DESIGN AND COOLING
Just like the XFX R9 290 DD we review recently, this card features XFX’s ‘Ghost 2.0 Thermal Technology’ which features major improvements over its predecessor by creating a floating heatsink design, which provides open airflow between the PCB and the cooling shroud, this allows air to quickly ventilate off the card while simultaneously cooling vital components.
Of course, it is the dual-fan design which makes it a ‘Double Dissipation’ card, and whilemany non-reference GPUs offer dual-fan cooling solutions, XFX is sure their’s is the best. This is due to the fact that they use larger fans, which run at a lower RPM (3200 versus 4000) and produce less noise while offering better cooling performance. XFX claims their cooling solution offers up to 7°C improvement over competing solutions, while also being up to 13dB quieter.
Apart from the red fan centers, the entire card is black with chrome silver accents. It is very sleek, and stylish and is definitely a far-cry from the brightly colored, and flashy designs we’ve come to expect from graphics cards. The glossy XFX logo, which contrasts well with the matte finish of the rest of the shroud, does not light up like the one on the R9 290 version.
Taking a look at the side of the card, we can see more of the silver chrome trim in the form of two stripes which run along the edge of the ventilation slots for the heatsink. We’ll also get a good look at the cards side profile, and see that it measures 11.61″ long, which is not huge, but can definitely be a concern for users with small form-factor systems.
At the other side of the card, we’ll see a nice XFX logo which is visible when installed in windowed cases, and at the other end of the card we’ll find the two 8-pin, and 6-pin PCI-E connectors which are used to power the card.
Flipping the card around, we’ll see that it does not come with a pre-installed backplate, which is to be expected for a card of this price.
Around back, we get a look at our connection options, those include one DVI-I (red), one DVI-D (black), one HDMI (1.4a), and two mini DisplayPorts (1.2).