Should I wait to get an R9 290?

#1 Edited by Redsox44 (481 posts) -

I've been building my first PC that I would like to have done by Christmas time, and the main things I haven't bought yet are a video card and a hard drive. I was planning to get a GTX 770 or 760 before the 290 came out and the price just barely fits into my budget that the performance for the price is extremely attractive especially with the prospect of mantle making it even better for games like BF4. The only thing stopping me from buying it already is the complaints of noise and temps on the card. Honestly I think I could deal with a noisy card but I'm not sure I can trust AMD saying it's designed to run at 95°C. What are the chances that temps like that like that will end up being damaging over a year or two? I'm new to this so it doesn't seem too safe but maybe it isn't that big of a deal.

This leads to people saying to wait for aftermarket cooler version but I don't know if those will come out before the new year or not. Is it possible to just add a better custom cooler later on without too much trouble? I saw water blocks but don't know if those need maintenance which I will probably be bad at with my first computer.

So really I'd just like to know opinions of if it's worth buying right now since I don't care about noise. If you expect new cooler versions to come out in the next month or if I should just get a cheaper card like a GTX 760 and wait for the next line of high end cards to come out deeper into next gen?

Thanks for replies!

#2 Edited by Troispoint (267 posts) -

Adding an aftermarket cooler on your GPU on your own sounds like more trouble than it's worth when you could just wait. And if you can't wait, the 770 comes with 3 very good games (SC: Blacklist, Batman Arkham Origins and Assassin's Creed Black Flag) and I can tell you for games coming out right now the GTX 770 is plenty powerful to max out almost any games at 60 FPS (Crysis 3 and Metro Last Light are both extremely demanding and not very well optimized anyway). But what would be even better, and thats something I didn't do, would be to buy the 4GB version to eventually SLI it once you have the money for a 2nd 770. While AMD seems to have trouble with Crossfire. Because long term the 2GB of VRAM on the 770 is the only thing to be concerned about. Although if you're willing to game with AA turned off, I bet you'll be able to run games on high and max settings near or at 60 FPS for much longer with only 2GB. And I'm talking about gaming at 1080p here, I don't know about 1440p.

But ideally, I would wait for the 290 to get an aftermarket cooler, that seems to be the clear cut best card in that price range.

#3 Posted by Redsox44 (481 posts) -

Yeah I'm leaning towards waiting because I'm not really interested in the free games other than for pretty graphics. It's just pretty tough when you have all the other parts ready to go.

#4 Posted by chiablo (907 posts) -

I just picked up a 770 because of that awesome games deal. I've had bad experience with AMD in the past and I really don't want a card that runs that hot out of the box. In fact, I'm replacing a 7670 that sounds like a jet engine and causes the display driver to crash when I have two displays enabled and I launch DotA 2.

I would recommend holding off if you can. If Mantle is really as good as their marketing team wants us to believe, then this will be a huge benefit to PC gaming and will force nVidia to redouble their efforts even further. nVidia's Maxwell cards that are coming next year also have potential to be awesome, but we know nothing about them.

#5 Edited by Redsox44 (481 posts) -

@chiablo: I think I'm gonna go with the 770 4GB and try to sell the games to offset the price and wait for newer cards. But I feel like new 290s will come out right after I buy, uggh, decisions. Actually do you think black friday will have any deals on these high end cards to make the 770 even cheaper? I've never payed attention to black friday pc sales.

#6 Posted by Troispoint (267 posts) -

@redsox44 said:

@chiablo: I think I'm gonna go with the 770 4GB and try to sell the games to offset the price and wait for newer cards. But I feel like new 290s will come out right after I buy, uggh, decisions. Actually do you think black friday will have any deals on these high end cards to make the 770 even cheaper? I've never payed attention to black friday pc sales.

I've never payed attention to black friday PC sales either, but I bet they'll have great deals on the 600 series for Nvidia and great deals on the 7000 series for AMD. I don't think they'll do a fire sale for their latest gen, it wouldn't make much sense.

#7 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

I personally would wait till new line of Nvidia cards considering that their 780 ti already almost catches up to AMD's new high end cards so I'm expecting Nvidia's new line to most likely be a step above.

#8 Edited by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

@redsox44 said:

The only thing stopping me from buying it already is the complaints of noise and temps on the card.

It's kind of bullshit that this is turning into the story of this card, the noise and heat have been an issue with the reference cooler for 5+ years now, you can't even buy a card with this cooler on it anymore so I have no fucking idea why they would review it with one or even bring it up as an issue because it has nothing to do with the actual gpu. My 5850 I picked up when they first came out had one of these coolers on it, it was loud as shit and I swapped it for an aftermarket cooler, served me well for 4 years.

Check the reviews for an actual production model 290x before you make a decision, I'm sure these issues won't even be mentioned other than to say that they aren't actual issues.

edit: I actually just checked out a bunch of the 290x on offer right now, looks like they all have the bad cooler on them, strange that none of the other R9 cards have it yet all the 290x do...

#9 Posted by Devildoll (877 posts) -
@chiablo said:

In fact, I'm replacing a 7670 that sounds like a jet engine and causes the display driver to crash when I have two displays enabled and I launch DotA 2.

yeah, 7670's have an incredibly tiny fan that has to spin like a mofo to move any air, but its more suited to be used in a HTPC than a gaming rig.
I didn't even know you could buy those separate, thought they only came in OEM computers.

I personally would wait till new line of Nvidia cards considering that their 780 ti already almost catches up to AMD's new high end cards so I'm expecting Nvidia's new line to most likely be a step above.

If Maxwell is 20 nm, then it'll most definetly be leaps ahead. if they launch it on 28 nm, im not sure they can cram that much more performance out.

@redsox44 said:

The only thing stopping me from buying it already is the complaints of noise and temps on the card.

It's kind of bullshit that this is turning into the story of this card, the noise and heat have been an issue with the reference cooler for 5+ years now, you can't even buy a card with this cooler on it anymore so I have no fucking idea why they would review it with one or even bring it up as an issue because it has nothing to do with the actual gpu. My 5850 I picked up when they first came out had one of these coolers on it, it was loud as shit and I swapped it for an aftermarket cooler, served me well for 4 years.

Check the reviews for an actual production model 290x before you make a decision, I'm sure these issues won't even be mentioned other than to say that they aren't actual issues.

edit: I actually just checked out a bunch of the 290x on offer right now, looks like they all have the bad cooler on them, strange that none of the other R9 cards have it yet all the 290x do...

yeah thats the thing, hawaii launches with only the reference cooler, custom cards are said to come in december.
To be honest i think the reference cooler has worked fine on the prior models, ive had one on 4890, this was loud, pretty much regardless, but gave me overclocking headroom to reach for 1 GHz on a graphics card for the first time ever, and wasnt much louder at that.

Then on the 5870, the reference cooler was cooler and a tad quieter than the 4890's, and again had a lot of oc headroom whilst never needing to go above 40%, on both these cards i didn't really feel the need for an aftermarket cooler to overclock them, i felt like the chips hit the roofs before their coolers did.

for the 7970 that i currently have, a non GHz edition which i am running at 1150 MHz i run it at 60% which is noticable, this is a card where i could have gotten a better cooling solution, but it wouldnt have been neccesary had i ran the card at stock speeds.

When it comes to Hawaii, the problem seems pretty severe, the card has to downclock in order to not go higher than 95c!!!even in Übermode where you can let the card loose to up to 100% fanspeed, the card has suboptimal performance initially until the fan catches up.

This is the first graphics card that i know of, that comes with a cooling solution that prevents the card from running full throttle.

I'm very curious to see how it performs and overclocks when the cooling isnt an issue, but yeah, if i bought one, i'd get an arctic aftermarket cooler instantly.

#11 Posted by Brendan (7696 posts) -

Wait for a custom cooler. Have you seen what Asus has done with the 270? The noise levels are below 40 decibals under full load. It won't be that good with the 290 but it seems crazy to get a reference 290 now.

#12 Edited by Chrjz (321 posts) -

@devildoll said:

When it comes to Hawaii, the problem seems pretty severe, the card has to downclock in order to not go higher than 95c!!!even in Übermode where you can let the card loose to up to 100% fanspeed, the card has suboptimal performance initially until the fan catches up.

This is the first graphics card that i know of, that comes with a cooling solution that prevents the card from running full throttle.

I'm very curious to see how it performs and overclocks when the cooling isnt an issue, but yeah, if i bought one, i'd get an arctic aftermarket cooler instantly.

I'm pretty sure "Übermode" on the 290x sets the default max fan speed to 55% and quiet mode sets it to 40%, in which case it will throttle to keep it below 95°C... 55% should be enough to not throttle if you have decent airflow.

GPU Boost 2.0 will also throttle back if you start going above 80°C I think. The difference is 80°C can only be achieved with aggressive overclocks on Kepler.

I just bought a 780 before the 290 came out and I'm kind of regretting it... I'm sure that thing will kick ass once it has aftermarket coolers on it. I just really liked that game bundle Nvidia was offering.

I'm also cautiously interested in Mantle and what engines are going to support it. Hopefully G-Sync is worth it...

#13 Edited by TriBeard (124 posts) -

The 290 doesn't really throttle much, if at all, according to Anantech. They upped the fan speed max to 47%, (not including uber mode) and this fixed most if not all of the issues. It also creates a very small performance gap between this and the 290x because the 290x throttles more under load, making the performance gap only about 3% in most things.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.