I rarely use ATI/AMD video cards in my computers. But every once in awhile they get it right. Well make a product that really catches me.
Last few Video cards I used were all EVGA Geforce cards. GTX 770, GTX 680 prior to that used the EVGA Geforce 560ti. and used a few more previous generations of Nvidia cards. The FX line I completely skipped and that was the first time I used a ATI card in my PC the 800 series excellent cards.”Was actually owned by ATI back then” ATI really made their first high performance card that could not only keep up with Nvidia previous and it’s new FX line it straight up smacked the shit out of both the Nvidia 4 series and it’s new FX line at that time.
Today 09/22/2014 Nvidia threw a curve saying the 800 desktop series GPU’s wouldn’t see light until spring 2015. Well They went ahead and skipped the 800 series and have a 980 and 970 GTX cards.
The high end 980 is about $30 more than AMD’s r290x. And so far it looks to perform better than the AMD/ATI 290x.
Why are these cards interesting or a big step for PC gaming? Because the 780ti,Geforce Titan and AMD r290x are the 1st single card solutions that were built to play games in UltraHD. Not all at 60fps but from the scores I’ve seen they average anywhere from 32-45fps at 4k resolutions. The new 980 scores a bit better than the 780ti or the r290.
SHD or UHD monitors are a whole different beast. So i’ll not talk about them much. UHD Aka:4k= 3840 x 2160 resolution. WTF is SHD ? I’m probably the only one that even uses the word “SuperHD ” SHD= 2560 x 1440 or 2560 x 1600 resolutions.
The HD on most TV’s and PC’s today do 720p =1280×720 resolution and 1080i/p=1920×1080.
I purchased the HIS iPower IceQ X² H290XQM4GD Radeon R9 290X 4GB 512-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 early last month. Picked this card not because of the warranty or cost as a matter a fact the warranty is one of the worse I’ve seen
- Limited Warranty period (parts): 2 years
- Limited Warranty period (labor): 2 years
When reading and doing my research on the 290x most of the 1st or maybe even 2nd batch of GPUs pressed had major issues with over heating or plain just black screening or not working out of the box. Maybe not all but let me tell you if you do a google search on this matter there are millions of hits.
I prefer using XFX manufactured video card because they give limited lifetime warranties on all their GPU’s.
Unfortunately not only did they average about $75-$120 more they also had a whole lot of reviews stating that the cards were doing exactly what I said earlier. It wasn’t just XFX with these issues almost every manufacturer were using AMD’s reference build.
The HIS doesn’t match AMD’s reference at all which is good because it stays cool and has heat pipes unlike the AMD reference cards that all other manufacturers used. So running this stock and even a little OC is good to go. There’s a catch here the card should be set to Uber mode at all times. Will explain later
Now for the bad it’s not AMD’s reference design therefore if you want to use your water cooling block on it it’s not going to fit because it’s not reference. I’m sure at some point someone will release one to fit it. May be one is already out there now but until then your old skool HSF.
The cards have dual BIOs and a switch on the side of the video card to either use Standard they call it silent mode or switch the tiny switch the opposite way on the video card and you get uber mode. It comes set on silent after about 15 minutes of stress testing it using Wolfenstein New Order at complete max detail and also Watch Dogs set at max these 2 games will use up to 3-4gb of vram when textures and shadows are set at ultra. On silent mode graphics corruption started appearing within 15-20 minutes of game play Watch Dogs. Sweating it out a bit at this point restarted PC and then disabled any apps or services not needed. Started new Wolfenstein after 10 minutes or less the whole PC locked up. I repeated this process twice once with WHQL drivers and the beta drivers. Pretty much same issues with both drivers.
You can flip the switch on the AMD r290x while PC is on just have to restart PC after for it to change to uber mode. Once in Uber mode all issues were resolved.
I also did have some issues with hardware due to lightning strike some parts still came back working showing no errrors While Geforce GPU,Mainboard and HDD went down which were all RMAd.
What i’m saying is take my experience with the r290x with a grain of salt. It’s completely possible one of my components could be the reason why I had this issue.
AMD’s Mantle API to be pretty cool. It directly accesses the GPU unlike DirectX 11.2 and under. Now DirectX12 that will probably change i’m sure M$ doesn’t like being behind in the PC games race. Direct access to GPU means that games can be developed almost like a console where it only processes games nothing else. Not quite that good in Windows environment but gives ya an idea what Mantle is all about.
Also interested in Mantle because of SteamOS which is Linux Kernel based which means OpenGL and Mantle will be what will power a true 100% PC gaming machine then it will be like programming for consoles it will use 100% of PC hardware dedicated to nothing else but the game your playing. We all know DirectX will never be on any other OS than Windows OS.
I really do prefer AMD over Nvidia but when it comes to gaming i’ll always buy the video card I like best weather it’s Nvidia or AMD.
Nvidia refuses to just open up PhysX for every type of hardware. And they can do this but instead they lock it down. AMD’s TressFX is open for everyone to use. Nvidia won’t even allow you to use your Graphics card as a dedicated PhysX card if your using an AMD graphics card.
AMD pretty much left Mantle open for use. Nvidia even has made claims that Geforce cards can use Mantle.