Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Temperature And Sound Level

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review: The Right Way To Cool Hawaii
By

Temperature Transients

Is the cooling performance of this behemoth as strong as its size seems to promise? The answer is a resounding yes. It even has cooling headroom to spare.

We plot the temperature transients for both its factory-overclocked and manually-overclocked configurations. MSI's R9 290X Lightning reaches its maximum temperature of 70 °C (158 °F) and 71 °C (160 °F) overclocked after roughly nine minutes, and tops out there.

Models
Idle
Gaming Load, Open Test Bench
VRM
Gaming Load, Closed Case
Asus R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5 R9 290X DirectCU II OC34 °C
76 °C
92 °C
84-85 °C
Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X35 °C
73 °C
85 °C
70-72 °C
Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC
Press Sample:
34 °C
84 °C
86 °C
83 °C
Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC
Mass Production:
34 °C
83 °C
87 °C
81 °C
HIS R9 290X IceQ X² Turbo35 °C
78 °C
70 °C
81-82 °C
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G34 °C
76 °C
73 °C
75-76 °C
MSI R9 290X Lightning:
35 °C
70 °C80 °C
68-70 °C
MSI R9 290X Lightning, Overclocked
35 °C
71 °C82 °C
68-71 °C

Previously, Sapphire enjoyed the distinction of turning in the lowest temperatures of any other Radeon R9 290X card. But MSI's R9 290X Lightning de-thrones the Tri-X OC board with even more effective cooling.

Sound Level

We first measure each graphics card's noise level in different workloads using the same studio microphone and calibration seen in our audio reviews. The microphone is positioned perpendicular to the middle of the graphics card at a distance of 50 cm.

Does the R9 290X Lightning achieve its excellent cooling performance at the cost of more noise, like so many other products that fail to balance thermals and acoustics well? To the contrary, MSI surprises us again by building the quietest Radeon R9 290X we've ever tested, too.

Models
Idle
Gaming Load, Open Test Bench
Gaming Load, Closed Case
Asus R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5 R9 290X DirectCU II OC32.5 dB(A)
42.3 dB(A)
44.3 dB(A)
Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X32.1 dB(A)
40.9 dB(A)
42.8 dB(A)
Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC
Press Sample:
30.9 dB(A)
41.5 dB(A)
43.6 dB(A)
Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC
Mass Production:
30.9 dB(A)
39.6 dB(A)
43.2 dB(A)
HIS R9 290X IceQ X² Turbo31.2 dB(A)
46.2 dB(A)
48.8 dB(A)
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G30.9 dB(A)
41.2 dB(A)
43.9 dB(A)
MSI R9 290X Lightning:31.1 dB(A)
38.5 dB(A)
42.2 dB(A)
MSI R9 290X Lightning, Overclocked31.1 dB(A)39.2 dB(A)
43.8 dB(A)

With that said, the sound levels are fairly close, so we encourage you to watch the videos and compare them yourself. After all, the spectral composition of the fan noise may differ from card to card, and personal preferences may vary as well.

MSI R9 290X Lightning

MSI R9 290X Lightning - Full Load - Gaming Loop

Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X

Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC- Full Load - Gaming Loop

React To This Article