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Pros: These cards are very quiet compared to most other R9 290s. Yes, its a physically large card but that's because it uses larger diameter fans which produce more air at less RPMs and that equals quiet operation and cooler temps.
These are also less expensive than most R9 290s or at least they were when I purchase mine.
Cons: I bought two of these cards. The first one I bought is running like a champ after 8 months of non-stop use. The second one has one flaky on me after 5 months. It works most of the time but every few hours it starts reporting hardware errors and it crashes. I just RMA'd it.
As for performance, these cards just do not perform as well as other R9 290s I have used, including the original reference cards. These just run a lot cooler because of the heat sink and fans.
They need 2 8 pin power connectors.
Other Thoughts: I have purchased and used R9 290s from 5 different manufacturers so I can compare them for performance. Many R9 290s are quirky. The motherboard, PSU, drivers, etc. call be issues with these cards. The HIS cards are fairly stable and seem to play well with other components and drivers. I am not sure why they need 2 8 pin power connectors though. I have not noticed that they use more power than the other cards. All of my other R9 290s use 1 6 pin and 1 8 pin - some are faster than these cards so its a mystery to me.
Overall, I won't be purchasing any more of these cards, even for the money. I have an R9 280x that outperforms these cards, although it make more noise.
Since I had to RMA one of my HIS cards, I can give an update on how that goes. It is warranteed for 2 years and mine failed after 5 months so I do not anticipate any problems - but we'll see.
Pros: I use this card for GPU mining and it is very fast. With certain less memory intensive algorithms this card produces the same hash rate as most of my R9 290s running at the same clock speeds - AND, I can down-volt it to save power.
Most importantly, it is very stable, unlike the R9 290s which are often very picky about power supplies, motherboards and drivers.
Its also a good looking card that runs much cooler than the reference cards. Running full throttle and overclocked to 1100/1500 in a closed case it stays under 70C with the fans running about about 80%. It makes a little noise at 80% but it is still more quiet than a XBOX 360.
Cons: I don't know if this is really a con but I have noticed that when this card is overclocked it uses more Watts than an R9 290 overclocked. Like I said I can down-volt this card by about 15% and its still stable but its odd that it uses so much power to obtain an equal to lesser result - so I don't overclock it much.
Other Thoughts: I bought this for a backup GPU for my mining rigs but when I had a chance to use it I was shocked at its performance and stability so I left it installed. Overall, these AMD GPUs can be problematic but not this one. Any driver on any motherboard with any of my PSUs and it is as solid as a rock. I love this card and I am thinking about buying another one.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Runs cooler than reference GPU
much quieter than the standard R9 290s, even at full fan speed.
Cons: It was a little finicky getting it installed and configured. I think I have it resolved now but I am also crossing my fingers. This is not unusual for the R9 290s from any company.
Other Thoughts: This card requires 2 8 pin PCIe power connectors and after dealing with some issues I thought were the motherboard I found that I needed to use to separate ports on the power supply, each with the 8 pin connector. If I connect another GPU to the same power cable, even using the 6 pin cable my system will not boot. I have a Gold level 1250 Watt PS from a quality manufacturer. Keep this in mind if you choose to buy one.
Also, it has a higher profile so space could be a problem not only front to back but top to bottom in smaller cases. This is the price you [pay for big quiet fans to cool what would otherwise be a very hot running GPU.
For miners, this runs at about 73 degrees overclocked and high intensity. The fans remain quiet even though they may be running at 80%.
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