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May 26, 2014

Dual-Core Radeon R9 290X Graphics Card from PowerColor Is an Odd Piece of Work




You'd think that with Advanced Micro Devices selling the Radeon R9 295 X2 graphics card, its OEMs would do the same, but PowerColor decided to both follow and not follow in AMD's footsteps.

Which is to say, the OEM has released a dual-GPU Radeon R9 graphics card based on two Hawaii XT graphics processing units, but not actually called Radeon R9 295 X2. Instead, PowerColor settled for the following moniker: PowerColor Radeon R9 Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X. It's like saying that you have two Radeon R9 290X boards fused together. Nevertheless, it's the same thing as the R9 295 X2 but under a different name. Well, not really. PowerColor seems to have used its own idea for a PCB (printed circuit board) and integrated circuit layout. Also, the core specifications are not the same as those on the R9 295 X2. The GPU frequency is of 1000 MHz instead of 1018 MHz, for one thing. Also, the newcomer has a triple-fan air cooler, instead of the hybrid air+water cooling module that AMD added to the R9 295X2.

On the flip side, the memory arrangement is the same though: 4 GB GDDR5 for each Hawaii XT graphics processing unit, connected via 512-bit interface. So, there are 8 GB of memory at 5 GHz operating over a total bandwidth of 1,024 bits. Add to that the crate-like box that the product ships in and there is more than enough reason to question why PowerColor would give its product a different price at all. We'd be tempted to think it's a misspelling, if PowerColor hadn't used the name Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X in every single instance in its press release, and on the spec table too.

Anyway, at least the OEM included one of its own inventions: the Turbo Timer, a patent-pending device that keeps the video board cooler active even after the PC has been turned off, for a time. You get to specify the time. This way, the card will cool quickly and last for a longer time, which is good considering that this is a top-tier board you shouldn't need to replace for a decade, or half of it at least. Finally, the triple-fan cooler of the Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X uses double blades design for the spinner. You can see what we mean in the pictures above and below: the fan blades each have a smaller one extending from them at the base.


PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X
Images credits to PowerColor

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