So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:40 pm

Given the limitations of these card, some scrutiny of the methods used for testing are warranted, I think. The P18x series isn't exactly set up for modern GPUs, after all.

And given that the performance was identical with the side panel on and off, that reasonably eliminates the testing being an issue. Solid sub-800MHz load speeds on a card spec'd for 1GHz boost in 'quiet' mode is a bit of an issue.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:53 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Solid sub-800MHz load speeds on a card spec'd for 1GHz boost in 'quiet' mode is a bit of an issue.

It's not "solid" - it is in a constant "sawtooth"-like pattern. I'd say the average is around 850MHz, maybe slightly more (most samples are in 800-900 range).
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:14 am

I see what you're saying- it's not flat line, no, but it doesn't jump around wildly. I have to assume that the variations are the card's method of maintaining temperature/TDP limits with the fan also limited?
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:25 am

Yes. I haven't seen such thing in a long time, though - last time I've seen something like this was when a Sager laptop reseller forgot to remove the plastic film covering the GPU heatsink's thermal paste :wink: I was running the benchmarks, noticed such pattern (only it was more severe, like "square waves" with large amplitude), decided to open it up (first I though there was a lack of thermal grease, or too much of it), removed the heatpipe+heatsink assembly, immediately saw the plastic film :o Removed it, re-assembled everything, ran benchmarks again, the GPU reached its claimed speed and stayed there in a linear way.

P.S: That gives me an idea... I have to restock thermal grease first, though.

Edit: OK, that didn't work... Good news is AMD did a decent job with thermal grease. A little bit too much, but the excess got "squeezed out", so not a big deal. Bad news is the card still throttling at stock fan speed :-? Oh well, was worth a try...
Last edited by JohnC on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:41 am

Have you tried finding a sweet spot for fan speed below 50%, but still maintain close to max frequency?
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:49 am

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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:57 am

JohnC wrote:Only by manually raising the stock fan speed to 50% I can get a "smooth" non-throttling clock speeds.

My presets in Precision always include manual fan settings to ensure the GPU is adequately cooled to ensure max performance. 50% fan speed seems rather low to me. Was the fan running lower than that in auto mode? How loud is the 290x at 50%?

Why did you get the 290x? Did you replace the Titan or do you have another gaming rig? What fan speed did you use with the Titan?
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:59 am

It sure looks like all the problems with the 290/290X are caused by AMD's awful cooler.

It's not like the card actually draws an un-coolable amount of power, since we've had plenty of dual-GPU solutions that have exceeded a single Hawaii's power draw, and most of them get by just fine with air cooling.

As John points out, raising the fan to 50% pretty much solves the problem at the cost of noise - so AMD's cooler is solely to blame. it's either too cheap, inadequately designed, or a bit of both.

One last sidenote is that AMD (and Nvidia, for that matter) never guaratee their boost clocks. "Up to 1GHz" does mean "not always 1GHz. I guess in that context, skimping on the cooler just makes it look worse for AMD, especially when you look at the craftsmanship that went into Titan's blower....
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:06 am

Chrispy_ wrote:As John points out, raising the fan to 50% pretty much solves the problem at the cost of noise - so AMD's cooler is solely to blame. it's either too cheap, inadequately designed, or a bit of both.

I run dual 770's at 80% fan speed when I game and noise is not an issue. I think I'm going to buy a noise meter app to see how loud my system is. I'd be interested to see results from other TR users.
Last edited by End User on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:10 am

Chrispy_ wrote:One last sidenote is that AMD (and Nvidia, for that matter) never guaratee their boost clocks. "Up to 1GHz" does mean "not always 1GHz.

Just like when Comcast says your internet speeds are "up to 12Mb/s!!!" and usually loiter somewhere in the 3-5Mb/s range :evil:
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:26 am

"...especially when you look at the craftsmanship that went into Titan's blower...."

Aye... AMD instead put that into it's price/performance. Guess they didn't hit all fronts this time around. Hopefully AMD will come out with a second gen blower for these cards. I'm not thrilled at case recirculaters that tend to show up from other manufacturers.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:01 am

JohnC wrote:Only by manually raising the stock fan speed to 50% I can get a "smooth" non-throttling clock speeds. This is a screenshot with fan speed manually raised in driver's settings. Once again, image is clickable.


I may have missed it when you posted your findings, but are you running in "Quiet" or "Uber" mode. I read that "Quiet" mode will keep the fan at 40% and will throttle to keep the temp/power draw to 95C unless you manually change the fan setting. I read on a few sites, if you want constant 1Ghz, you had to be in 'Uber" mode (55% fan). Seems everything is based on maintaining 95C when running stock setup and throttling keeps this in check.

Sorry if I missed this peice of information in the discussion. I saw info about this at [H] : http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/10/ ... d_review/2 where they talk about quiet vs uber mode.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:47 am

End User wrote:I run dual 770's at 80% fan speed when I game and noise is not an issue. I think I'm going to buy a noise meter app to see how loud my system is. I'd be interested to see results from other TR users.
I run my Titan (currently in a workbench setup on top of my desk, not even in a case) at 100% fan most of the time, and I don't mind the noise! It maybe loud objectively (in terms of dBa), but it's very "blowy" or "windy" and not shrill at all. I actually find the noise quite soothing at night when I'm going to bed, and so does my partner.
sschaem wrote:Anyways, for sure the 290x is throttled. And for sure it does not stay at 1ghz when temp goes up.

Those 2 points cant be denied.

But I think graphing furmark is more reliable to see whats goes under the hood.
I don't think Furmark should ever be used for anything.

When I run Furmark, my GPU clock -- normally pegged at 1202Mhz in games -- dips way down to 600, 500Mhz (!) and stays there -- and the card still hits the 80C temperature limit. Is that really a useful test? It reminds me of people putting too much stock in 3DMark scores when everyone was rampantly cheating at 3DMark a long time ago. (3DMark06?)

Furmark is just like that; It's a synthetic test, and real-world tests are more valuable. IMO. ┐(‘~`;)┌
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:01 pm

Chrispy_ wrote: John points out, raising the fan to 50% pretty much solves the problem at the cost of noise - so AMD's cooler is solely to blame. it's either too cheap, inadequately designed, or a bit of both.

It's undoubtedly quite cheap. When hasn't a relatively low-cost (~$50) aftermarket cooler come along and decisively outperformed stock solutions, usually in both noise and performance? It's tiresome. Titan's cooler is a bit better than usual though. It's just not completely lame like what AMD keeps doing.

I tend to wait for card vendors' custom solutions in an attempt to avoid paying another $50 to get a cooler that can keep the card performing and quiet at the same time.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:30 pm

JohnC while this card is a bit out of my financial budget I'm thankful you let the community know of the issue you had with the 290x. You spent extra time leaving your side panel off and replacing the thermal paste to see if it would help.



Second
Razorjack wrote:
JohnC wrote:Only by manually raising the stock fan speed to 50% I can get a "smooth" non-throttling clock speeds. This is a screenshot with fan speed manually raised in driver's settings. Once again, image is clickable.


I may have missed it when you posted your findings, but are you running in "Quiet" or "Uber" mode. I read that "Quiet" mode will keep the fan at 40% and will throttle to keep the temp/power draw to 95C unless you manually change the fan setting. I read on a few sites, if you want constant 1Ghz, you had to be in 'Uber" mode (55% fan). Seems everything is based on maintaining 95C when running stock setup and throttling keeps this in check.

Sorry if I missed this peice of information in the discussion. I saw info about this at [H] : http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/10/ ... d_review/2 where they talk about quiet vs uber mode.



It's the default setup on a card that has a label of 1ghz. The gpu clock speeds throttle in a fairly controlled environment. I don't think it's a big deal but it's still annoying.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:26 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:As John points out, raising the fan to 50% pretty much solves the problem at the cost of noise - so AMD's cooler is solely to blame. it's either too cheap, inadequately designed, or a bit of both.


Just to go off topic for a bit ...

The stock cooler uses a centrifugal fan. It's a fan, and it does move air, which for most people is the definition of a fan, but it's really acting more like a pump. This fan/pump is not designed to blow high velocity air - it's designed to pressurize a plenum. The pressurized air within that plenum is then free to find it's way to an area of lower pressure, which it gets to by passing through the vanes of the heatsink, where the heat transfer takes place.

Contrast this with the axial fans used on most CPU coolers, where the air appears to be free to go in any direction it likes once it leaves the boundary of the frame/ducting of the fan. Why doesn't it? Because it's moving at a higher velocity, which means (according to Mr. Bernoulli) that it is also at a lower static pressure than the air around it. Instead of blowing out to the sides, the airflow actually constricts slightly as it leaves the fan, as higher-pressure outside air impinges on it. The high velocity stream then impacts the vanes of the heatsink and the heat transfer takes place.

Centrifugal fans are better for plenum-based designs because they generate higher pressures. A very good axial fan can generate a pressure rise of about 10 percent. Above that, the higher-pressure air in the plenum will start moving backwards through the blades of the fan. Contrast that with a centrifugal fan, where even a cheap unit can generate pressure increases of 15 percent. Centrifugal fans have a smaller exit cross-section, and the pressurized air has a harder time flowing back through the fan. So if your industrial design dictates the use of a plenum, then the centrifugal fan is the way to go.

The real problem with the stock coolers, however, is not with the fan. The real problem is the choice of a plenum-based design on a long, narrow card. It's a bad choice for heat transfer, as it forces you into a long air path, and that air gets hotter and hotter as it goes through the plenum. Heatsink efficiency depends on a temperature differential between the heatsink material and the impinging air. A broad, short air path (think of tower-style CPU coolers) is ideal, as you have lots of cool air moving across lots of hot metal. The plenum design, on the other hand, forces cool air into the first part of the heatsink, and as that air travels along it gets hotter and hotter, where toward the end of the path it may be picking up very little heat at all (or worse, transferring heat back into a cooler part of the heatsink).

This is not to say that the centrifugal fan used on these cards couldn't be improved, but doing so would require a larger housing, and that appers to be something the designers choose not to do.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:34 pm

Sluggo, a triple-slot fully-exhausting blower would be fine by most standards, given that there's usually space for such a blower on most boards set up for two GPUs. They could angle the centrifugal fan to get more efficiency out of it, or make it deeper, and use a combination of heat pipes and a vapor chamber to quickly disperse heat away from the GPU/memory/transformers and into the fins. Having a third slot would definitely help reduce exhaust flow restrictions.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:45 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Sluggo, a triple-slot fully-exhausting blower would be fine by most standards, given that there's usually space for such a blower on most boards set up for two GPUs. They could angle the centrifugal fan to get more efficiency out of it, or make it deeper, and use a combination of heat pipes and a vapor chamber to quickly disperse heat away from the GPU/memory/transformers and into the fins. Having a third slot would definitely help reduce exhaust flow restrictions.

Yep, a larger housing (for a larger fan) would be a big help, but that's not what they seem to want to do. I had a old aftermarket cooler for a 6600GT back in the day that used a centrifugal fan and it worked beautifully - quiet and efficient. But it was large.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:54 pm

End User wrote:Why did you get the 290x?

I wanted to see how it performs without relying on highly subjective and variable tests on various websites (which can't even test multiplayer games properly).

End User wrote:Did you replace the Titan or do you have another gaming rig?

I temporarily replaced the Titan with this.


End User wrote:What fan speed did you use with the Titan?

Whatever the stock speeds were. There is no need to modify them, the card doesn't throttle in such severe way.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:55 pm

sluggo wrote:Yep, a larger housing (for a larger fan) would be a big help, but that's not what they seem to want to do. I had a old aftermarket cooler for a 6600GT back in the day that used a centrifugal fan and it worked beautifully - quiet and efficient. But it was large.

Perhaps an Arctic Cooling NV Silencer? These blowers can be quiet (lets call it efficient), but when the graphics card needs to dissipate ~200W power in this narrow form factor, that changes things.

Triple slot cooling would be trouble for the crossfire/SLI people, and so are axial fans because they tend to get blocked or just suck in hot air from the other card's backside.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:13 pm

sluggo wrote:Just to go off topic for a bit ...
This is fascinating! I really enjoy posts like this, which get a little bit into the science of hardware.

Super awesome post!
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:23 pm

Razorjack wrote:
JohnC wrote:Only by manually raising the stock fan speed to 50% I can get a "smooth" non-throttling clock speeds. This is a screenshot with fan speed manually raised in driver's settings. Once again, image is clickable.


I may have missed it when you posted your findings, but are you running in "Quiet" or "Uber" mode. I read that "Quiet" mode will keep the fan at 40% and will throttle to keep the temp/power draw to 95C unless you manually change the fan setting. I read on a few sites, if you want constant 1Ghz, you had to be in 'Uber" mode (55% fan). Seems everything is based on maintaining 95C when running stock setup and throttling keeps this in check.

Sorry if I missed this peice of information in the discussion. I saw info about this at [H] : http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/10/ ... d_review/2 where they talk about quiet vs uber mode.


I have tried both BIOS switch positions (I turned off my PC then switched). It has no effect on results of running BF4 unless I manually set the fan limit speed higher in driver settings.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:32 pm

auxy wrote: When I run Furmark, my GPU clock -- normally pegged at 1202Mhz in games -- dips way down to 600, 500Mhz (!) and stays there -- and the card still hits the 80C temperature limit.

Yes. Both Nvidia and AMD can specifically detect the Furmark (through drivers) and apply aggressive downclocking and/or power limiting (regardless of GPU temperature) to prevent potential damage to the card. This has been happening since like 2009 or so.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:13 pm

auxy wrote:
sluggo wrote:Just to go off topic for a bit ...
This is fascinating! I really enjoy posts like this, which get a little bit into the science of hardware.

Super awesome post!
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:18 pm

swaaye wrote:Triple slot cooling would be trouble for the crossfire/SLI people, and so are axial fans because they tend to get blocked or just suck in hot air from the other card's backside.


Well, most boards now include two buffer slots between their primary x16 slots, so as long as the thicker cooler used on the card closest to the CPU doesn't have a problem with another GPU directly beneath it, I don't really see a problem. The only thing I'd have to give up to use such cards would be my WiFi card, which is currently disabled. Further, some boards are putting x16 slots at the 'bottom', and larger enclosures now have a couple extra slot positions at the bottom.

I don't think a triple-slot blower would be much of an issue, and I'd honestly like to see what could be done with that space.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:19 pm

Exhausting hot air out of the case is always a better idea than recirculating the air, but with multiple ports and climbing TDP's the amount of breathing room is really starting to become an issue.

As mentioned, a triple-slot standard would make a lot more sense; We have been mounting huge, dual-140mm cooling towers to our processors that are typically under 100W at stock speeds, yet a 300W graphics card is expected to fit everything into two slim expansion slots?

ATX is woefully underequipped to deal with the shift of power from CPU to GPU that has been happening these last ten years. When ATX was drawn up, I'm not even sure expansion cards with active cooling existed, I think the first fan-cooled cards were hot-clocked variants of the TNT and the Voodoo banshee, but we're talking comically-tiny 40mm fans instead of heatsinks - they were just flat plates with only tiny fins at the edges. Real heatsinks and fans didn't start to appear until the Geforce 4/Radeon 9700 days.

What we need is a new standard to replace ATX and ITX - the steam box seems like a decent option because it gives the GPU as much space as the CPU by having the graphics card parallel to the motherboard.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:29 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:What we need is a new standard to replace ATX and ITX - the steam box seems like a decent option because it gives the GPU as much space as the CPU by having the graphics card parallel to the motherboard.

BTX tried and we all saw how well that worked in the marketplace.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:13 pm

ATX and its spawn (which I consider mITX to be since it's backwards compatible with full and micro ATX cases) certainly seems to have a lot of inertia behind it.

Thing is, we don't need another full-sized standard like BTX (despite the subject of this thread). Smaller, more efficient spaces that can still adequately cool things would be great, though.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:15 pm

JohnC wrote:Yes. Both Nvidia and AMD can specifically detect the Furmark (through drivers) and apply aggressive downclocking and/or power limiting (regardless of GPU temperature) to prevent potential damage to the card. This has been happening since like 2009 or so.
Doesn't that kinda invalidate Furmark as a testing tool, though?
Captain Ned wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:What we need is a new standard to replace ATX and ITX - the steam box seems like a decent option because it gives the GPU as much space as the CPU by having the graphics card parallel to the motherboard.

BTX tried and we all saw how well that worked in the marketplace.
Didn't that mostly not work because Intel abandoned it themselves, though? (。ヘ°)

A new form factor could really catch on if it had benefits, I think! Well, I'm just really into that sort of thing. Eheh.

Anyway, seeing this thread just makes me want a 290X more. Throw your own cooler on there, and who knows what you could do? ლ(´ڡ`ლ) Nom nom.
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Re: So much for 290x's claimed "1GHz"...

Postposted on Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:22 am

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/ar ... iew,7.html

Under load the 7970 drop from 77 to 42 with a steady 39 dba

To put 39dba in this context, the review state
"the card in a fully stressed status (in-game) that simply is silent -- we can hardly hear the cooling solution work at all."

Other review show the noise under load going from over 50 to under 30 dba.

I think $150 is a bit much, as the core close loop water block is around $60 retail....

But I think this might be an ok solution for people wanting quiet, but high TDP cards.

Edit: actually its like $100 retail and arctic claim R9-290(x) & Titan comparability
http://www.arctic.ac/us_en/products/coo ... ybrid.html

We need a review of this. All the site that review this thing (on 7970 or 680GTX) seem to praise it.
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