reference. Other than that there really isn’t much else to point out that you can’t discover from reading our launch day review of AMD’s R9 270X.

There is one last thing that Powercolor wanted us to show you, the readers, and that’s their new Turbo Timer module that is compatible with this graphics card. 

The Turbo Timer module is an optional extra for compatible Powercolor graphics cards, currently just this card and a R7 260X sold by Dataland (Powercolor’s Chinese equivalent) are supported. The Turbo Timer itself is essentially a fan delay device and it ensures that the fans on the graphics card keeps running after shut-down to ensure the graphics card is properly cooled off.

The optional extra isn’t commercially available just yet so we have no idea how much it will cost. However, we can imagine the cost will be pretty small, probably under $10/£10, maybe even less.

As far as I know the Turbo Timer comes with a built in battery to allow it to spin even if the system is unplugged at the wall. While I think the idea is novel, the implementation is impractical and not that useful, I have a few issues with it. Firstly, when a graphics card is shut down it is unlikely to be running hot enough to need further cooling, and after shutdown it instantly stops producing heat so it could never get hotter than the temperature it was at prior to shutdown – meaning the temperature couldn’t be dangerous. Why do graphics cards instantly shutdown if they overheat? Because that’s the most effective way to drastically reduce heat output and prevent damage. Secondly, the module is going to be an optional purchase so you have to pay more for what is a basic and unnecessary feature – it should be included in the price. Thirdly, it is pretty big and bulky for what it does. I would of liked to see the functionality embedded onto the PCB and discretely hidden away, the Turbo Timer module just makes the graphics card unnecessarily wide at the back and it could easily conflict with other PCI(e) cards.

Now onto the main product itself and first the packaging. The Powercolor R9 270X PCS+ comes in a rather plain black & red box with a pretty basic accessory set: you get a driver disc, user’s guide and DVI to VGA adapter.

The back details all the product’s key features but to see them in more detail you can check the product page over on the Powercolor website.

Radeon R9 290 OC Announced By PowerColor

TUL Corporation (Technology Unlimited) announced another PowerColor choice of the R9 series for hardcore gamers, the PowerColor R9 290 OC. Based on the brand new “Hawaii” GPU, the R9 290 offers gamers latest DirectX 11.2 support, delivering fierce performance and revolutionary intelligence. Meanwhile, users are available to experience 4K ultra resolution gaming now without sacrificing a single detail.

The PowerColor R9 290 OC is built with AMD “Hawaii” GPU, which utilizes the latest GCN architecture, and has 2560 stream processors, providing the best performance without compromise. Also, The R9 290 OC use the highest standard memory with 4 GB of GDDR5, clocked at 975 MHz core, 30 MHz above reference board, together with 1200 MHz memory clocks, offering gamers an immediate framerate gain. Furthermore, sharing the same memory interface, 512-bit, with R9 290X, successfully tackles demanding games titles without effort.

The AMD TrueAudio technology and Mantle play an important roles with the release of R9 290 OC. The AMD TrueAudio technology is the first discrete GPU featuring programmable audio pipeline, delivering a unique audio user experience on PCs. With Mantle support, game developers can get the unparalleled access to the GPU core, and bring a brand new way of looking at the world of digital gaming. To enable higher performance and more power efficiency, the PowerColor R9 290 OC supports AMD PowerTune technology, performing intelligent assessment of the GPU’s real-time power draw.

PowerColor R9 290 OC technical details:

  • Core Speed: 975 MHz
  • Memory Speed: 1250 MHz (5.0 Gbps)
  • Memory: 4 GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 512 bit
  • Eyefinity: Yes
  • DirectX: 11.2
  • CrossFire: Yes
  • Output: DL DVI-D / DL DVI-D / HDMI / DP

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Powercolor Reveal New Double Blade Fan Design For Future Cooling Solutions

TUL Corporation, who manufacture AMD graphics cards under quite a few brand names (the two biggest are Powercolor and VTX3D) have announced a new double bladed fan design for its future cooling solutions. This new patented therma solution adds a second shorter fan blade to the fan at the center and TUL corporation claim up to 20% more airflow over a traditional fan design. Apparently the extra fan blades can absorb airflow into the centre for more focused airflow.

The new bearing design is also apparently dust proof with a prolonged life cycle. We should expect to see such fans implemented on high end VTX3D and Powercolor AMD graphics cards in the future.

Image courtesy of Powercolor

PowerColor Radeon HD 7730 1GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


We’ve been tracking AMD’s HD 7730 for quite some time and now it is finally upon us. AMD’s HD 7730 GPU is a cut-down version of the HD 7750 GPU and it uses a special Cape Verde LE GPU. This Cape Verde LE GPU is essentially a HD 7750 with two compute units out of eight switched off. This means the HD 7730 has 384 stream processors, 6 compute units, 24 texture units and 16 ROP units. It runs with default clocks of 800MHz on the core and 4.5GHz effective on the VRAM which is available in either 1GB of GDDR5 or 2GB of DDR3, note the 2GB DDR3 model runs at an effective memory speed of 1.8GHz. We have the 1GB GDDR5 model which despite having less frame buffer is much faster than the DDR3 equivalent because of the significantly greater memory bandwidth.

The HD 7730 is interesting because it features 384 GCN cores, much like the highest spec AMD Kaveri APU will feature when it comes out next year. So while this is a HD 7730 review, you should be able to get an idea of Kaveri’s GPU performance based on this. Notably of the A10-7800K, if AMD follow the same naming pattern, as the A10-7800K will feature 384 GCN cores. The model we have here today is branded Powercolor but its pretty much as close to a reference design as you’re going to get and will be one of the cheapest HD 7730s on the market. The HD 7730 will be priced in between the HD 6670 and the HD 7750. In the longer term it will phase out the ageing HD 6670. This card is totally powered by the motherboard and has a rated TDP of just 45W.

The front of the box points out the key features – GCN, Direct X 11.1, PCIe 3.0 and 1GB of GDDR5.

The back goes into a bit more detail and we can see the card uses a 128 bit memory interface.

Included with the card is a very basic package, a quick install guide, a driver disc and a DVI to VGA adapter. While many may say DVI to VGA adapters are useless, I disagree at this price-point they are essential as a lot of people may still be using old VGA monitors and this card has no VGA outputs.