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Pros: - fast !!! (third ! is a fact)
- very quiet with no heating issues as long as your card is getting good air flow.
- With the nvidia controll panel I crank all the settings up to max including 32x AA on a 1080p system in my living room and the card powers through it all without a hitch while still giving me 90fps on my 50inch tv. Waiting for 144mhz gsync monitor of apropriate size.
- Games look freaking amazing.
Cons: Cons hmm... Not to many and certainly no trouble with the hardware this is a solidly built card. The only issues I ran into and this one was expected - I had trouble getting a fresh install of windows 7 to recognize the card or to even get it to see the TV connected to it via hdmi, was able to work around this by hooking up a dvi connection to a monitor.
-blue screens everywhere!!!!! this part sucked but as it turns out what was causing my blue screens was my system running out of memory (16gigs 2133). I was getting generic error codes when blue screening but I do believe these were caused by the Nvidia drivers specificly the shield streaming service. While this service is running it was not managing its memory usage and this is on by default and would continue to run untill the system ram was used up and the bluescreen. Turned this service off a few days ago now and have not had a single issue since. If your having similar issues look into this first.
Other Thoughts: out of the box the card gave me a boost speed of 1163 on the core, there isnt a lot of room left to OC if thats what your looking for. I put another 40mhz on the core and get up to 1200 ish on the boost now, getting past this mark was a bit troublesome as the gpu is very highly overclocked out of the box.
I also picked up the gigabyte windforce R9 290 and while a great card as well this 780 ghz edition blows it away without any effort. Take it for what it is not trying to be biased.
If your on the fence about this card you will not be dissapointed by any aspect of the performance on this card. Faster then the 780ti at stock as well.
I would buy this card again without hesitation.
Pros: - 4gb of mem
- excellent windforce cooling solution
- games look fantastic
- got on sale for $550 with a $50 newegg gift card
Cons: - price $$$ 650 as of feb 10th/14
- drivers drivers drivers!! I installed the card into my backup pc with a fresh install of windows 7 32 and I was unable to get windows to recognize the video card properly. took a couple reinstalls of the amd ccc drivers to before it worked.
Other Thoughts: The gigabyte r9 290 non x is a great card and hopefully will become a much greater card when mantle starts to hit its stride.
One thing I really like about this card is that when mantle becomes mainstream you can use an amd GCN card on a entry to mid level computer and the video card will help by reducing the bottleneck of the cpu making your pc's gaming performance that much better. Thats how its supposed to work, we can only wait and see.
Ran Firemark benchmark on this card in my old amd phenom 2 955 x 4 BE at stock settings @ 3.2 ghz with 4 gigs of 1600 mhz ram.
The average score i got without any tweaking to the cards settings (besides fan profile) was 7400 range.
Im sure I can get this score a little higher with minimal effort. In comparison the new pc i built with an i5 4670k cpu and the gigabyte oc ghz edition 780 on a more powerfull platform at stock settings on everything for now I get a firemark score of 9800 ish.
not a bad score on a system thats running a now $90 cpu and is 6 years old.
The R9 puts out some serious performance and I hope to see it become much more with mantle making it a killer card for pc gaming once the outrageous prices come down.
Pros: Excellent ram, works as advertised. Able to hit 2133mhz easily in non overclocked i5 4670 system using the xmp profiles.
Noticeable speed improvement with intergrated graphics on the cpu and in the system overall over the 1333 mhz
Cons: none as of yet - very stable
Other Thoughts: grab these up you wont be disapointedREAD FULL REVIEW