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Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X OC Review (1600p, Ultra HD 4K)

We have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. The motherboard is also passively cooled. This gives us a build with almost completely passive cooling and it means we can measure noise of just the graphics card inside the system when we run looped 3dMark tests.

We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the closed chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation. Ambient noise in the room measures close to the limits of our sound meter at 28dBa.

Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the video card. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

KitGuru noise guide

10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum
noise
The triple fan setup speed varies between 1,300 rpm when idle and 2,100 rpm when under Furmark load. It is a relatively quiet video card, almost silent when idle. Under gaming load the fans ramp up to around 1,800 rpm, emitting a noticeable, but unobtrusive level of noise.

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15 comments

  1. Of course the first AIB custom cooler WOULD be on a 290 non-x…my patience runs ever thinner.

  2. Happy about the thermals. Not happy about the OC potential though. I though it could hit 1.2GHz.

  3. No voltage tweaking? Cmon Kitguru, we wanna see more speed!

  4. Did you increase voltage with that overclock?

  5. Once we took the power limit to +40% (as shown in the screenshot) we didn’t find any improvements above this point. Not with this sample anyway. It can vary from card to card.

  6. So the difference between the reference and the 100£ more toxic version is 1fps in games ? legit.

  7. what power suply that graphic card need? (sorry for my bad englando)

  8. The problem with the AMD cards is that they are being used for mining. Which has made the cards hard to find, and any that are for sale are at some insane jackrd up price well over the retail price. This is going to hurt AMD in the long run, as people will justto nvidia for those very reasons. AMD needs to block the mining ability, if they want to survive as a gaming card.

  9. For reviewer:
    Please, can you post a maximum VRM1 and VRM2 temperature in load from GPU-Z?
    Thanks.

  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-heZ7rzvpE – Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X unboxing and preview