AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card Review

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Temperature & Noise Testing

Temperatures are important to enthusiasts and gamers, so we took a bit of time and did some temperature testing on both Radeon R9 270X video cards

AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Idle Temperature


The AMD Radeon R9 290 was found to idle at 41C with the fan running at just over 1100 RPM. It should be noted that the ambient room temperature was 22.0C (72F).

AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Gaming Temperature:


The temperature target of the AMD Radeon R9 290 is set to 95C by default, but GPU-Z showed that we were hitting 94C and not going over that temperature. The fan was spinning at 2529RPM or 47%. You can manually control the maximum fan speed in AMD Catalyst Control Center to anything you desire, but it will impact performance as everything is dynamic and linked to one another.


We must have gotten a high leakage AMD Radeon R9 290 video card as our idle and load temperatures were pretty toasty. The AMD Radeon R9 290 has a temperature target setting of 95C by default and our reference card topped out at 94C  when gaming and 41C when at idle. AMD said that the Radeon R9 290 and 290X should be about the same when it comes to temperature, but our Radeon R9 290 was running noticeably higher at idle. In fact, this is the highest idle temperature that we have seen in some time.

Sound Testing

We recently upgraded our sound meter to an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with ‘A’ frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.


The AMD Radeon R9 290 was close to the Radeon R9 290X in terms of noise at idle.  The fan speed at idle was 10-20 different than the Radeon R9 290X, so both are around 42dB at an idle state when using your PC in 2D mode. When you fire up the games the AMD Radeon R9 290 can certainly be heard and it’s noise level is between the Quiet and Uber modes of a Radeon R9 290X.  This makes logical sense as the Radeon R9 290 has a maximum fan speed of 47% and the 290X varies between 40% in ‘Quiet’ and  55% in  ‘Uber’ mode.

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