We measured the power consumption of computer systems with different graphics cards using a multifunctional panel Zalman ZM-MFC3 which can report how much power a computer (the monitor not included) draws from a wall socket. There were two test modes: 2D (editing documents in Microsoft Word and web surfing) and 3D (the intro scene of the Swamp level from Crysis 3 running four times in a loop at 2560x1440 with maximum visual quality settings but without MSAA). Here are the results:
Interestingly, all of the tested configurations are comparable in terms of their 3D power draw. The ASUS Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II is somewhat more economical than the others, yet not by much. Each configuration can be powered by a high-quality 600W PSU.
The ASUS Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II graphics card we’ve tested today is surely worth your consideration if you’re choosing an original R9 290. Thanks to factory overclocking, it is somewhat faster than the reference solution whereas its high-efficiency DirectCU II cooler ensures consistent performance without any frequency drop. The ASUS card is quieter than the reference one, features good packaging and comes at a competitive price.
As for downsides, the Elpida memory chips aren’t very overclocker-friendly but other batches of the card may come with memory from Hynix or Samsung. The factory GPU and memory overclocking - by 5.6% and 1%, respectively - might have been higher. The cooler is not really silent, yet the Radeon R9 290(X) cards are so hot that we can hardly expect any cooler to be silent with them. The accessories bundled with the card are rather scanty for a premium-class product.