The tests were performed in a controlled air conditioned room with temperatures maintained at a constant 24c – a comfortable environment for the majority of people reading this.Idle temperatures were measured after sitting at the desktop for 30 minutes.Load measurements were acquired by playing Crysis Warhead for 30 minutes and measuring the peak temperature. We also have included Furmark results, recording maximum temperatures throughout a 30 minute stress test. All fan settings were left on automatic.
As we discussed earlier in the review changes to Catalyst Control Center for the R9 290 series cards add new options. The fan speed is limited to a maximum of 47 percent while the software simultaneously holds a maximum default temperature of 95c.
AMD have clearly had to work out a rather sophisticated set of parameters to try and maintain a maximum default core temperature of 95c, which seems very high in our opinion.
We discussed this with AMD and we were told ‘R9 290 GPU running at 95C is absolutely normal and intentional.’ I am not so sure, but in six months time we will know if there has been a high return rate for the reference cards. Hopefully partners will bypass this poor reference cooling system and use their own custom coolers.