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Pros: This is an excellent video card. I tend to try and stay one generation behind so I can pick up my video cards much cheaper however I now run 3 x 27 inch monitors in eyefinity and wanted something that could push them well.
- The card was easy to install
- Standard driver installation from AMD with the Catalyst drivers
- No problems. I setup my eyefinity, extended and TV out groups in minutes
- The card runs much cooler than the reference 290x's. My idle temps are between 35 - 37 degrees C and after gaming for about an hour with multiple games as tests I maxed out at 74 degrees. I should also note that my apartment is generally very warm
- With the fan set to auto the card generally stays quiet, even at the higher temps
- Able to max out all settings on all games I tried single display
- With some minor tweaking to Anti Aliasing, vsync HDAO settings I could maintain about 40-50 FPS in Call of Duty: Ghosts and Assassins Creed IV in eyefinity running 5876 x 1080 (my resolution after bezel adjustment)
- Mantel support (lets hope this is good as the marketing is suggesting)
- TrueAudio - Something I'm interested in. This reminds me a little bit of Creatives EAX audio enhancements in games that was popular so many years ago.
Another important note that I couldn't find anywhere during my research, is that I have had absolutely no screen tearing in my eyefinity setup of 2 x DVI connections and 1 DP connection. Even my 7979 would screen tear in games like Torchlight II. This is a HUGE plus for me and nice to see corrected as screen tearing is a major pain-point for many AMD eyefinity users.
Cons: I wouldn't say that I've run across any real cons as of yet. Things worth mentioning though are:
- The cost of the card, while cheaper than other 3rd party custom cooler cards, is still a bit more expensive than it should be. Likely for a couple of reasons, those being litecoin mining and the fact that there aren't a lot of 3rd party cooler cards available yet, especially in Canada.
- The other disappointment for me is there doesn't appear to be any Never Settle bundle games with this card. There's no BF4 on the box and no info in it, and based on AMD's site the 290x does not qualify for the siler/gold package they offer. I was hoping that for the flagship card I'd have seen BF4 with it at least.
Other Thoughts: Other things to note:
The card requires a 6 pin and 8 pin power connector. I think that's been standard for awhile with most PSU's, however it does come with the 4 pin molex adapters in the event you don't have an 8 pin connector. It comes with an HDMI cable which is a nice addtion.
The card is very long. Make sure you have room for it in your case
When playing around with MSI afterburner, I turned off the auto fan speed and set it to 100%. The fans are pretty audible at that speed. Oddly though while gaming, even at my max temp, the fans never kicked in to 100% like that. So technically you could override the auto speed, set to 100% and get a little more cooling out of it at the expense of the fans being a little louder.