Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

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Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:56 am

I just bought new Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X which is supposed to be the best cooled 290 out there (excluding all the exotic aftermarket coolers/waterblocks).
But temps and noise I am experiencing are still a bit high for my taste - above 80°C and round 55% fan speed which is just enough to start anoying me.

I will try to improve my airflow a bit by adding second 140mm intake fan (I have Corsair Carbire 330R with stock fans so far).
And I also wonder how good is stock thermal paste Sapphire uses on this particular card because I heard their TIM is usualy too thick and crap.
Does anyone have practical experience with this particular card`s / Sapphire`s TIM?
Is it worth changing? If so, what to replace it with?
Is trying liquid metal worth the risk on GPU?

I am looking forward to your advices.
Last edited by dodozoid on Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:20 pm

If you have a very high quality TIM, and you know your skills are above average in application...then the answer is YES.

s trying liquid metal worth the risk on GPU?


not in my opinion. The high end TIM are all very close...just not worth the risk and aggravation...improvement possible? Sure but just diminishing returns over a good application of a regular high-end quality TIM.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:44 pm

Remember the card is designed to run at 95C so check your clock speeds. It isn't going to hurt the card to run at higher temperatures, so you can bring the fan speed down and still be fine most likely. If you really wanted to cool it a watercooling block is always an option, not sure if it would help much with overclocking the card but who knows.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:31 pm

Clock speed is rock solid 1gHz, but I dont believe temps this high are healthy for chips and surrounding PCB.
I was thinking about Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme... after some search I decided that ruining the card with corosive and most likely very toxic liquid metal isnt the best of all ideas that have crossed my mind...

But most important information I hope to gain here is how bad is the stock solution Sapphire uses.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:38 pm

I just got the same card will test it myself and let you know
AMD FX-8350|Sabetooth 990FX|16gb Kingston Hyper X|Samsung SSD 120g 840|AMD R9 290 TRI-X
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:38 pm

dodozoid wrote:Clock speed is rock solid 1gHz, but I dont believe temps this high are healthy for chips and surrounding PCB.
I was thinking about Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme... after some search I decided that ruining the card with corosive and most likely very toxic liquid metal isnt the best of all ideas that have crossed my mind...

But most important information I hope to gain here is how bad is the stock solution Sapphire uses.


Why did you buy the R9 290 then? AMD designed PowerTune to take advantage of the chip and PCB's ability to comfortably operate at these temperatures.

Frankly I'd explore improving your case airflow before violating the warranty on your new card that's operating well within the design specifications.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:55 pm

Thats a good point, I will probably have to get used to a bit higher temps... Still, there is always room for improvement
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:47 pm

If you're going to void the warranty by removing the cooler and applying a different TIM, you might as well go all out and add a custom water block.

Go big or go home.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:21 pm

Prestige Worldwide wrote:If you're going to void the warranty by removing the cooler and applying a different TIM, you might as well go all out and add a custom water block.

Go big or go home.

A waterblock wouldn't provide airflow to the PCB
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:24 am

I dont want to mess with water cooling.
Changing TIM doesen't usually void waranty in my country, RMA services generaly don't care unless you break something.
I'll stick to air cooling, but I want to have it as effective as possible. I beliave most of you gerbils share this desire for effectivity.
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:44 am

I wish that I could find one of these in stock. It'd also be nice to see a decent review on an R9-290(X).
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:59 am

killadark wrote:I just got the same card will test it myself and let you know


I am curious how your card will perform... What paste are you going to use?
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:10 pm

dodozoid wrote:
killadark wrote:I just got the same card will test it myself and let you know


I am curious how your card will perform... What paste are you going to use?

my card idles at 35c but gaming does take it up to 60s and long hours it will reach 70c I do have two 140mm intake fans underneath it as well as one blowing directly on it horizontally so air flow is not the problem I barely hear the fan as well
the clock speed is rock solid at 1ghz and not gonna bother with changing thermal paste as I am very satisfied these cards are built to operate at 90's so anything lower is a plus 30-40c lower is just great
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:00 am

on a side note did u receive the never settle bundle code with your card I dint and was wondering how to get it
AMD FX-8350|Sabetooth 990FX|16gb Kingston Hyper X|Samsung SSD 120g 840|AMD R9 290 TRI-X
TT ToughPower 850w,Thermaltake Xaser vi ,Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card
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Re: Changing thermal paste on R9 290 Tri-X. Worth it?

Postposted on Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:28 am

I added second 140mm intake fan to improve airflow. I keep them spinning low so they do not bother me. During few hours of BF4, temperature reaches 74°C on both GPU and CPU, and GPU fan tachometer maxes at 44% which is audible but not anoying (as opposite to 55% I experienced with just one intake fan).

I did get a code for BF4. But my card was "BF4 edition" according to retailer and it was about 15 bucks more expensive than the one without coupon.
Just for comparison, I bought my card for 11 000 CZK ~ 550$ VAT included so its 460$ without those nasty taxes - pretty close to MSRP
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