PowerColor LCS R9 290X Watercooled Review
Published by Hiwa Pouri on 28.02.14 (42981 reads)
With their R9 290X LCS PowerColor have an enthusiast grade graphics card in their portfolio, which features a full-cover water cooler from EK Water Blocks. Since the R9 290X almost needs a power plant for a PSU, there es quite some heat being generated and the reference aircooler really struggles. Other then that the power design is also running very hot and a water cooler is basically the only reasonable approch to handle the massive heat. Apart from a water cooler there is also a factory overclocking on the GPU as well as on the memory and the over all package sounds rather compelling.
Today we are bringing you a review of the new PowerColor Radeon R9 290X LCS graphics card which features a reference PCB design paired up with a waterblock as well as a high binned GPUs which can do 60+MHz over what you can possibly achieve with most reference AMD R9 290X graphics cards. As you already know, the R9 series from AMD are famous to have a quite hot VRM part but since the PowerColor LCS is using a full cover waterblock from EK, called the EK-FC R9-290X, the VRM temperature can be kept at 29 degrees in idle and 59 degrees in load. The water cooler does a much better job as the reference cooler can keep the temperatures at around 75 degrees for the GPU and over 90 degrees for the VRM.
Since this is the LCS version of the PowerColor Radeon R9 290X series, the card also features a factory overclock. While the reference AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU is set to work at up to 1'000 MHz, the PowerColor LCS card works at 1'060 MHz. PowerColor 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 PowerColor Radeon R9 290X LCS held 1'060 MHz most of the time, and even while being under load, which is a shere result of the watercooled GPU so we did not see any downclocking in term of MHz caused by temprature limit protection. We did not notice any throttling while gaming which is a very good point for the watercooled PowerColor card compared to the reference cards which usually throttle down in most scenarios.