MSI’s Lightning leads the R9 290X pack in cooling performance

MSI’s Lightning card beats out the MSI Gaming 4G and the Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X and Gigabyte WindForce cards in a cooling test.

XD  1024x576 MSI’s Lightning leads the R9 290X pack in cooling performance

AMD’s R9 290X is a hot card. When the reference design first came out, the main complaint from nearly everyone was that it ran too hot. When OEMs got the board, they all took their shot at making the best cooler — with their different processes — for the board.

But which card runs the coolest?

In VR-Zone’s Taipei office, we have five versions of the R9 290X: the reference card, the MSI’s Gaming 4G (with a Twin Frozr cooler), Gigabyte’s WindForce, and Sapphire’s Tri-X.

Overall MSI’s Lightning came out the coolest, with temperature hovering around 71 to 72 degrees celsius during testing. This is as to be expected, as the Lightning has a massive cooler.

111 1024x677 MSI’s Lightning leads the R9 290X pack in cooling performance

2 1024x677 MSI’s Lightning leads the R9 290X pack in cooling performance

Next up was Sapphire’s Tri-X, which came in between 72 and 73 degrees during testing. Gigabyte’s R9 290X WindForce took third place with an average of 77 degrees. In fourth place was MSI R9 290X Gaming card, with an average temperature between 81 and 82 degrees.

Check back soon for VR-Zone’s full review of MSI’s Gaming 4G card.

Testing was done by the VR-Zone Chinese team.

Sam Reynolds is a Canadian technology journalist based in Taipei. His interest is the intersection between politics, business and technology.