Bigger better stronger and faster, this review will cover the MSI Radeon R9-290X Lightning, this graphics card is considered the beast that rules them all ! With a PCB redesigned from ground up and usage of only the best components (high current chokes, International Rectifier PowIRstage, DirectFET chips, tantalum capacitors) MSI designed to design something really special. The factory overclocked product screams performance all over and with that TriFrozr cooler it is dressed to impress. The 2816 counting Shader processors based Hawaii chip will get paired with 4 GB GDDR5 memory running along a 512-bit memory interface. The card will clock towards 1080 MHz but is clocked at reference clocks on the GDDR5 memory. Hmmm, I just catch your attention ? Yeah I figured that much, let's go and check 'r out shall we ? So what does a Hawaii GPU bring into the graphics cards ? Oh what about 6 Billion transistors on a 438 mm2 Die, 512-bit Memory bus with 4 GB - 5.0 Gbps GDDR5 memory, Ultra HD ready, 5.6 TFLOPS of compute performance. Not bad for keywords, eh? AMD also has been focusing strongly at gaming in Ultra High Definition (UHD), so this will be a focus in our review as well. Will we be able to play the hottest games at that whopping 8.2 Mpixels at a 3840x2160 resolution @ 60 Hz.
The product is fitted with the TriFrozr cooler which features a total of three fans. Two of the fans to the left and right are large 86mm black fans, while a smaller yellow 70mm fan rests right in the middle. The yellow fan also has a somewhat denser fin arrangement. The fans can be programmed independent from each other. For the heatsink itself MSI is using a large dual fin-stack heatsink connected to seven 8 mm-thick heat pipes. The card has a regular and a LN2 BIOS for liquid-nitrogen cooling based overclocking.
R9 290X LIGHTNING
AMD Radeon R9 290X / Hawaii XT
Memory Size / Bus/ Type
4096 MB / 512 bits / GDDR5
Fan Type / TDP
The MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning PCB features a 15+3+2 phase VRM that draws power from a threefold of power connectors, which is a first for single-GPU graphics cards. It has two 8-pin connectors, and a 6-pin -- yup three power connectors. Some other features include Triple Level Signals (load level LED indicators), an enhanced power design (Digital PWM) as well. The card is a beast alright, as such this in-depth review will cover the Volcanic Islands GPU architecture, Hawaii for the 290 series, we'll benchmark these cards with FCAT Frametimes, Ultra High Definition and of course, we'll check out game performance with the latest games next to power consumption and heat levels as well. But first, have a peek at the MSI Radeon R9-290X Lightning edition.
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