PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo OC Review
Today we’re going to take a closer at PowerColor’s take on the latest addition to AMD’s top-tier graphics card lineup – Radeon R9 285.
Design and Construction
There’s nothing to say about the physique of this graphics card that immediately jumped out to us the moment we took it out of its fairly-straightforward packaging (which by the way doesn’t have anything on it apart from anti-static bubble wrap and a manual).
This doesn’t mean that it looks horrible though. We think that a lot of AMD users will appreciate the Red-on-Black paint job of the card’s robust plastic shroud, complemented by two black 5-bladed fans that keeps things nice and cool for the graphics card (more in that later).
Taking out the plastic shroud reveals a well-designed heat sink with well-spaced fin array for better cooling performance. The responsibility of dissipating the heat away from the GPU is mainly handled by three copper heat pipes that are soldered to a fairly-wide copper base.
At the top you’ll see a pair of 6-pin PCIe ports which are required to power this bad boy up, and around the back there are a quartet of display ports; 2 Dual-Link DVI (DVI-I and DVI-D), one DisplayPort and an HDMI out.
There are two usual culprits that are missing on this card; a backplate and CrossFire connector. The latter is understandable since this card will still CrossFire with other supported card through the PCIe x16 slot. The absence of a backplate, however, on the R9 285 TurboDuo is quite disappointing, but it compensates for it (or at least it tries to) with a black PCB, if you’re in to that kind of thing.
AMD A10-7850K @ 4.0GHz
ASUS A88X Gamer Motherboard
8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133Mhz dual-channel DDR3 RAM
256GB ADATA XPG SX900 Solid-State Drive
EVGA 500B 500W PSU
ASUS VX239H 1080p IPS Monitor
Windows 8 64-bit
AMD Catalyst 14.9
Fraps (frame rate measurement)
Open Hardware Monitor (Temp Monitoring)
With the exclusion of Far Cry 3, the PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo managed to give us a respectable 40+fps on all of the popular titles that we’ve ran. Although it struggled to reach that same kind of frame rate on Far Cry 3, above 30fps with little to no compromise on quality is still something to write home about.
Along with measuring what kind of frame rate we can get out of the graphics card, we also ran a few synthetic benchmark tests on it.
Here are the results we got which we placed side-by-side with the scores that we got from the Strix GTX 750Ti:
3DMark 11 (Performance and Extreme)
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3DMark FireStrike (Performance and Extreme)
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3DMark Vantage (Performance and Extreme)
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FurMark (1080p and 720p)
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Unigine Heaven 4 (Basic and Extreme)
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Temperature and Fan Noise
When idle, the temps on the card hovered around the 40 – 45 degree Celsius mark with the fans spinning at 35% of its full capacity. When we fired up FurMark benchmark test, the temps soared at around 70°C and maxed out at 80-degree Celsius with the two fans spinning at little over 4300RPM.
During the test, we got a respectable average frame rate of 45fps, with the lowest one being at 42fps and topped out at 48fps.
Noise has never been an issue with this card, even at high temperatures. Despite not having the fancy 0DB fan noise technology found on some cards, the two 5-bladed fans did an awesome job of keeping things nice and cool without generating a lot of noise, or at least nothing cumbersome.
The PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo has most, if not all of the things one would want from a mid-range graphics card; it offer’s near-silent cooling solution, quite generous factory overclock and low TDP which will allow user to run this card on a decent 500W PSU like the one we used for this review.
PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo OC specs:
Stream Processors: 1792
Compute Performance: 3.29 TFLOPS
Engine Clock: 945MHz
VRAM: 2GB DDR5
Memory Clock: 5.5GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width: 256-bit
DirectX 12 support
AMD TrueAudio Technology
Power Connectors: 2x 6-pin
Video ports: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 2x Dual-Link DVI
Although you can get still get a pretty decent performance out of this card on 1440p gaming with some minor adjustments and compromises, we feel that this card is best suited for 1080p gaming which is evident on the results we got from our tests.
The PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo can be had for a little over Php12,000.
What we liked about it:
- Minimalist and compact design
- Commendable factory overclock
- Near-silent fan operation
- Low TDP
- Low Power Supply requirement
- Good overall performance in 1080p
- Extra headroom for overclocking
- Extra features only resulted to $1 price increase
What we didn’t like about it:
- No backplate