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Results: Arma 3

PowerColor LCS AXR9 290X: Water Makes Hawaii Comfortable
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The 60 MHz advantage wielded by PowerColor’s LCS AXR9 290X shows up at 4800x900 and 5760x1080 using Arma 3’s standard quality preset. At 1920x1080, the results aren’t as consistent.

Minimum frame rate isn’t a problem when you play at this title's standard preset using such powerful graphics hardware.

Arma 3’s Ultra preset appears to make 1920x1080 results somewhat more relevant, though.

Performance drops to around 30 FPS for all four configurations at 5760x1080, raising the question of whether the game can actually be played smoothly at this combination of high resolution and the Ultra detail preset.

Our frame rate over time chart shows that 5760x1080 really is playable on a single card, if barely.

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  • 6 Hide
    AMD Radeon , March 5, 2014 12:47 AM
    really? $800?
    $100++ from GTX 780 Ti
    http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#sort=a7&qq=1&c=153
  • 5 Hide
    Crashman , March 5, 2014 1:12 AM
    Quote:
    really? $800?that's more than $150 from Asus DCU IIhttp://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=146&sort=a7


    It has a $150 cooler (including the back plate, etc).

    Of course Asus has a special cooler too. But Asus had the opportunity to drop its price, and the 290x has indeed dropped by $50 to $100 in the past two weeks. Supply is catching up with demand.

    Unfortunately for PowerColor, its LCS 290X has been out-of-stock for more than two weeks. So they get stuck with prices that are at least two weeks old, at least until someone gets new inventory and lowers their price.

    Sucks to be them, they should have restocked their sellers more quickly :) 
    Quote:
    really? $800?
    $100++ from GTX 780 Ti
    http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#sort=a7&qq=1&c=153
    But it's still cheaper than a water-cooled 780 Ti :) 
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , March 5, 2014 1:13 AM
    Great review Tom!

    Did you happen to notice any variability under load for your core speed while overclocked on the LCS card?
    I have a Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X that is rock solid at its stock 1040MHz, but that starts bouncing the core clock all around when any core overclocking is applied.
    With my quiet fan curve, load temps top out around 85°C; well below AMD's specified throttle point of 95°C.
    If your liquid cooled cards are solid at 1200MHz, I am curious if Power Tune starts to throttle in a less severe way after going above 70- or 80°C.
  • 0 Hide
    AMD Radeon , March 5, 2014 1:18 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    really? $800?that's more than $150 from Asus DCU IIhttp://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=146&sort=a7
    It has a $150 cooler (including the back plate, etc).Of course Asus has a special cooler too. But Asus had the opportunity to drop its price, and the 290x has indeed dropped by $50 to $100 in the past two weeks. Supply is catching up with demand.Unfortunately for PowerColor, its LCS 290X has been out-of-stock for more than two weeks. So they get stuck with prices that are at least two weeks old, at least until someone gets new inventory and lowers their price.Sucks to be them, they should have restocked their sellers more quickly :) 
    Thanks for the explanation, very good review overall :) btw sorry I edited my comment before you posted
  • 0 Hide
    TheDane , March 5, 2014 1:18 AM
    Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X is (very) silent, cheaper, doesn't required a W/C setup, and installation is much easier. Also the LCS card here requires a wide case due to its height!
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , March 5, 2014 1:34 AM
    Quote:
    Great review Tom!Did you happen to notice any variability under load for your core speed while overclocked on the LCS card?I have a Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X that is rock solid at its stock 1040MHz, but that starts bouncing the core clock all around when any core overclocking is applied.With my quiet fan curve, load temps top out around 85°C; well below AMD's specified throttle point of 95°C.If your liquid cooled cards are solid at 1200MHz, I am curious if Power Tune starts to throttle in a less severe way after going above 70- or 80°C.
    Power throttling occurs under Furmark and not much else, and can be eliminated by increasing the power threshold.
    Quote:
    Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X is (very) silent, cheaper,
    ...and toasts your CPU. Please read the first page of this review, thanks!
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , March 5, 2014 1:46 AM
    Quote:
    Power throttling occurs under Furmark and not much else, and can be eliminated by increasing the power threshold.

    Odd, this happens with a +50% power limit and tested with the Metro Last Light benchmark :/ 
    Thanks for confirming that your test card was not throttling; back to troubleshooting my setup!
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , March 5, 2014 2:00 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Power throttling occurs under Furmark and not much else, and can be eliminated by increasing the power threshold.

    Odd, this happens with a +50% power limit and tested with the Metro Last Light benchmark :/ 
    Thanks for confirming that your test card was not throttling; back to troubleshooting my setup!
    Remember that the LCS test card runs cooler than an air-cooled card, and that lower temperatures significantly lower power consumption :) 
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , March 5, 2014 2:07 AM
    Quote:
    Remember that the LCS test card runs cooler than an air-cooled card, and that lower temperatures significantly lower power consumption :) 


    Good point; I will have to retest with a cooler fan curve.
    Not sure if this will be the issue though as even a 20MHz bump to the core, and +50% power limit added to this, causes throttling with under 85°C temps.

    Thanks for the thoughts!
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , March 5, 2014 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    As air temperatures climbed into the 20s (Celsius) inside the case
    Actually with a low room temp it'll still affect results quite a bit. I can push higher clocks in the winter with a lower room temp than in the summer (and forget it when we hit 40C, no OCing unless the Air's cranked up all the way). You might want to retest once you're able to heat up the office to see how the temps are affected (both on the air cooled and water cooled setups).
  • -1 Hide
    Computer Ed , March 5, 2014 5:48 AM
    Quote:
    [
    Quote:
    Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X is (very) silent, cheaper,
    ...and toasts your CPU. Please read the first page of this review, thanks!
    No where in this or ANY article have I seen a reference to the use of an open GPU cooler "toasting" a CPU. The truth is in various builds I have seen no real advantage to the blower cooler over the open GPU cooler. Blower coolers are usually nosier and while they can evacuate heat from a case they are less efficient at cooling. Perhaps if you are using a very small build with next to no air flow this would matter but anyone building with a 290 series is likely experienced and is building with good air flow making this a none issue.
  • 0 Hide
    Vistouf , March 5, 2014 6:51 AM
    On page 12, I find your graphics confusing. Where does the Value indicator come from? How is it calculated?
  • 0 Hide
    Joshua Carter , March 5, 2014 8:44 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Remember that the LCS test card runs cooler than an air-cooled card, and that lower temperatures significantly lower power consumption :) 


    Good point; I will have to retest with a cooler fan curve.
    Not sure if this will be the issue though as even a 20MHz bump to the core, and +50% power limit added to this, causes throttling with under 85°C temps.

    Thanks for the thoughts!


    The card will throttle at the specified level of power consumption and/or temperature. The point at which they throttle is configurable-- If you have the card set to target 80°C or 75°C then it will throttle to maintain that temp as much as possible, while keeping in mind the power limits you've set in Powertune.

  • 0 Hide
    c123456 , March 5, 2014 9:25 AM
    Seeing the price of this makes me realize how good of a deal I got with the Cryovenom R9 290 at $550. It has the exact same water block and back plate.
  • -6 Hide
    CaptainTom , March 5, 2014 9:33 AM
    I am so tired of this "These cards are crazy overpriced!" comments. Is the 290X overpriced? YES! Should it cost less than the 780 Ti which is only 7% stronger at the cost of less VRAM? HELL NO! If the 290X should cost $550, the 780 Ti should as well. Oh and don't get me started on how ridiculous it is that some people think the 780 (Non Ti) should cost MORE than the 290... LOL ok...
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , March 5, 2014 9:57 AM
    Quote:
    On page 12, I find your graphics confusing. Where does the Value indicator come from? How is it calculated?
    Performance Gained% / Price Increased %
    That's easy to figure out for just the cards (Graphics performance gained / graphics price increased) For the system, there is System Performance Gained / System Price Increased.

    making this chart more complicated on this occasion is that the LC card needs a liquid cooler, which increases the system price by $180. So the system price structure compares [LC card + cooling system + baseline system] to [air-cooled card + baseline system].

  • 1 Hide
    Shankovich , March 5, 2014 10:36 AM
    ^Blame the miners....
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , March 5, 2014 11:21 AM
    Well i was hoping to hit the OC page and see some 1300 mhz clock speed but I guess you can't have everything. EKWB are machined very well, but I might have popped it off to check the TIM.

    I'm sitting here looking at a pile of flow plates for my own EK WBs, so I'm wondering which one the manufacturer decided to go with.
  • 0 Hide
    QuietPC , March 5, 2014 12:58 PM
    My recent experience with Power Color has left me avoiding them. I bought a 7870 Myst late last year only to have the fan speed so high and loud with the temp 92C I contacted them and asked to RMA. They agreed, I paid to ship the card to them, the finally got around to testing it and agreed and then waited 3 weeks to replace it. The card I got back is hitting 89C with high fan and speed which makes it agonizing to use.I contacted PC again and they said they tested it and that the one they sent it fine. I'm going to force the issue but the only thing I can do at this stage is share my experience with others and suggest you/they stay away from PC products.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , March 5, 2014 1:35 PM
    Quote:
    Well i was hoping to hit the OC page and see some 1300 mhz clock speed but I guess you can't have everything. EKWB are machined very well, but I might have popped it off to check the TIM.

    I'm sitting here looking at a pile of flow plates for my own EK WBs, so I'm wondering which one the manufacturer decided to go with.
    Can't blame temperatures for this one, it stayed cool throughout the test.

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