Published in Reviews

PowerColor Devil 13 Dual GPU R9 290X reviewed

by on21 August 2014


PowerColor is the only AMD partner to develop and market a non-reference R9 295X2 card. The Devil 13 relies on a triple-slot air cooler, while the reference R9 295X2 uses an Asetek water cooler with an external radiator.

The Asetek closed-loop cooler is a dual-slot design. The pump is installed in the cooler itself, while the radiator is designed to fit inside the chassis. This means the Devil 13 is quite a bit easier to install. All it requires is three free slots.

AMD decided to use Asetek’s liquid cooling solution due to the immense TDP of two Hawaii GPUs on a single PCB. The reference cooler does an admirable job and keeps the massive card relatively cool at 75 degrees Celsius.

PowerColor’s cooler deserves a fair bit of praise, too. It manages to keep the GPU cool without the need for a water cooler. The downside is that it ends up a bit louder than the reference cooler. In everyday operations the difference is negligible, but following prolonged periods of full load, the reference water-cooler is noticeably quieter.

The difference is not too big to disqualify the Devil 13. The card ends up a bit louder than the old HD 6990, which is notorious for its loud cooler. In idle mode the Devil 13 is nearly inaudible. When the card idles, only one of the GPUs is active and the temperature hovers around 44C. However, the card heats up as soon as there is load and temperatures hit up to 84 degrees. We measured up to 94 in a small chassis, but this is simply not a realistic figure as few enthusiasts would ever think about installing a dual-GPU card in a small chassis.

The really good news is that the card does not throttle much. The clocks rarely drop below 1000MHz. We did experience some throttling in a small chassis, but in a properly ventilated high-end chassis we did not. Bear in mind that this immensely powerful card can easily heat up all the air inside the chassis, so the chassis has to be well ventilated. On a hot summer day a high-end rig with a 500W can easily heat up a small room and force you to break a sweat, or crank up the air conditioning.

You can manage fan RPM via a number of popular utilities and PowerColor has a special Turbo Mode ‘D’ that enables the user to bump up the fan speed by 20 percent. It can be useful in some situations, namely if you notice the GPU clocks sliding north of 1000MHz. Turbo Mode can easily drop the temperature by 5 degrees, allowing the card to clock back to 1000MHz.

Last modified on 21 August 2014
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: