If you look for Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X cards at Newegg today, chances are you'll see offerings with reference coolers. The more time passes, though, the more R9 290-series variants with custom, dual-fan coolers are starting to crop up.
We saw such cards from Asus and XFX earlier this month. Now, as VR-Zone reports, MSI has hopped on the same bandwagon. The firm's R9 290X Gaming 4G and R9 290 Gaming 4G cards both sport Twin Frozr IV coolers with, you guessed it, two fans.
The cards have three operating modes: Silent, Gaming, and OC. The Silent mode corresponds to each card's reference peak clock speed. On the R9 290X Gaming 4G, the Gaming and OC modes raise the maximum speed from 1000MHz to 1030MHz and 1040MHz, respectively. On the R9 290 Gaming 4G, those same modes take you from the reference 947MHz to 977MHz and 1007MHz, respectively.
Reference versions of the R9 290X can't always maintain their peak clocks with the default fan speed, so I'm curious to see how the MSI offerings fare with those higher frequencies. For what it's worth, Scott tells me he's gotten good results out of Asus' dual-fan version of the R9 290X. It could well be that the MSI cards can pull off those higher speeds—and that they don't sound like jet engines when doing it.
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