PowerColor at CES 2014: Bigger is Better!
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 8, 2014 - 08:25 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: triple fans, R9 290X, r9 290, powercolor, liquid cooling, cooling, CES 2014, amd
The nice folks at PowerColor were foolish enough to invite us into their suite full of video cards. Unhappily, we were unable to abscond with a few items that we will list here. PowerColor has a smaller US presence than other manufacturers, but they are not afraid to experiment with unique cooling solutions for their cards.
A sharp looking card that is remarkably heavy.
Cooling is provided by EKWB.
In their suite they were showing off two new products based on the AMD R9 290X chips. The first was actually released back in December, 2013. This is the liquid cooling version of the AMD R9 290X. This little number comes in at a hefty $799. When we think about this price, it really is not that out of line. It features a very high end liquid cooling block that is extremely heavy and well built. The PCB looks like it mimics the reference design, but the cooling is certainly the unique aspect of this card. Again, this card is extremely heavy and well built.
Three fans are too much!
The display outputs are the same as the reference design, which is not a bad thing.
The second card is probably much more interesting to most users. This is a new cooling solution from PowerColor that attaches to the AMD R9 290X. The PCS+ cooler features three fans and is over two slots wide (we can joke about it being 2.5 slots wide, but I doubt anyone can use that extra half slot that is left over). PCS+ stands for Professional Cooling Systems. The board again looks like it is based on the reference PCB, but the cooler is really where the magic lies. This particular product should be able to compete with the other 3rd party coolers that we have seen applied to this particular chip from AMD. As such, it should be able to not only keep the clockspeed at a steady state throughout testing/gaming, but it should also allow a measure of overclocking to be applied.
The back is protected/supported by a large and stiff plate. Cooling holes help maximize performance.
This card will be offered at $679 US and will be available on January 15. The amount of units shipped will likely be fairly small, so keep a good eye out. AMD is ultimately in charge of providing partners with chips to integrate into their respective products, and so far I think those numbers have been a little bit more limited than hoped. It also doesn’t help that the market price has been inflated by all the coin miners that have been purchasing up the latest GCN based AMD cards for the past several months.
There is no denying that this is a large cooler. Hopefully cooling performance will match or exced that of products Ryan has already reviewed.
We also expect to see the R9 290 version of this card around the same timeframe. This is supposed to be released around the same time as the bigger, more expensive R9 290X. There should be more PowerColor content at PCPer over the next few months, so please stay tuned!
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