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AMD Radeon R9 290(X) Price Drops Are Promotions From AIBs

You might have noticed that in a handful of places it is now possible to buy AMD Radeon graphics cards for a lot less money than last week, and that’s for good reason. Although some reports appear to claim that these are AMD’s price cuts, we didn’t hear anything from AMD directly, so we dug in.

When we asked a spokesman at AMD, we were told that the AIB (Add-in-Board) partners are running a channel promotion that enables lower starting prices for the Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X graphics cards. This brought the prices of R9 290 cards down to as little as $299, while the R9 290X would cost as little as $369, although they are typically listed for about $399.

It is important to note that these prices are “Promotional” and that they only apply “While stocks last”, but truth be told, we wouldn’t be too surprised if AMD announces an official price cut somewhere in the future.

One thing that is clear is that this is a response to the launch of Nvidia’s Maxwell-based GTX 970 and GTX 980 graphics cards. Nvidia priced the GTX 980 at $549, while the GTX 970 is priced at a very competitive $329. Considering that the GTX 970 was trading blows with the R9 290X, a price cut for the AMD cards was destined to come.

At prices ranging from $369 to about $399, the R9 290X might still not even entirely make sense against the GTX 970, but at $299 the Radeon R9 290 certainly packs a lot of value. Additionally, AMD’s cards still come with the Never Settle bundles, giving you up to three free games along with your GPU purchase.

‘Tis an exciting time in the consumer GPU space.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • junkeymonkey
    amd will need to do something with the new gtx 900's priced as they are ..

    looks like NVidia turn to drive until amd answers witch I like cause it keeps rolling in the new better tec in cards and that's good for all of us
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    Yes this is good for customers. Hopefully they will decide to drop and burn off the rest of the current GPUs at low prices to make way for their new GPUs coming out. Wouldn't be a bad idea, I'm sure there is a lot of room they can drop and still make a profit, and it will help with advertising a bit since it would get AMD cards out to more people.
    Reply
  • elbert
    Price is still to high. My guess is AMD is price testing. The GTX 970 beats the R9 290 and strikes right at the R9 290X. Given this, DirectX 12, and power efficiency advantages AMD needs a $259~ $299 price for these cards. The R9 290 will go head to head against the GTX960ti set to release early December. My guess is the GTX 960ti will be $249 ref and $269 custom.
    Reply
  • qlum
    Amd generally prices itself a bit below nvidea so a price point of $300 for the 290x and $250 for the 290 would make the most sense right now.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    ya but its time for amd to release a new chip to compete on this and get performance up and power/heat down i'm no brand fan boy and use both. it just depends who offers what at a price point at the time I want to buy
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    @elbert: The R9 290 can be had for $269.99:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161459&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    While the GTX 970 is $329.99 at cheapest with Amazon Prime.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NI647NE/?tag=pcpapi-20

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-980-970-maxwell,3941-16.html
    Going by this review, the GTX 970 is 5% faster than the R9 290, while costing 22% more. In terms of price/performance ratio, the AMD R9 290 is still a better deal. Granted it uses a lot more power and creates a lot more heat, but its not that bad.

    I love AMD's GCN architecture and you get a lot for what you pay, but it really is time for this GCN to be retired, at least in the high end, and for a new architecture to take its place that is more power efficient.
    Reply
  • Pherule
    How does this help me? I can't even afford an R9 280X. Get some price cuts on the R9 270X so that I can at least go for that one.
    Reply
  • redgarl
    I bought my PCS+ for 600$ CAD and I thought it was a good price... >:/
    Reply
  • BleedingEdgeTek
    They're gonna need to drop more than that. The 290x performs just slightly better than the 970, but runs much hotter and much more power draw, yet costs $170 more. Even with this is costs a LOT more, for meager performance gains at the cost of a much bigger, hotter, higher draw card.

    It'll be interesting to see what AMD's response to Maxwell is, now that Maxwell is in full force.
    Reply
  • anthony8989
    You can OC a 970 to within one percent performance of a 780 Ti. You can OC an R9 290 to thermal throttling and back-to-back BSoD. I see more value in the $329 GTX 970.

    I'd buy a 290 for may be $180 BNiB just because around $200 is my limit for gambling money away senselessly trolololol
    Reply