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PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X 8GB Review


Specifications, Features, and Technology

Graphics Engine RADEON R9 290X
Video Memory 8GB GDDR5
Engine Clock 1030MHz
 Memory Clock  1375MHz (5.5Gbps)
Memory Interface 512bit
DirectX® Support 12
Bus Standard PCIE 3.0
Standard Display Connecors  DL DVI-D/ DL DVI-D/ HDMI/ DisplayPort


In essence, the Powercolor PCS+ R9 290X 8GB is simply a R9 290X, which for $70 more comes with larger memory chips.  Rather than forking over $600+ for an Nvidia Titan or a R9 290X2, you can reap the benefits of a high VRAM card without burning a hole in your pocket. The ultimate question that really comes to mind is: if the core clock performance is there to utilize all 8GBs and run games at 4k with one card, or are we still going to be able to see unplayable framerates at high resolutions? Tests that will reveal the answer will be covered in the benchmark and analysis section of this review.


Model GPU Clock (MHz) Memory Clock (MHz) Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) Pixel Fillrate (GPixel/s) Texture Fillrate (GTexel/s)
Reference AMD R9 290X 4Gb 1000 1250 320 64 176
PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X 8GB 1030 1375 403.2 74.9 205.9


Aside from the massive 8GB that the Powercolor PCS+ R9 290X 8GB edition brings, what else is new with this monstrous card? For beginners, it is factory overclocked to 1030Mhz core clock 1375Mhz memory clock which is up from the reference version of 1000Mhz and 1250Mhz respectively. The respectable PCS+ cooler also seen in the 4GB version of the PCS+ R9 290X is used for the 8GB version and still includes the sexy backplate, the full metal cooler design, three 76mm fans, and four massive 8mm heat pipes.

PCS+ R9 290X 8GB (9)

SK Hynix memory chips on the PCS+ R9 290X 8GB

Let’s jump ahead and take a look at the technology that gives the PCS+ R9 290X its name. What makes the PCS+ R9 290X 8GB different from the rest of the competition is, of course, the 8GB GDDR5. As an early adapter of AMD’s Hawaii chips and overclocking enthusiast I know there are 2 types of memory modules; those that overclock and those that do not. The Powercolor PCS+ R9 290X 8GB is luckily one of the ones that overclock really well; the SK Hynix modules are one of the best I have ever tested and generally regarded as the best quality memory module. I was not afraid to push the SK Hynix memory modules when it cam to overclocking. The max I was able to get with Elpida chips has been an overclock of 1425Mhz, but with SK Hynix chips an overclock of 1600+ Mhz is not unheard of. Take a look at the overclocking section for more info on how we pushed this beast to the limit.

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