Most enthusiasts associate water cooling with overclocking. Given that this is indeed an enthusiast-oriented product, PowerColor must have felt obligated to overclock its LCS AXR9 290X from a stock clock rate ceiling of 1000 MHz up to 1060 MHz. But in order to realize that speed-up, you need to change the stock Quiet firmware to PowerColor's customized Uber mode using the switch on top of the card.
Of course, Quiet mode is named as such because it corresponds to a lower fan speed ceiling. This is a liquid-cooled model that runs silently, so it makes more sense to call the shipping BIOS Default mode instead. In any case, remember to flip the switch for maximum performance.
PowerColor uses a custom-engraved version of EK’s FC R9-290X cooler in the Copper/Acetal version. EK still applies its own logo, assuring customers of the quality within. Fittings and locations are compatible with EK’s other parts, including its EK-FC Terminal multi-card cooling links.
The EK website indicates that the matching aluminum back cover isn’t required. But that cover provides another excellent place for PowerColor to brand its board. It also improves overall appearance, while protecting the components beneath from minor impacts.
Switching to an angled view of the I/O panel allows us to see all of the Radeon R9 290X’s standard connectors as we evaluate the card’s overall thickness. The cooler is thin enough to allow single-slot spacing, but the card’s extra DVI connector prevents that configuration.
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