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MSI Radeon R9 290X GAMING 4GB 512-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: * Runs Quiet
* Hynix Memory
* VRM temps are great
* Backplate included
* Performance is great with Omega drivers!
* Great 3 year serial based warranty

Cons: * Mediocre core overclock ability on my specific card (Never a given though)
* Nothing else for the $260 I got the card for after Rebate and Gift Card

Other Thoughts: I own a Asus Strix GTX 980. It is a great card but since this 290X was priced so well I wanted to compare them for myself.

First of All the MSI Gaming 290X is big, but this is normal for R9 290 series cards. It offers a nice backplate and the normal Twin Frozr fan setup, which is a solid performer. The fans are very quiet. At 100% are about as loud as the Strix at 70% fan speed.

Overclocking is easy using afterburner. My card came with Hynix memory which easily overclocked from 5000Mhz to 6000Mhz. The core was not as willing and even with +100mv could only run 1135Mhz artifact free. Above that would eventually get an artifact here and there when gaming for extended periods of time. Still, this is okay, just not a great Overclock. Max temps I saw when overclocked was 76C, without OC max temp was 69C.

Power consumption of the 290X series is pretty high, as much as 70-100W more than the GTX 970 or 980 at 100% load, but about even with the 780ti. If you live someplace like I do with cheap electricity, that is only $7 extra a year if you game 25 hours a week in comparison to a GTX 970.

I did some performance comparisons with my GTX 980 which is overclocked to 1480/7800 and my 290X at 1135/6000. I was pretty surprised that the performance was closer than I though it would be considering the 290X is essentially half the price I paid for the 980.

The latest AMD Omega Drivers are great. I had no issues at all with them when playing and testing on my dual monitor set up.

All my tests ran at 2560x1600 and MAX settings and 2xMSAA except for Shadow of Mordor where HIGH textures were used and Far Cry 4 used Volumetric Fog. To level playing field Physx is off and Nvidia Gameworks features like HBAO+ and soft shadows are lowered to SSAO and Highest Shadow setting available. Frame rates listed are average over 4 minutes of gameplay.

*****************GTX 980******290X***
Metro:LL**********33.37*******30.45**9%
Middle Earth:SOM**62.14*******59.52**4%
BioShock Infinate 87.29*******75.4***14%
Dragon Age Inq****53.9********54.2***-
Far Cry 4*********59.9********52.6***12%
Valley 1.0********42.2********39.8***6%
Assassins Creed U*42.11*******36.6***13%

Overall the performance difference is an average of 8.3% at my resolution. This is close enough that I can easily recommend this 290X due to great performance, nice build quality and cool and quiet operation. Performing so close to a $560 GTX 980 for only $260 earns 5 eggs from me!

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Antec P100 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Antec P100 rocks! 01/09/2015

This review is from: Antec P100 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: * Quiet
* Great cooling potential (if you add fans)
* Solid build quality
* Accomodates large GPU's and cpu coolers
* Accomodates water cooling
* Lots of hard drive space
* Elegant looks
* Excellent wire management
* Decent fan filters

Cons: * Only comes with 2 fans
* Stock cooling mediocre
* Front door a bit flimsy
* MSRP is a bit high compared to competition

Other Thoughts: I decided on the P100 to replace my son's old Antec 300. We wanted something that would accommodate his large new Asus DCII R9 290 graphics card, provide ample cooling while staying pretty quiet. The Antec P100 fits the bill and then some.

First, the dimensions are great for a mid size case. Plenty of room in the inside for large GPU's and to work around the motherboard and not feel squeezed. There is room for a 240mm water cooler up top, I test fit my CM Glacer 240L and it fit perfectly. The case can also accommodate tall cpu coolers and easily had tons of room for my Hyper 212. There is excellent routing for wires behind the motherboard tray. The included fans are quiet at both speeds, my only complaint is that there are only two of them and stock cooling with them is mediocre at best. Thankfully there is plenty of room for more and I added 2x140mm corsairs up front, moved the fans that came with the case to the 2 spots on top and added a Corsair 120mm to the back. With these in place the case was still dead silent at idle and offered ample cooling keeping the power hungry overclocked R9 290 to only 65C when 100% loaded playing Far Cry 4 on Ultra settings.

There are tons of hard drive trays and they have nice silicone bushings to keep rattling away. The slot in easily and snap in place with a nice and solid "clack". Also, the front fan filters are of nice quality and easily cleaned. The front door is mostly plastic and feels a little flimsy, so some care may be needed to make sure it is not damaged. The side doors have sound deadening material attached, which really does help. The top has deadening as well, but I removed the panels so I could replace them with top exhaust fans.

The case offers 4 front USB ports, 2 of which are USB 3.0, but if you have a older motherboard and do not have one of the new USB 3.0 headers, the cord has a built in adapter to plug into a normal 2.0 header! My only real wiring complaint is that the individual wires for the power button, LED, reset, etc should be wrapped together in a single cord. They all plug in near the same place on every motherboard known to man, why are they loose like that?

In the end, I am very pleased with this case. I got it for $59 after rebate and for that price it is a steal. At the normal $89 MSRP, there are some solid alternatives out there, but the Antec P100 absolutely deserves at least a look.

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ASUS DirectCU II OC R9290-DC2OC-4GD5 Radeon R9 290 4GB 512-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: * Pretty quiet
* Great build quality
* Comes with backplate
* Great 3 year warranty
* Runs pretty cool for a R9 290

Cons: * Big
* Fans get loud past 70%
* Elpida memory

Other Thoughts: I purchased this card for my son to replace his aging EVGA 660ti 2GB. First thing you will notice is the card is big, so big in fact that it would not fit in my son's Antec 300 mid size gaming case. Shame on me for not double checking the interior dimensions of the case. So I got him a Antec P100 which the 290 fits in with room to spare.

The build quality of the Asus is great. It is hefty and big, but everything exudes a feel and look of excellence. The cooler is large with fat heat pipes and works well. Playing Far Cry 4 on 1200p Ultra settings temps only reached 65-66C. When looping the Valley benchmark for 30 minutes, temps slowly rose to 74C when on a custom fan profile that had the fans at 65% at that temp. Once the fans get into the 70-75% speed range they do start to get a bit loud though, but at least it is not annoying or buzzy sounding, just the whoosh of fast moving air. It is possible that temps could be lowered slightly if I had turned up my case fans, but as it stands the temps are good.

Overclocking was a pleasant surprise, for the core at least. On stock voltage the core reached 1125Mhz perfectly stable, more voltage allowed me to get to 1200Mhz, but generated more heat than I wanted. The memory, which is Elpida was not as fortunate, but still clocked to 5800Mhz, which is still acceptable. For reference, my ASIC score was 79.5%. At my 1125Mhz overclock there is absolutely no throttling present.

Performance wise, it is a HUGE upgrade over the 660ti (which was overclocked to 1240Mhz on the core). In almost all test benchmarks, the frame rates doubled or more. The additional power allowed us to once again max out visual details in newer games at 1200p resolutions. Compared to my MSI GTX 970 Gaming, the 290 actually performed very closely. I was able to purchase the Asus DCII 290 for $220 after rebate on sale, at that price it really is a amazing deal. Up to $275 this card is a great option, however, if priced at $300, I believe that the GTX 970 is a better buy with better power consumption, less heat and better performance.

So in the end, I think that the AsusDirectCU II OC R9 290 is a great graphics card and if you can find it for $250-275 or so (as of this writing anyway), it represents a excellent bargain. Above that however, start looking at the GTX 970.

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Jason H.'s Profile

Display Name: Jason H.

Date Joined: 03/11/03

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  • Reviews: 86
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  • First Review: 04/16/03
  • Last Review: 02/10/15
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