What’s goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here and today we’re gonna make a couple upgrades to the HTPC…again. Thanks to XFX I’ve gotten my hands on a couple of their products so I’m gonna test em out!
What I have here is an XFX XTR 850 power supply and an XFX Radeon R9 290. I haven’t had any first hand experience with XFX prior to this but I’ve seen their name around from time to time and I was curious about whether they could compete with the bigger brands.
So first let’s take a look at the power supply. This is a fully modular power supply, 80 plus gold efficiency which is always great to see, it’s got a single massive 12V rail, Japanese capacitors, a 135mm fan which when placed in hybrid mode does not turn on until 25% load or 25*C and of course this is the 850W version which should be able to power the R9 290 no problem.
If I’m not mistaken this is actually a re-branded SeaSonic X-Series power supply so you know you’re getting a solid unit here.
It also comes with all black, flat cables with the exception of the 24-pin motherboard one so you can say goodbye to those ugly colorful PSU cables. I only wish there was a way to get that 24-pin one a little less bulky but oh well.
And for the graphics card, I have the Radeon R9 290. More specifically the XFX Black Double Dissipation Edition which is factory overclocked. Now obviously this isn’t the newest card out so I won’t go into too much detail about it. You may be wondering, why are you even making a video about an R9 290 at this point? Well, the answer is price drops.
If you’ve been looking towards AMD for the great price to performance ratio chances are you’ve seen brands like XFX amongst the cheapest.
So quick rundown of this card. It’s got 4GB of VRAM, with a 512-bit bus. A core clock of 980MHz and memory clock of 1250MHz. 2560 stream processors.
Physically the card has a matte black fan shroud covering the dual 90mm fans with an XFX logo on one end which lights up white when powered on.
The card is 11.61 inches long and has an 8-pin and 6-pin connector for supplying power.
On the I/O side you get two dual-link DVI ports, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2.
No backplate on this card, would be nice but not a big deal since this is not a flagship card.
And yeah that’s pretty much it. So let’s go ahead and install this stuff!
And here you guys have it. Both the power supply and graphics card are in, this is in the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX case if you were wondering. I did have one issue installing the card and that is these two screws that you see here were preventing the card from laying flush with the PCI slots on the case. I don’t know if Phanteks just didn’t make the cutouts long enough or if it was XFX’s fault but I had to remove them in order to secure the card in the case. Didn’t seem to hurt anything in the end but just kinda weird.
I also took the opportunity to rotate my be quiet! cooler so that I now have access to my RAM and 24-pin cable. I like it much better this way personally!
So now that everything is in, let’s go ahead and run a few benchmarks. In this build I’m running an Intel Pentium G3258 and just for these tests I overclocked it to 4.4GHz. I ran Prime95 on it for about 30min. at 1.2V and it passed all tests but it was a little sluggish afterwards so I ended up upping the voltage to 1.225 before I ran any benchmarks.
I’m also running 5GB of RAM for now to go along with the R9 290 which is not a ton but this was originally an HTPC build so not a lot is needed anyway.
Also I figure I should throw a disclaimer out there, I’m not advocating pairing a G3258 with an R9 290…this is JUST for fun and to see what happens!
Anyway, queue those benchmarks!
So the R9 290 seems to be performing pretty well, in fact I’ve seen a few valley benchmark scores from people with i5/GTX 970 setups very close to this which is crazy. Unfortunately I had to stop the benchmarking for one big reason and that is temps. In this case, this card was hitting 90C after maybe 10-15min. which was causing the card to throttle. The Sleeping Dogs benchmark is a little bit lower than it should be because of this.
I guess I really didn’t account for that when putting this together. Really in a smaller case like this you need a reference cooler, something like what you see on the reference r9 290 or a lot of the Nvidia cards because exhausting hot air into a small area like this is no good. I don’t think any powerful card with this cooler design would do well in this case.
So, unfortunately I won’t be able to keep it in here but with adequate airflow I have no worries that this card will perform well. Probably not as well as say a Sapphire Tri-X card but definitely good enough to get by.
Aside from a couple hiccups I’m satisfied with what XFX has to offer here and I would have no problems running one of their cards in the future.
So, let’s get a poll going, if you’ve used an XFX product before type Yes in the comments and if not simply leave a No down below.
Anyway, that’s about it guys! Like this video if you’ve found it helpful or entertaining. Subscribe for more similar content and until next time…see ya!
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XFX Radeon R9 290 benchmarks at 1080P using Valley Benchmark, Tomb Raider 2013 and Sleeping Dogs, max settings.
Case is Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV ITX and CPU cooler is the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP.
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