ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC Review

Published by Christian Ney on 10.01.14
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Custom Radeon R9 290X graphics cards start to hit the web and stores and today we are going to have a look at the ASUS one, the Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC. The Radeon R9 290X version is no different from other high-end DirectCU II cards from the manufacturer, you don't change a formula that works. The R9 290X DirectCU II OC features a custom PCB with a beefed up power design and is chilled by the latest version of the DirectCU 2 cooler. Other than the obvious the card has a factory overclocking on both the core and memory as well as a BIOS DIP switch allowing users to choose between a silent or a performance operation.

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The new ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC graphics card features a PCB custom design, that received a beefed up power design and other than that there is the quite famous DirectCU II cooler as well as a decent factory overclock. At a first glance it looks like the new R9 290X DirectCU II OC shares the same cooler as the GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II series and a PCB similar to the one on the R9 280X DirectCU II series, which are definitely no bad things for a start.

Since it is the DirectCU II OC version of the ASUS Radeon R9 290X series, the card features a factory overclock. While the reference AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU is set to work at up to 1'000 MHz, the ASUS DirectCU II OC card works at 1'050 MHz. ASUS also decided to overclock the GDDR5 memory on its card from 1'250 MHz (5'000 MHz effective) to 1'350 MHz (5'400 MHz effective).

During our testing the ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC held 1'050 MHz most of the time, while being under load. We have only experienced downclocking when running FurMark where the GPU clock was going down with the temperature increase to 960 MHz. We didn't notice any throttling while gaming which is a very good point for the custom ASUS card compared to the reference cards that were throttling most of the time.


R9 290X DC II OC Radeon R9 290X Radeon R9 280X
Chip Hawaii XT Hawaii XT Tahiti XT2/L
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 6.20 billion 6.20 billion 4.31 billion
GPU clock 1'050 MHz up to 1'000 MHz 1'000 MHz
Memory GDDR5 4'096 MB 4'096 MB 3'072 MB
Memory clock 1'350 (5'400) MHz 1'250 (5'000) MHz 1'500 (6'000) MHz
Memory interface 512 Bit 512 Bit 384 Bit
Memory bandwidth 345.6 GB/s 320.0 GB/s 288 GB/s
Shader Cores 2'816 2'816 2'048
TMUs 176 176 128
ROPs 64 64 32
TDP xxx Watt xxx Watt 250 Watt
PCB Type Custom Design Reference Design Reference Design
Lenght (PCB - Total) 26.8 - 28.8 cm xx.x - xx.x cm xx.x - xx.x cm
Height (PCB - Total) 12.4 - 14.7 cm xx.x - xx.x cm xx.x - xx.x cm
Slots 2 2 2
Cooler DirectCU II AMD Reference AMD Reference
Launch Price $XXX $549 $299

Page 1 - Presentation / Specifications
Page 2 - The card
Page 3 - Photo Gallery / Delivery
Page 4 - In-Game Performance
Page 5 - Temperatures / Noise levels
Page 6 - Performance/Price & Performance/Watt
Page 7 - Conclusion

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