How We Tested PowerColor's Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X 8 GB
Measurement Apparatus and Procedure
We’re using a standardized PC platform for our performance and power consumption measurements. It has an overclocked Intel Core i7-4930K processor that’s clocked depending on the task in question at 3.6 GHz (workstation), 4.2 GHz (VGA charts), or 4.8 GHz (extreme).
We switched out our power supply after our experience reviewing the Radeon R9 295X2. The new one gives us a little more headroom.
|Test Bench||Microcool Banchetto 101|
|Test PC||Intel Core i7 4930K (Ivy Bridge-E), Six-Core, Overclocked to 4.2 GHzAsus Rampage IV Black Edition32 / 64 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3-2133Enermax TLC 240 AOI Compact Water Cooler1x SSD 500 GB Samsung 840 Pro1x SSD 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro|
|Power Supply (PSU)||1200 W, be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10|
The German power consumption test system for consumer and workstation graphics cards was developed in cooperation with HAMEG (Rohde & Schwarz) to provide the most exact measurements possible at the smallest time intervals possible. It’s capable of temporal resolutions all the way down to one millisecond.
Only sophisticated technology like this can rise to the challenge posed by the demands of AMD’s PowerTune (which can change the core voltage in a time frame of less than 10 ms) and Nvidia’s GPU Boost, and their resulting fast and large load fluctuations. Consequently, we evaluate all current and voltage measurements with a 500 MHz digital multi-channel oscilloscope, the HAMEG HMO 3054, which also allows the collection and storage of all data in one place, as well as meaningful remote control.
The measurements of the first two of the three high-resolution HAMEG HZO50 current probes are completed using a riser card that was specifically constructed by us for the 3.3 and 12 V rails. The riser card supports PCIe 3.0 and features short signal paths. The third current probe does its job via the PCIe power cable that we’ve modified accordingly.
We’re measuring the voltages directly at the PSU after modifying it a bit. For the most detailed measurements, we’re generally working with a temporal resolution of 2 ms, which is enough to cumulatively record all of the power fluctuations caused by AMD’s PowerTune and Nvidia’s GPU Boost technologies. The duration of these tests is limited to two minutes due to the large volume of data across all the measured channels. We only lower the measurement intervals to their physical minimum if we want to look at something specific in yet more detail.
|Test Method||Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card) Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable Voltage Measurement at Power Supply|
|Test Equipment||1 x HAMEG HMO 3054, 500 MHz Digital Multi-channel Oscilloscope 3 x HAMEG HZO50 Current Probes (1 mA - 30 A, 100 kHz, DC) 4 x HAMEG HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500 MHz) 1 x HAMEG HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function|