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MSI Radeon R9 290X Twin Frozr Gaming OC Overclocked Video Card Review

MSI Radeon R9 290X Twin Frozr Gaming OC Overclocked Video Card Review

We take a look at our first non-reference cooled Radeon R9 290X to hit our labs. Let's see just how this new model from MSI performs.

@ShawnBakerTW
Shawn Baker
Published Thu, Mar 20 2014 4:23 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 33 IMAGES

We've mentioned a number of times how impressed we've been with the R series of video cards from AMD, and the R9 290X 4GB was a clear stand out. While AMD did hold the lead for the fastest single GPU card for a bit, it didn't take NVIDIA long to retaliate with the release of the GTX 780 Ti 3GB, which saw both companies performing quite close to each other.

While we're yet to see a non-reference cooled GTX 780 Ti 3GB, we're fortunate enough to see our first R9 290X 4GB. Coming from MSI and falling under the Twin Frozr Gaming series, it's, of course, a name we've heard about a lot, and today we're really excited to see just what this series can do for AMD's top video card.

While we found ourselves very happy with what AMD did with the performance of its top card, there's no denying that the card ran both quite warm and quite loud. This is an issue that we're hoping MSI can fix with the Twin Frozr IV cooler. There's really not much more that needs to be said, so let's get stuck into the package to see just what MSI is offering us.

Package

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Taking a look at the front of the box, you can see a very standard setup with the black and red color scheme going on and clear branding of the card being part of the Gaming series. Looking towards the bottom corner, you can see that the card is an OC Edition and carries with it the Twin Frozr IV Advanced cooler.

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Turning the box over, you can see the main highlights of the card, which include support for the MSI Gaming APP alongside Military Class 4, which brings with it Hi-C and Solid Capacitors. The other big feature is, of course, the Twin Frozr IV Advanced cooler, which MSI claims will bring with it a drop in both temperature and noise levels. We're hoping it's true and we'll check it out later.

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Moving inside the package, you can see that there's not a whole lot going on as usual. You can see we've got the quick user guide and driver CD, along with the DVI to VGA connector. Like we saw in the MSI GTX 750 Ti 2GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC the other day, we also have a leaflet on the Hybrid BIOS that MSI is using. Finally, we finish off the bundle with two power convertors, one a Molex to 6-Pin PCIe connector and the other a 6-Pin PCIe to 8-Pin PCIe connector.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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Moving away from the package and onto the card, you can see straight away the overall look isn't anything too different to what we've seen before. The Twin Frozr IV Advanced is a big cooler with two large fans sitting on top of a massive heat sink that goes from one end of the card to the other and hangs slightly over the top.

We've also got a bunch of heat pipes running throughout the card to pull that heat away from the GPU. Let's hope that it works well.

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Moving away from the front towards the top of the card, we can see that we've got two power connectors in the form of a single 6-Pin PCIe and 8-Pin PCIe power connector. Here we can also see the massive heat sink that is installed and the heat pipe setup that is coming out the back of the card.

Moving closer to the front of the card, you can see like all R9 290 based cards we don't have a CrossFire connector as it's not needed. We do have a BIOS switch here that makes use of the Hybrid BIOS that we made mention of on the first page while covering the bundle.

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Finishing up our look at the card, we head over to the I/O department where we can see two Dual-Link DVI-D ports along with a full size HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round things off. You can see we've also got some vents to help some of the hot air escape out the back of the case.

Specifications

As we mentioned on the first page, the card we're dealing with is an OC model. Looking below, you can see out of the box the core has been pushed up to 1040MHz from 1000MHz. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that's been left alone at 5000MHz QDR, which is fairly standard. Because the overclock isn't huge, we decided to fire up MSI Afterburner and do some overclocking ourselves to see just what we could get out of it.

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Looking above, you can see that the core has been pushed to 1110MHz. This isn't a bad overclock, but it's not fantastic either. Overclocking on a whole just isn't the best when it comes to the R9 290X 4GB.

As for the memory, we couldn't do anything with that. The slight adjustments caused our system to become unstable when we tested. Hopefully we see MSI do something more with the model with a possible Lightning version down the track. For now, though, the R9 290X 4GB just isn't the best overclocker.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, and Corsair.

We've got a bunch of high-end single-GPU video card offerings here today that we will be comparing against our overclocked MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC card. As for other AMD cards, we've included just the reference clocked R9 290X 4GB today, which is being ran in "Uber Mode".

On the NVIDIA side of things, we've got the heavily overclocked MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB running at over 1000MHz on the core clock. Along with that, we've also got the EVGA GTX TITAN SuperClocked 6GB and reference GTX 780 Ti 3GB to round things off.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance, 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders, and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11, you can see that performance on the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC is slightly ahead of the reference card. In the performance preset, you can see we're ahead of all the competition. In the Extreme one, though, you can see that the NVIDIA offerings manage to pull ahead of the AMD ones.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark

Buy It Here

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

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Fire Strike sees the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC get a nice little increase, and, more importantly, the MSI offering manages to sneak ahead of the very fast GTX 780 Ti 3GB.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

This new benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies.

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Heaven sees our MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC get a bit of a bump in performance, but you can that the NVIDIA offerings perform very strongly thanks to tessellation being a big focus in Heaven.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious world's to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

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PSO 2 has always seen a strong boost from overclocking, and you can see here is no different. You do see we fall behind the heavily overclocked MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB and the GTX 780 Ti 3GB. With a score of over 18,000, though, performance is going to be very strong on all three setups here.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, which is also made by Capcom. It takes place ten years after the events of the first game on the same fictional planet. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with mercenaries fighting against jungle pirates. After destroying a mine, the mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, after which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game: "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates...unless you had some kind of grudge."

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While Lost Planet 2 falls behind the NVIDIA offerings, you can see the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC sees a slight increase in performance. Overall, we see very good numbers with over 90 FPS being seen at the highest resolution.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, ranging from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Just Cause 2 performance is strong across the board with a slight improvement over the reference R9 290X 4GB. Against the NVIDIA offerings, you can see the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC manages to come out ahead at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012, players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements, and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers, and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

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Compared to the reference R9 290X 4GB, you can see the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC falls back. This isn't uncommon under F1 2012, and you can see that the overclocked MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB also goes backwards in performance. Fortunately, we're able to see strong FPS at all resolutions still. Of course, we'd rather not take a hit in performance.

Benchmarks - Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://enterthemetro.com/ /

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future and wants to make peace with it, while Ranger leader Colonel Miller wants to kill the creature due to its potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

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Metro Last Light sees a slight bump in performance for the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC but still falls short of that 60 FPS number we want at 2560 x 1600 like the GTX 780 Ti 3GB. Below that, though, you can see playable numbers at both resolutions.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series. Pick-up-and-play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds, and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive-in-and-drive thrills from event one.

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Dirt Showdown sees some great performance from the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC, and you can see we manage to outperform all our other setups here thanks to AMD always performing well under this particular game.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

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We can see that the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC manages to see some good performance at 1680 x 1050. Above that, though, while the 1920 x 1200 number doesn't look too bad, the performance on a whole is just short of that 60 FPS number we're always-on the hunt for.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics that take into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability, and more. It is guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

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Sniper Elite V2 continues the trend with a slight performance increase across the board and overall strong performance at all resolutions from the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles, and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles, including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

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Sleeping Dogs numbers at all resolutions are fantastic, and you can see our MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC manages to outperform all our other setups here.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by I/O Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series and runs on I/O Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

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Hitman Sees a little bit of movement at the highest resolution, but you can see the numbers are identical below that due to an FPS wall that we hit. Against the NVIDIA offerings, though, you see we're quite far ahead as while NVIDIA also hits an FPS wall, it's at an earlier point.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

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Tomb Raider sees a nice little boost in performance and some great numbers across the board. While the 2560 x 1600 average might be just below that 60 FPS number we want, the fact that we've got a 43 FPS minimum means we're more than comfortable with the 57 FPS average we achieve.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus," it is being developed by Irrational Games and was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

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BioShock Infinite sees a bit of a bump across the board with a solid 5 percent being seen at 2560 x 1600. While we don't get that 60 FPS number we want, the 59 FPS average is very solid and with in-game settings maxed out, we really have a fair bit of room to move.

Benchmarks - Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Custom 60 Second Run with FRAPS

Developer Homepage: http://dice.se/

Product Homepage: https://www.battlefield.com/games/battlefield-4

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 features several changes compared to its predecessor. The game's heads-up display is much the same, composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it; the lower right includes a compact ammo counter and health meter.

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Battlefield 4 sees some fantastic performance across the board, and you can see we're well ahead of what is being offered by the GTX 780 Ti 3GB.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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Turning on AA and AF, you can see that we fall short of the 60 FPS number we want at both 1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600 with the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC like we do with the GTX 780 Ti 3GB.

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Just Cause 2 performance is great at both resolutions. Not only does the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC get a nice little boost in performance but it manages to sit ahead of all our setups.

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Sleeping Dogs sees a nice little boost in performance, and 1920 x1200 manages to get a bit more breathing room with a solid 67 FPS being seen.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run of 3DMark Vantage at the Performance preset.

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Looking at the temperature numbers, you can see big improvements. The reference R9 290X 4GB came in with a load temperature of 90c. Looking above, you can see the Twin Frozr IV Advanced wielding R9 290X 4GB from MSI comes in 19c lower at 71c.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter, we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Not only does our MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC run cooler, but it also manages to run a few dB quieter.

It's not a huge amount, but this is an overall strong improvement over the reference cooler when combined with the decent drop in temperature.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01--or "Power Thingy" as it has quickly become known as to our readers--we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated video cards installed. Keep in mind that it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember, though. While our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10 percent more. We test at the exact same stage every time, so tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum--only an SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items will result in a higher draw.

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Power draw comes in at a little over 450 watts. We'd recommend a quality 700 watt power supply or over to run a setup like this.

Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts

The R9 290X 4GB is priced all over the place coming in between $700 and $800 depending on the brand. Along with that, stock is also a little all over the place with some models being available and some not. The good news is that the MSI variant of the R9 290X 4GB comes in at the middle of the pack and is in stock at the time of writing.

The model on a whole continues to be a strong performer, but even with MSI throwing on the Twin Frozr IV Advanced cooler, overclocking on the model continues to be quite limited. We got a bit of movement with the core, however, not much happened when it came to the 4GB of GDDR5. As soon as we started to move the memory clock north, our system would become unstable.

The highlight of the model, though, is the cooler more than anything, and the Twin Frozr IV Advanced cooler is wonderful. The 19c drop in load temperature on the core is fantastic, and combined with the slight drop in noise levels, we really have a strong improvement over the reference cooler.

As for the performance side of things, you're going to see a slight boost out of the box thanks to the small core increase that MSI offers. As for the overclocking side of things, the R9 290X 4GB model on a whole just doesn't seem to have a whole lot of room. This is the fourth time we've overclocked the model, and all four times we've had little success. We had hoped that when MSI released a newer version of Afterburner we'd see more room, but testing with multiple versions now we haven't really seen anything... at least not anything to get excited about, which would bring us to publish more articles over our original overclock one.

It will be interesting to see if MSI brings a Lightning version of the card to the market. If overclocking head room on a whole is just not that strong, the company may well choose to not worry about it. Since we don't know AMD's future roadmap at the moment and considering that NVIDIA just launched the GTX TITAN Black, it's possible that AMD may choose to retaliate in some way later down the track.

Let's move away from all that, though, and onto a few more specifics of the MSI R9 290X 4GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC. The bundle is pretty standard with not much being seen. In typical fashion, the company has let the actual product do the talking, and the highlight of this product is the cooler.

If you found yourself uncomfortable with the heat numbers that the reference R9 290X 4GB put out, then this is a fantastic option. Out of the box, you're going to see a bit of extra performance thanks to the slight overclock MSI has given. What you're paying for here, though, is the improved cooler. The Twin Frozr line of coolers hasn't disappointed us before, and today again we see that it doesn't.

PRICING: You can find the MSI R9 290X 4GB 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 MSI R9 290X 4GB retails for $771.65 at Amazon.

Canada: The MSI R9 290X 4GB retails for CDN$830.00 at Amazon Canada.

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PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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