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

Noise

Since we've already spent plenty of time talking about fan behavior, explaining noise levels under different loads is really easy. Right upfront: the cooler's moderate stock setting and the GPU's high target temperature make for a relatively quiet card, so long as you don't mess with it. But make no mistake, this thing is in no way as good as the partner solutions that'll undoubtedly be gracing R9 290Xes soon. As usual, the measurements were taken with a studio microphone perpendicular to the graphics card’s middle from a distance of 50 cm.


Idle
Load
Quiet Mode (Default)
33.4 dB(A)
45.2 dB(A)
Uber Mode (Default)
34.1 dB(A)
51.2 dB(A)
+25% Power Limit + 70 °C Target Temperature
Fan Speed up to 100%
34.3 dB(A)
72.9 dB(A)

Low Load: 30 Percent RPM at 38.8 dB(A)

Quiet Mode: 40 Percent RPM at 45.2 dB(A)

Uber Mode: 55 Percent RPM at 51.2 dB(A)

We decided to forgo the video demonstrating what a 95% duty cycle sounds like. It’s pointless and potentially bad for your long-term hearing. The noise is simply unbearable without commercial-grade ear protection.

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    Top Comments
  • BigMack70
    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.
    103
  • beta212
    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.
    81
  • anxiousinfusion
    Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
    61
  • Other Comments
  • beta212
    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.
    81
  • slomo4sho
    Great price point. This card has already broken world records just a few hours after release!


    31
  • esrever
    2 of these for 4k looks amazing but Im a little disappointed by the power consumption when you crank up performance.
    -20
  • aznguy0028
    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!
    25
  • Benthon
    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
  • tuklap
    This is awesome for us ^_^
    21
  • Shankovich
    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
  • julianbautista87
    daaaaayyyyyuuuummmm
    14
  • anxiousinfusion
    Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
    61
  • Darkerson
    Good job, AMD!
    21
  • jkhoward
    I just purchased this card from Newegg.
    22
  • CaptainTom
    Wow AMD. GG! You exceeded every possible expectation! Have fun with your GTX 780 Ti Fanboys!!!!!
    16
  • ilysaml
    Time to Upgrade my HD 6950 to 290X, and my 1080P to 2500x Monitor.
    19
  • lt_dan_zsu
    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.
    37
  • DarkForce_256
    So what's the deal with the 290?
    12
  • shin0bi272
    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.
    8
  • jimmysmitty
    $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
  • markbro89
    Where to buy?! Newegg still says coming soon D:
    2
  • DarkForce_256
    So what's the deal with the 290?
    -7
  • BigMack70
    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.
    103