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Test System And Benchmarks

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

Test Hardware And Software

Test Hardware
Processors
Intel Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) 3.6 GHz Base Clock Rate, Overclocked to 4.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Motherboard
ASRock X79 Extreme6 (LGA 2011) X79 Express Chipset, BIOS 2.50
Memory
G.Skill 32 GB (8 x 4 GB) DDR3-2133, F3-17000CL9Q-16GBXM x2 @ 9-11-10-28 and 1.65 V
Hard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro SSD 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s
Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 290X 4 GB

AMD Radeon R9 280X 3 GB

AMD Radeon HD 7990 6 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4 GB
Power Supply
Corsair AX860i 860 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 8 Professional 64-bit
DirectX
DirectX 11
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 5 (All AMD cards)

Nvidia GeForce 331.40 Beta (All Nvidia cards)
Benchmarks And Settings
Battlefield 3
1920x1080, 2560x1440, 3840x2160, and 7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, v-sync off, 90-second Going Hunting playback. FCAT for 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440; Fraps for 3840x2160
Arma III
1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x FSAA, Anisotropic Filtering: Ultra, v-sync off, Infantry Showcase, 30-second playback, FCAT
3840x2160: High Quality Preset, 4x FSAA, Anisotropic Filtering: High, v-sync off, Infantry Showcase, 30-second playback, Fraps
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Very High Quality Preset, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Low Motion Blur, v-sync off, Built-In Benchmark, FCAT
3840x2160: High Quality Preset, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Low Motion Blur, v-sync off, Built-In Benchmark, Fraps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, FXAA Disabled, 25-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT
3840x2160: Ultra Quality Preset, FXAA Disabled, 25-second Custom Run-Through, Fraps
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 and 2560x1440: Very High Quality Preset, 75-second Opening Game Sequence, FCAT
3840x2160: Very High Quality Preset, 75-second Opening Game Sequence, Fraps
7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, 75-second Opening Game Sequence, FCAT
Crysis 3
1920x1080 and 2560x1440: High System Spec, High Texture Resolution, FXAA, 60-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT
3840x2160: High System Spec, High Texture Resolution, FXAA, 60-second Custom Run-Through, Fraps
7680x1440: Very High System Spec, Very High Texture Resolution, FXAA, 60-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT
Tomb Raider
1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Ultimate Quality Preset, FXAA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, TressFX Hair, 45-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT
3840x2160: Ultimate Quality Preset, FXAA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, TressFX Hair, 45-second Custom Run-Through, Fraps
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Top Comments
  • 99 Hide
    BigMack70 , October 23, 2013 10:04 PM
    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.
  • 79 Hide
    beta212 , October 23, 2013 9:09 PM
    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.
  • 60 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , October 23, 2013 9:37 PM
    Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
Other Comments
  • 79 Hide
    beta212 , October 23, 2013 9:09 PM
    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.
  • 29 Hide
    slomo4sho , October 23, 2013 9:12 PM
    Great price point. This card has already broken world records just a few hours after release!


  • 25 Hide
    aznguy0028 , October 23, 2013 9:19 PM
    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!
  • 33 Hide
    Benthon , October 23, 2013 9:21 PM
    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!
  • 21 Hide
    tuklap , October 23, 2013 9:25 PM
    This is awesome for us ^_^
  • 23 Hide
    Shankovich , October 23, 2013 9:27 PM
    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.
  • 13 Hide
    julianbautista87 , October 23, 2013 9:31 PM
    daaaaayyyyyuuuummmm
  • 60 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , October 23, 2013 9:37 PM
    Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
  • 21 Hide
    Darkerson , October 23, 2013 9:40 PM
    Good job, AMD!
  • 21 Hide
    jkhoward , October 23, 2013 9:40 PM
    I just purchased this card from Newegg.
  • 15 Hide
    CaptainTom , October 23, 2013 9:41 PM
    Wow AMD. GG! You exceeded every possible expectation! Have fun with your GTX 780 Ti Fanboys!!!!!
  • 19 Hide
    ilysaml , October 23, 2013 9:42 PM
    Time to Upgrade my HD 6950 to 290X, and my 1080P to 2500x Monitor.
  • 37 Hide
    lt_dan_zsu , October 23, 2013 9:44 PM
    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.
  • 11 Hide
    DarkForce_256 , October 23, 2013 9:45 PM
    So what's the deal with the 290?
  • 9 Hide
    shin0bi272 , October 23, 2013 9:51 PM
    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.
  • 10 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 23, 2013 9:58 PM
    $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,
  • 2 Hide
    markbro89 , October 23, 2013 9:59 PM
    Where to buy?! Newegg still says coming soon D:
  • -7 Hide
    DarkForce_256 , October 23, 2013 10:03 PM
    So what's the deal with the 290?
  • 99 Hide
    BigMack70 , October 23, 2013 10:04 PM
    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.
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