The VisionTek R9 290 has redefined my feelings on the AMD R9 series. I now recognize its one strong video card, and the VisionTek version does set itself apart from the competition. The VisionTek R9 290 has a great voltage regulator, and it features serious hardware for a serious job.
Also, while VisionTek deviated from the DirectFETs that the standard R9 290 uses, they kept things in the International Rectifier family, and replaced them with PowIRstages, which should do the same, or even better. The standard Radeon R9 290 also uses SK Hynix based memory; however, VisionTek is using Elpida based memory modules, which have proven to be pretty good overclockers in the past.
The cooling is what really sets this card apart from the competition. The heat sink is a monster, and performs like one. GPU Core temperatures barely increased when I jacked up the GPU Core clock 20%, and AMD's auto overclocking boost profile felt comfortable enough to boost core speeds from 947MHz to 975MHz.
The backplate is a very nice addition; it brings functionality in the form of protection and cooling, and also adds aesthetic value to the card. If you are in the market for a strong R9 290 that will overclock a decent amount, and stay cool at the same time, then the VisionTek R9 290 might just fit the bill.
PRICING: You can find the VisionTek R9 290 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The VisionTek R9 290 retails for $388.63 at Amazon.
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