Topic Title: AMD denies sending 'golden sample' R290 cards to reviewers
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Created On: 12/15/2013 02:03 AM
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 12/15/2013 02:03 AM
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stumped
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quote:

Tech site Tom’s Hardware recently questioned the variability of AMD Radeon R9 290(X) video cards following tests of both a review sample supplied by AMD and a shop bought example bought online. In summary, the confused reviewing team found their R9 290 press board to be “typically faster” than an R9 290X bought in retail. Today Bit-Tech has heard from an AMD spokesperson in a statement denying cherry-picking, or providing ‘golden sample’ cards to reviewers but admitting variability issues.


On Monday Tom’s Hardware reviewers Chris Angelini and Igor Wallossek observed that the R9 290 press board they received from AMD outperformed a R9 290X retail card bought from Newegg in many benchmarks. For its Radeon R9 290 review the reviewing team had decided to put a newly shop-bought Radeon R9 290X into the comparison benchmarks, putting it through its paces among the usual lineup of high-end GPU competitors and the AMD supplied Radeon R9 290 review unit.

A problematic finding was observed. The reviewer wrote that the press-sample R9 290 was “a stallion”. He explained “Even if you get it nice and hot before running a test, bringing it down off of that 1000 MHz ‘wishful thinking’ spec, it’s still faster than GeForce GTX 780, and oftentimes GeForce GTX Titan.” However the shop-bought R9 290X didn’t fare so well and was labelled a dud. “It’ll drop to 727 MHz and stay there…and the reference cooler still can’t cool it fast enough,” complained the Tom’s Hardware reviewer. (Another report of shop-bought R9 290X performance issues was noted on the Tech Report forums)


Tom's puzzling result was shared with AMD and a statement has now been issued by AMD saying something is wrong with the retail bought R9 290X card. “A media outlet has uniquely reported instances of AMD Radeon R9 290X boards purchased in retail that have exhibited an uncharacteristic level of performance variance as compared to press samples issued by AMD,” the company's statement read. “We’re working to secure the board(s) in question for further analysis. Boards purchased by other media outlets have not exhibited similar characteristics that we’re aware of.”

AMD admits that it is working now on fixing some of the variability issues its new graphics cards are suffering from “In the meantime, we’ve identified areas where variability can be minimized and are working on a driver update which will minimize this variance.” The company promised a further update on this issue shortly.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-r9-290-review-benchmark,3659-2.html



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 12/15/2013 11:38 AM
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black_zion
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That's when they released the "updated" VBIOS that runs the fan at slightly higher speeds like the press samples.

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 12/15/2013 12:58 PM
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gfong
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It happens with everything so I doubt video cards are excempt. Send them the cream of the crop for testing, why not, every other industry does it.



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 12/15/2013 01:16 PM
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Vantharas
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This never would have happened if someone at AMD said sure lets design them to run 95C all of there life and put a totally inadaquate cooler on them. I wish I could have had that guys job, because if I did. Bad press like this *never* would have happened. 



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 12/15/2013 04:27 PM
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black_zion
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It's the same guy who said "You know, we've used it on the HD 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 series and it's barely been adequate, so let's keep using it, people will still buy it!"

And people HAVE still bought it!

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 12/15/2013 04:35 PM
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Hammey
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Yes this is the new Windforce card from Gigabyte R 290x  GV-R929XOC-4GD. http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4885#sp  I imagine that would cool the card down a lot.

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 12/15/2013 07:40 PM
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black_zion
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As we saw with the HD 5970 it's not about the total dissipation capability, it is effective use of that capability. The reference 5970 had a 300w cooler pretty much designed by Sapphire, but they failed to cover a key bank of VRMs adequately, so while the GPUs themselves ran cool, one bank of VRMs would overheat and cause lockups.

What AMD needs to do is on their high end cards (the R9 series, if they continue this naming scheme) is to only release reference boards to the press and let consumers only have access to custom versions. nVidia did this on a couple of cards, and AMD did it with the 7990.

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 12/15/2013 11:31 PM
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technic58
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Originally posted by: black_zion It's the same guy who said "You know, we've used it on the HD 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 series and it's barely been adequate, so let's keep using it, people will still buy it!" And people HAVE still bought it!

 

Laughed out loud at this. Its so true, unfortunately.



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