All the way back in March, it was rumored that Sapphire would be building an R9 290X card with 8 GB of memory, rather than 4 GB, although that card never made it to the market. When we spoke to AMD and Sapphire at an event in Amsterdam last month, we were told that 8 GB variants of the R9 290X were cancelled and that they wouldn't be coming. Now, it seems that's all changed, as 8 GB R9 290X cards are starting to pop up here and there.
OverclockersUK has listed two versions of an 8 GB R9 290X graphics card from Sapphire – a reference (opens in new tab) version and a Vapor-X (opens in new tab) variant, which comes with a very high-end cooler that uses three fans, a large aluminum fin array, heatpipes, and most notably, a vapor chamber.
They are available for preorder and will ship in November. They are notably more expensive than standard 4 GB R9 290X cards, costing £359.99 and £389.99, respectively. After removing VAT this translates to about $480 USD for the reference card and $520 USD for the custom Vapor-X variant.
On top of that, a spokesman from AMD confirmed that 8 GB cards will be arriving anytime now.
Of course, this does raise a question: who needs 8 GB of graphics memory? Well, if you're running games on a single 1080p or 1440p display, chances are you won't notice a difference. Bump that up to 4K, though, or multi-monitor gaming with high-resolution textures, and there may suddenly be a use for it. It'll also help with multi-GPU configurations powering the aforementioned massive screen real estate.