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Review: PowerColor Devil 13 Dual Core R9 290X

by Parm Mann on 26 June 2014, 16:55

Tags: PowerColor (6150.TWO), AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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Battlefield 4

A game that needs no introduction, Battlefield 4 is the latest incarnation of DICE's epic first-person shooter.

Battlefield 4 at a lofty 4K resolution with ultra-quality image settings really puts the hurt on these high-end cards. Yet, the R9 290X Dual Core Devil 13 comes up trumps with close to 50 frames per second on average.

As expected, there's hardly anything separating the Devil 13 and R9 295 X2 cards: both demonstrate near-perfect scaling, and both are mighty fast.

Expanding on minimum and average framerates, we can take a look at what percentage of total frames are rendered within 33ms. In an ideal world you'd want every frame to be under 33ms, which equates to at least 30fps when judged over a full second.

Sieving through the data reveals that over 98 per cent of all frames are rendered quickly and the dual-GPU cards lead the way.

But looking at the bulk of good frames only tells half the story. It's the slow frames that catch the eye and make for juddery gameplay, so we also calculate how long it takes to render the worst one per cent of frames throughout the benchmark run.

This particular test highlights a potential flaw in older dual-GPU parts - the GeForce GTX 690, at times, takes a staggering 122.7ms to render frames, which would equate to 8.1fps over a full second. There are no such problems for the latest dual-GPU Radeons, with the Devil 13's worst frames being rendered in 34.4ms (29fps). Early signs suggest that the frame-buffer speed advantage also gives this card a slight edge over the R9 295X2.