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PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X Review: Cool, Quiet, And Priced Right

Take A Tour Of The PCS+ R9 290X

Front and Rear Views

The front of PowerColor's card is dominated by three commonly-controlled 76 mm fans.

The back plate braces the PCB and ensures it doesn’t flex. However, there is no mounting frame on top of the board, probably to save weight and cut cost.

Heat Sink and PCB

The visually impressive cooler sports a massive copper heat sink, from which four 8 mm heat pipes lead to the cooling fins at the right side of the card. There's a second block of cooling fins on top of the heat sink, and this radiator is attached by a single semi-circular heat pipe.

The DC-DC converters have aluminum heat sinks of their own, while the memory packages make contact with the main heat sink through thermal adhesive.

Side Views

Looking down from the top of the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X, you mostly see the heat sink's cooling fins, heat pipes, and the 6- and 8-pin power connectors.

The bottom yields a better view of how the heat pipes connect to PowerColor's sink.

Due to the vertical arrangement of the cooling fins, peeking in from the side of the card doesn't reveal much aside from a fan connector and a few board components.

Slot Panel

The card sports a two-slot rear panel, even though the PCS+ R9 290X is thicker than two expansion slots. A three-slot I/O bracket might have been better for the sake of stability.

Display outputs match what you get from pretty much every Hawaii-based board. There are two dual-link DVI-D connectors, one HDMI port, and a full-sized DisplayPort interface. That combination is more than sufficient for any number of multi-screen arrays. Just be aware that the use of DVI-D means analog output is no longer supported.