Water-cooling the AMD Radeon R9 290X

Written by Antony Leather

December 10, 2013 | 10:03

Tags: #780 #mini-itx #radeon-r9-290x #water-cooling

Companies: #amd

Testing

Our previous Radeon R9 290x testing included numbers for Unigine's Valley benchmark. This stresses the card for prolonged periods, allowing the thermal throttling to come into play - something that might not always be evident in shorter game benchmarks but is likely to offer similar results to extensive gaming sessions.

Water-cooling the AMD Radeon R9 290X Water-cooling the AMD Radeon R9 290X - Testing, Cooling and Performance
Click to enlarge

Going from our original air-cooled BitFenix Prodigy to an open-test system or water-cooled tower isn't exactly a fair comparision, so we used the Prodigy again, creating a typical system including a large Magicool 180mm-fan radiator with a 180mm SilverStone Air Penetrator fan - a typical water-cooled scenario in the Prodigy. To further replicate a typical system, we also included an overclocked Intel Core i5-3570K, overclocked to 4.2GHz, and water-cooled by Bitspower's AIZ77ITXD waterblock. The cooling loop also included a Laing DDC pump with Alphacool top reservoir and a 120mm top exhaust fan.

To save amassing hundreds of results, and as we're mainly concerned with the water-cooled numbers, we've only compared the air-cooled model at 40% and 100% fan speed limits. In the Unigine test, we've tied the corresponding overclock settings in the same colour, so you can see how water cooling compares to a stock card at 40% and 100% fan speed, while the additional overclock we achieved thanks to water cooling is in orange and a stock speed GeForce GTX 780 3GB is shown in light blue.

Heat (load)

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (1,920 x 1,200, Ultra settings, 8xAA

  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (1.120GHz core, 1.4GHz Mem)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (100% fan, Stock speed)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - (100% fan, 150% power)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (40% fan Stock speed)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB (standard settings)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, 1.155GHz core, 1.44GHz Mem)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, 1.120GHz core, 1.4GHz Mem)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, 150% power)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, stock speed)
  • 72
  • 72
  • 72
  • 72
  • 60
  • 30
  • 28
  • 26
  • 23
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Delta T in °C

Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (1,920 x 1,200, Ultra settings, 8xAA

  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, 1.155GHz core, 1.44GHz Mem)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, 1.120GHz core, 1.4GHz Mem)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (100% fan, 1.120GHz core, 1.4GHz Mem)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, 150% power)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (100% fan, 150% power)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (40% fan, 1.120GHz core, 1.4GHz Mem)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (water-cooled, stock speed)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X - (100% fan, stock speed)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (40% fan, 150% power)
  • AMD Radeon R9 290X (40% fan, stock speed)
  • 2588
  • 2521
  • 2456
  • 2372
  • 2320
  • 2310
  • 2306
  • 2258
  • 2176
  • 1946
  • 1928
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
Score (higher is better)

Discuss this in the forums
Mod of the Month February 2020 in Association with Corsair

March 25 2020 | 14:00

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU