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

Box Contents, Dimensions, And Weight

Box Contents

PowerColor does not include many accessories. Its box contains one driver CD and a 6-to-8-pin PCIe power adapter. But why bother with accessories that most customers don't even need? I prefer an aggressive price tag to a big bundle every single time.

Lab Note about the Dimensions

The dimensions reported here don't necessarily match the manufacturer's official technical specifications. Rather, we measure them by hand to assure they're correct. The image and chart below should help illustrate what each measurement actually means. Auxiliary PCI Express power connectors are not included; they have to be added depending on the power plug and cable design.

Dimensions Comparison

While the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X is a 2.5-slot card, and consequently requires that you set aside three expansion slots to accommodate it, the board's 4.3" height is the lowest we've ever seen from a Radeon R9 290X. The PCS+'s other dimensions confirm that this card is indeed massive, though.

ModelsLength (L)Height (H)Depth (D1)Depth (D2)
Asus R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5 R9 290X DirectCU II OC11.3”5.6”1.5”0.16”
Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X12.0”4.5”1.5”0.16”
Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC11.1”4.8”1.5”0.16”
HIS R9 290X IceQ X² Turbo11.7”5.3”1.4”0.16”
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G11.0”4.7”1.5”0.24”
MSI R9 290X Lightning12.0”4.8”2.1”0.20”
PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X11.6”4.3”1.8”0.23”

Weight

The weight of a card might be interesting if you're trying to figure out if any additional support is needed, or to calculate the amount of stress your motherboard might be under in a CrossFire-based setup. Compared to its impressive volume, however, the PCS+ R9 290X is actually quite light. In fact, only HIS' slim card is lighter.

Models
Asus R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5 R9 290X DirectCU II OC2.5 lbs
Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X2.3 lbs
Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC2.3 lbs
HIS R9 290X IceQ X² Turbo2.2 lbs
MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G2.3 lbs
MSI R9 290X Lightning3.5 lbs
PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X2.24 lbs
  • combine1237
    For some reason I thought the pcs+ used hynix.
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    I just want to point out that this and most 290X's beat a stock 780 Ti. The fact is both 780 Ti and the 290X are trade blows and belong on the same GPU tier. However only one does cost $150 less and come with 4GB VRAM...
    Reply
  • Memnarchon
    13232466 said:
    I just want to point out that this and most 290X's beat a stock 780 Ti. The fact is both 780 Ti and the 290X are trade blows and belong on the same GPU tier. However only one does cost $150 less and come with 4GB VRAM...

    Well, since you are comparing a non reference GPU, you should take also a non-reference GPU to compare.
    Tom's using Gigabyte's 780ti OC which costs the same as the reference card...

    So even the non-reference models are on a different tier as well as their reference...
    Reply
  • bemused_fred
    Any chance of measurements in metric as well as imperial?
    Reply
  • FormatC
    13232896 said:
    Any chance of measurements in metric as well as imperial?

    Typical translation errors, the original is in metric ;)
    http://www.tomshardware.de/powercolor-r9-290x-pcs-review,testberichte-241519-3.html4

    I will clearify with Chris, that we use both in the future. Metric is worldwide more common :D
    Reply
  • dave_trimble
    Surprised the benchmark graph show performance at 1080p. Aren't the 290 series kind of wasted at that resolution? I would love to see the results at 1440p or even 4k. I have a feeling the 780ti might not look quite as good in comparison at higher resolution.
    Reply
  • photonboy
    A stock GTX780Ti is 7% faster at 2560x1440, and 8% faster at 1920x1080 (18 games averaged):
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/EVGA/GTX_780_Ti_SC_ACX_Cooler/26.html

    With such a HUGE difference in prices, quality, and performance on all top-end cards you really have to do your research.

    The R9-290X prices vary from $550 to $780 USD!
    Reply
  • dave_trimble
    13233877 said:
    A stock GTX780Ti is 7% faster at 2560x1440, and 8% faster at 1920x1080 (18 games averaged):
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/EVGA/GTX_780_Ti_SC_ACX_Cooler/26.html

    With such a HUGE difference in prices, quality, and performance on all top-end cards you really have to do your research.

    The R9-290X prices vary from $550 to $780 USD!

    Thanks for the response! I thought I had seen reviews elsewhere that showed the 290 series really closing the gap, or even surpassing the 780ti at higher resolutions, but perhaps I was remembering wrong. I recently decided to upgrade to a dual-290 setup, but if I had gone with a single card, the 780ti was at or near the top of my list (until the 290x prices came crashing down, that is).

    Reply
  • That_Guy88
    So is the difference between 290x's almost entirely due to cooling (and some OC)? I have someone who wants to sell me a reference 290x for $350, but I have a gtx 770, so it would seem that I would need to buy an after market cooler as well to make it worth my while. Thoughts?
    Reply
  • vertexx
    13234604 said:
    So is the difference between 290x's almost entirely due to cooling (and some OC)? I have someone who wants to sell me a reference 290x for $350, but I have a gtx 770, so it would seem that I would need to buy an after market cooler as well to make it worth my while. Thoughts?
    See these articles for after-market cooling options:
    Air cooling:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/r9-290-accelero-xtreme-290,3671.html

    Liquid Cooling:
    How to:
    http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Using-NZXT-Kraken-G10-Watercool-Radeon-R9-290
    And results:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-r9-290-and-290x,review-32872.html
    Reply