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

Gaming Performance

Test System and Benchmarks

We ran four carefully selected benchmarks at the highest quality settings, then normalized and added the individual results, which yields a performance index for each card.

SystemIntel Core i7-4930K (Ivy Bridge-E), Overclocked to 4 GHzAsus Rampage IV Black Edition, X79 Express32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3-2133Enermax TLC 240 Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler1 x 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro
Power Supply:Corsair AX860i
Operating System:Windows 8.1
Drivers:AMD Catalyst 14.2 BetaNvidia GeForce 334.89
Benchmarks:Metro Last LightBioshock InfiniteBattlefield 4 (Single-Player)Crysis 3 DX11

Performance Rating

In order to achieve realistic and comparable results, we heat up the cards prior to benchmarking, subjecting them to a 3D load that takes their GPU temperatures up to a steady state. This creates a level playing field for factory-overclocked cards.

PowerColor's card delivers impressive results, placing third behind the higher-clocked MSI R9 290X Lightning and HIS R9 290X IceQ X². Differences between the cards are small though, and almost certainly not worth a $100 difference to enthusiasts better-served putting that money into a larger SSD or faster processor.