Radeon R9 290X Review: AMD's Back In Ultra-High-End Gaming

Results: BioShock Infinite At 3840x2160

The finishing order in BioShock is identical to the previous two games, though Uber mode does have an impact, indicating the benefit of increased fan speed to maintaining higher clock rates. GeForce GTX Titan and 780 follow, the former averaging a few frames per second less than R9 290X, and the latter a few frames behind that.

Here’s where the average frame rates are made and broken. Notice that there is a performance spike favoring AMD at the beginning, and another one about halfway through the benchmark. Those same sequences turn into valleys on Nvidia’s hardware. In talking to both companies, there’s no clear explanation for why this divergence would be happening, except that the intro sequence in BioShock might not be taxing enough. Then again, if it’s not taxing at Ultra HD, why didn’t the Nvidia cards hit a ceiling at FHD or QHD (AMD’s cards still spiked; Nvidia’s were flat)?

Variance is a non-issue in BioShock, even at this extreme resolution.

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    Top Comments
  • Thank goodness AMD had some sense with the pricing. Finally, at long last, Nvidia can stop raping consumers' wallets due to lack of competition.

    This is win-win-win for everyone (except maybe Nvidia).

    Hope we never have to deal with a $1000 single GPU fiasco again. Good riddance.
    104
  • That's incredible. Especially at high res, I wonder how they do it. But the low price alone is enough to blow the competition away. Seriously think about it, it's around half the price for higher performance!
    - AMD: We're not aiming for the ultra high end.
    I think Nvidia just got trolled.
    82
  • Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
    62
  • Other Comments
  • That's incredible. Especially at high res, I wonder how they do it. But the low price alone is enough to blow the competition away. Seriously think about it, it's around half the price for higher performance!
    - AMD: We're not aiming for the ultra high end.
    I think Nvidia just got trolled.
    82
  • Great price point. This card has already broken world records just a few hours after release!


    31
  • 2 of these for 4k looks amazing but Im a little disappointed by the power consumption when you crank up performance.
    -21
  • I was thinking about hopping on the 7970ghz when it's on sale, but after seeing this, it's time to break apart the piggy bank for the 290x, what value!
    26
  • Like the conclusion said, you just can't argue about aesthetics and thermals at this price point/performance. Well done AMD, lets see team green's response! Go consumer!
    33
  • This is awesome for us ^_^
    21
  • Wow, and it's pegged at 73% too. Even if nVidia's "780ti" beats the 290X, it probably won't beat a 290X running at full power. And if mantle does make some big performance boosts, nVidia is going to be in a really tight spot. Looking forward to what they'll do. In the mean time, loving this competition! We all win in the end.
    24
  • daaaaayyyyyuuuummmm
    14
  • Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
    62
  • Good job, AMD!
    22
  • I just purchased this card from Newegg.
    22
  • Wow AMD. GG! You exceeded every possible expectation! Have fun with your GTX 780 Ti Fanboys!!!!!
    16
  • Time to Upgrade my HD 6950 to 290X, and my 1080P to 2500x Monitor.
    20
  • I've never been more blown away by a hardware review. Never have I seen a gpu beat another gpu at just over half the cost.
    38
  • So what's the deal with the 290?
    12
  • it always tickles the hell out of me when an amd card ties or about ties an nvidia card in one game then in an nvidia physx game the amd kicks the crap out of the nvidia card... Of course if you know why that happens in metro you know its more of a fault of the coders not physx but its still funny.
    9
  • $550 is not bad for the fact that it beats the 780 easily and even pressures the Titan.

    Most of the higher resolution gaming wins come from the larger memory bandwidth and of course more vs the 780.

    That's a good sign. Maybe NVidia will drop prices and push this to $400-$450 and I will pick one up when there is a Vapor-X version of course,
    11
  • Where to buy?! Newegg still says coming soon D:
    2
  • So what's the deal with the 290?
    -7
  • Thank goodness AMD had some sense with the pricing. Finally, at long last, Nvidia can stop raping consumers' wallets due to lack of competition.

    This is win-win-win for everyone (except maybe Nvidia).

    Hope we never have to deal with a $1000 single GPU fiasco again. Good riddance.
    104