Planning on buying a Powercolor AXR9 290 4GB GDDR5 no/yes???

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by saberwolf, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. saberwolf

    saberwolf Member Guru

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    GPU:
    Vapor-X R9 290x x2
    Can't seem too fully overclock my R9 290x

    ---EDIT---

    9/29/2014


    I have decided to revamp this thread an it's topic

    "Can't seem too fully overclock my R9 290x"

    Being I have already purchased my r9 290x

    Thanx too all that have streed my decission :)

    Topic starts at my last post (at the bottom of the page) 9/29
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  2. Darkest

    Darkest Ancient Guru

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    Never use Newegg reviews as a source of information, the vast majority of posters are absolutely clueless. The same goes for most 'youtube' reviews. That said, out of those brands I would say Sapphire is by far the most reliable and highest quality. The temps you get will depend greatly upon your personal situation, being ambient temperatures and case airflow predominantly. The Tri-X should cool just fine, but if you can find a Vapor-X for a decent price I'd jump on that. Going for an aftermarket MSI 290 is also a good bet.
     
  3. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    I would avoid Powercolor when buying AMD. Sapphire or MSI Gaming etc would be a good bet, as stated by Darkest. Sapphire by far is my favorite AMD vendor.
     
  4. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    Just get a Sapphire TRI-X or Vapor X, you wont be disapointed.
     

  5. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Vapor-X is great, quite pricey though.
     
  6. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    I would just fork out the extra cash and get the the Sapphire Tri-X.
     
  7. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    In this case I believe the newegg reviews are pretty accurate. Heard a lot of bad things about them. Sapphire seems to be the goto brand for amd.
     
  8. SLI-756

    SLI-756 Banned

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    I wouldn't ignore hardware reviews from users, perhaps you have to read between lines at times but sure, wouldn't like to be without it.
     
  9. saberwolf

    saberwolf Member Guru

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    Yeah! I also thought the same thing!

    I figured maybe a couple of reviewers probably did not have the right PSU too run the card, but it's not a couple of reviews.... it's pretty much every freaking one!!

    Agreed!

    agreed!

    An as for that R9 290 Vapor-X, it's not only pricey!! it's out right expensive!!!

    JeeZzzz!

    I saw a minimum of like 450-550 on that freaking card.

    I am so torn :( I actually have that Powercolor waiting in my shopping cart staring me in the face.

    An it's only $300 even

    But I think I will go with the general consensus an probably run with a Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X, I am waiting one out at the moment, it's not final yet.

    I personally thought those Powercolor models were solid.

    Shame I am going to have to pass on this buy.
     
  10. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    ^What he said.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

  11. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    OP consider why the Powercolor one is so much cheaper than the Sapphire one.
    Cutting down on component quality is basically the only way to achieve that.
    Mfg costs are about the same for all brands I'd think.

    Sure, sometimes this is because the cheapest one hasn't any software bundle etc. extra stuff, just the card.
    Personally I'd gladly pay more for a Sapphire/Asus/MSI etc. one to be sure it works.

    The Vapor-X, while great, is indeed expensive. Get the Tri-X if you're on a budget, you'll like it!
    I remember reading some reviews on both and apparently the Vapor-X isn't that much ahead of the Tri-X in cooling.
    However, the Vapor-X is a custom-build PCB too so if you want to overclock 24/7, it may be worth the extra.

    My Tri-X can do 1100 on the core and 1600 memory with a slight voltage tweak. Defaults for the Tri-X OC are 1000 core and 1300 memory.

    I can reach 1200 stable on core with a more extreme voltage tweak, but VRM temps start to go beyond 100 centrigrade so I backed down.
    Core temp was around 80 centigrade so still acceptable, allbeit high.

    Plus I couldn't get Furmark artefact free with 1200 core. However, other benchmarks and all games I tried were flawless.
    Without extra overclocking the core stays below 70 centigrade in normal gaming.

    edit: here's probably a more "legit" review of the card, though the 290X version:
    http://www.legitreviews.com/powercolor-pcs-axr9-290x-video-card-review_138422/14

    do note that while indeed the temps seem impressive, this in turn means the fans are a bit loud.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  12. saberwolf

    saberwolf Member Guru

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    GPU:
    Vapor-X R9 290x x2
    Shame I can't afford that Vapor-X, thou it appears too be the card of choice overall.

    Pretty expensive if you ask me, selling for $500-550 used an $600+ brand new.. maybe in the future when they drop in price I might consider getting one.

    How do you overclock your card??

    Do you use the Catalyst Control Center software or do you use the Sapphire Trixx utility?

    I am not that big on overclocking, I have often heard that feeding too much voltage too your card could damage the card completely.

    In Catalyst I assume it's the

    Power Limit Settings:

    An in Trixx it's the

    VDDC Settings:

    How do you know what amount of votage to apply adjusting your GPU an Memory Clocks

    Being I have a 850 watt PSU, I know I should be alright with this Sapphire Tri-x R9 290x card, so what would be the expected PSU requirement if I decided to add a second 290x to my rig in the future?

    Could I pass on a 1000 watt PSU?

    Thanx for your insightfulness it really helped me shape an shift my decision
    :)

    My Tri-X 290x is on it's way, should have it by Weds the latest.

    I just wish it was not a yellow GFX card, what was Sapphire thinking when they choose that color scheme?

    I guess I will have to get used too it.

    Thanx too memebers on this board an a abroad for helping me finalize my decision.
     
  13. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    ^ use Sapphire TriXX or MSI Afterburner. Do NOT OC through CCC and disable AMD OverDrive before you overclock.

    I always set the power limit to +50% first when I OC.
    Then I just select the clocks I want to try and see if they work.
    If not, then I increase the voltage (VDDC).

    There's no way of knowing what voltage is good/necessary apart from experimenting.
    Do note that the higher the voltage -> the larger the heat output. Especially the VRMs start heating up quickly (voltage regulator modules) with added volts.

    TriXX allows you to up the core voltage by a max of +200 mV. I'd say that's the absolute maximum you want to try and even that is already pushing it!

    Work in baby steps: increase the volts only slightly at first, check if your oc is stable. Increase a bit more if not and retest etc.
    Find the minimum amount of voltage required. For a 24/7 overclock you probably need to find a compromise between volts / frequency.

    It seems with R9 cards that the core voltage affects memory oc'ability too (?).
    You'll also find a setting in Afterburner called "Aux Voltage".
    It should feed the memory bus in AMD cards and as such help stabilise memory overclock.
    Experiment with different settings there and the same applies for the Aux Voltage as the core voltage: careful!

    I cannot reach mem 1600 stable without bumping both voltages slightly.
    Without extra juice I get an instant black screen crash when I hit Apply (even with a lesser overclock).

    PS: if you don't feel comfortable tinkering with voltages, then don't do it.
    Leave the card as it is or OC without volts tweaking.
    With luck you'll do 1100 on the core without overvolting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  14. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
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    as for the PSU question, I'd look more at the amps required from the +12 V rail and the rail design.

    If a single 290x takes X amps, you basically need double that for a CFX. Your other components take up amps too, especially the CPU.
    Also note that the 2X amps need to be available from the rail(s) which power(s) the PCI-E power connectors in a multirail design.

    Whether 1000 W is enough or not depends entirely on the above.

    You should be able to find the recommended amperage from Sapphire's / AMD's website or at the product packaging (can't recall myself anymore as I threw out the box ;)
    However those values are a bit exaggerated often.

    For example, if a single 290X needs 25 amps, you theoretically need 50 amps for two from the +12V rail.
    Furthermore meaning, with a multirail PSU, that amount needs to be available from the rails of PCI-E power. Do note that with multirails, the total combined output of rails is LESS than the sum of individual rail amps.

    With a single rail design, it's a bit simpler. Then you'd need a total of 50 A + other parts (probably 70ish in total to be sure) available from the single rail.

    The above numbers are just from the top of my head to show the "math" involved.
    Sure enough, a PSU with 70+ amps is probably around 1000 W, depending on quality etc.

    Eg. my PSU can output a total of 72 amps from a single 12V rail (875 W unit).
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  15. saberwolf

    saberwolf Member Guru

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    Thanx AsiJu

    My r9 290x card came yesterday after I got out of work, I droped it into my rig but have not really gotten the chance to play around with it.

    These are my cards stats in Sapphire TriXX @ defualt.

    [​IMG]

    An here is my power link settings

    [​IMG]

    Guess I will have too just tinker with these settings until I find a stable overclock
     

  16. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    Try to overclock the GPU only first. Also start by finding the max OC without altering voltage.

    Then, if you want, try to oc higher and start increasing volts too.

    Once you find the desired clock, then start working on the memory.
    Remember you may need to increse VDDC Offset further to stabilise the memory OC.

    You can use MSI Afterburner in conjuction with TriXX (not at the same time, of course).
    Afterburner has that "Aux Voltage" setting too which can help when OC'ing memory.

    And I stress: careful with the voltages! Use increments of +5-10 mV at a time.

    +100 mV I think is the safety limit, after that you're running higher risks of damage.
    Yes, I have tried even the maximum +200 mV offset, but that doesn't guarantee it's safe.

    Plus I used it only for a few seconds really. Started FurMark, saw artefacts were still there, reset overclock.

    EDIT: before anything else, run your card for a few days at stock settings with different games / apps to make sure it's working correctly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  17. Twiddles

    Twiddles Maha Guru

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    Make sure you run it STOCK first! Measure temps first, look at any abnormalities etc. After that just start doing the things said above. Small note: Don't use FurMark, the load isn't realistic, try OCCT or a few runs with 3DMark ;)
     
  18. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    ^ agree about FurMark, but I often use it as a quick stress test to check for anomalies with overclocks, ie. let it run for a minute or so.
    The synthetic 100 % shader load quickly shows whether the OC is artefact free/stable to begin with.

    Then I do a few rounds of 3DMark and if everything's still fine, I assume the overclock is stable and start gaming with it.

    Rarely an extended gaming period may still result in anomalies/crash, but at this point I just fine tune the OC a bit. Either drop the freq or up the volts slightly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  19. saberwolf

    saberwolf Member Guru

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    Srry for the late reply :cry:

    Look a vacation too South Carolina, just came back last week.

    Good point! Been running the card at stock since I have received it (like 3 weeks ago) card appears to be fully functioning, no issues recorded as of yet?

    For the past week I have been fully running my card, actually have had my PC running for 4 days straight with stock speeds, no issues discovered :thumbup:

    Also have games some graphically intense games with my R9 290x, fames like Crysis 2 & 3, Battlefield 4, graphics are smooth! :cheers:

    No crashes or black screens! :deflate: Thank God!!!!!

    I guess my card is ready too for the go ahead for it's first overclock.

    @AsiJu could you post a manageable overclock which I could appy to my card, nothing extreme, just a manageable setting which I could possibly tweak as I go :)

    Also... I gather the best time to add voltage would be when I have a unstable MEMORY CLOCK an GPU CLOCK adjustment?

    So adding voltage would stabilize my MEM/GPU Clocks in the event of system crashes?

    Thanx you guys for all your wisdom!!! :mhp:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  20. AsiJu

    AsiJu Ancient Guru

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    Try 1100 core first. If good, start going higher with, say 25 MHz increments.

    Once you start seeing graphics anomalies or having crashes (the former occurs first usually), then you have to start working with the volts too, as described above.

    Chances are you'll peak around 1200 core with more or less added voltage required.
    I had to increase the VDDC quite a bit to make 1200 core stable.

    For the memory, work in increments of 50-100 MHz until you get anomalies/crash.
    Try increasing the voltage (also the Aux Voltage) a bit further and see if it helps.
    If not, back down on the memory OC.

    EDIT: once again, if this is your first time overclocking with voltage tweaking, careful.
    You'll probably hit a threshold at a certain point where it seems voltage increments do not help with your OC anymore.
    Don't get frustrated at this point and just wham the voltage to the max.
    Keep patient and consider whether you really need those couple of extra MHz.

    Also, I will not be held responsible if you fry your card ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014

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