Test System And Benchmark Configuration
|Test System Configuration|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4770K: 3.5 to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1150 Overclocked to 4.50 GHz, 1.25 V at 100 MHz BCLK|
|Motherboard||Asus Z87 Pro: Intel Z87 Express, UEFI 1707 (12/13/2013)|
|Reference Graphics||Asus R9290X-4GD5 Retail Boxed: 1000 MHz GPU, 4 GB GDDR5-5000|
|RAM||Mushkin Redline Ridgeback 997121R 16 GB Dual-Channel Kit 2 x 8 GB XMP-2133 CAS 9-11-11-28, 1.65V|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 840 Pro MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD|
|CPU Cooling||Thermalright MUX-120 w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Seasonic X760 SS-760KM: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64|
|Graphics||AMD Catalyst 13.12|
CPU bottlenecks inhibit proper graphics analysis, and so we're overclocking Intel’s Core i7-4770K to 4.50 GHz to squash any platform-based limitations. Asus’ Z87-Pro gets us there easily, at low voltage, and at a low enough price to win a value award.
With CPU bottlenecks out of the way, RAM becomes the next concern. Though high-density DIMMs usually have trouble hitting aggressive data rates at reasonable timings, Mushkin’s 997121R gives us the best of all three worlds. Yes, that made it another award winner.
Liquid-cooled graphics cards require a separate pump and radiator. Swiftech’s old MCP350 pump still provides the volume and pressure needed for a high-end single device, its MCR220-QP radiator still provides an integrated reservoir to simplify our cooling loop, and a pair of its MCB-120 spacers allow the other parts to be screwed together as a hang-able external unit. Two of Swiftech’s fans complete the package.
|Arma 3||Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase" Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF|
|Battlefield 4||Version 126.96.36.199, DirectX 11, 100-Sec. Fraps "Tashgar" Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA, 4X AF, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4X MSAA, 16X AF, HBAO|
|Far Cry 3||V. 1.05, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO|
|F1 2012||Steam version, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA|
|Metro Last Light||Steam version, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" SceneTest Set 1: DX11, Med Quality, 4x AF, Low Blur, No SSAA, No Tesselation, No PhysXTest Set 2: DX11, High Quality, 16x AF, Normal Blur, SSAA, Tesselation Normal, No PhysX|
|Tomb Raider||Steam version, Built-In Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality Preset (8x AF, FXAA), Motion Blur, Screen Effects Test Set 2: Ultimate Quality, (16x AF, FXAA), Tesselation, TressFX|
|3DMark Professional||Version 1.1, SystemInfo 188.8.131.52, Fire Strike Benchmark (Extreme Off/On)|
$100++ from GTX 780 Ti
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 :)
But it's still cheaper than a water-cooled 780 Ti :)
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.
Thanks for confirming that your test card was not throttling; back to troubleshooting my setup!
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!