Test System and Benchmarks
We went with the latest Catalyst beta package and four carefully-selected benchmarks, run at the highest quality settings. The results are normalized, giving us a performance index in percentage points. AMD's reference Radeon R9 290 gives us our baseline at 100%.
|System||Intel Core i7-4930K (Ivy Bridge-E), Overclocked to 4 GHzAsus Rampage IV Black Edition, X79 Express32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3-2133Enermax TLC 240 Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler1 x SSD 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX860i|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1|
|Drivers||AMD Catalyst 14.2 BetaGeForce 334.89|
|Benchmarks||Metro: Last LightBioShock InfiniteBattlefield 4 (Single-Player)Crysis 3 (DX11)|
In order to achieve realistic and comparable results, we heat up the cards prior to benchmarking, subjecting them to a 3D load that takes their GPU temperatures up to a steady state. This creates a level playing field for factory-overclocked cards.
In a nutshell, an overclocked MSI R9 290X Lightning cannot best Gigabyte's overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti Windforce OC, though the performance difference between both front-runners is quite small. Amazingly, two cards based on different manufacturers’ flagship GPUs treat us to a photo finish in this race.
MSI 290x Lightning $699.99 + $4.99 shipping
Sapphire 290x Tri-X OC $649.99Sapphire 290x Tri-X $639.99Gigabyte 290x Windforce $579.99 ($549.99 after rebate)
This makes the Lightning $125 ($155 after rebate) more expensive than the Windforce. MSI is really stretching the price here.
Got to agree that the Tri-X seems a better value proposition
The main aspect of a GPU and its most important job is to make games run smooth.
In this review there is only a Performance ratio chart. This does not give the important data at all.
I dont care if that GPU has 80 or 85 FPS in farcry3, but I Do care if it has 25 or 30 on more demanding games/settings.
Finally, this card seems like itsmissing its purpouse a bit.
It has a huge heatsink, but dosent actually run cool or quiet.
It has an OC that is decent but dosent increase performance that much.
You could water cool that GPU for a similar price and get better performance in every aspect as long as you are willing to have a loop in your PC.
"I hereby declare this video card to be of the utmost quality and thereby further and henceforth declare this same electronic device to be 101% stable to the fullest of my capabilities to determine it as such. Sincerely, Your Mom".
Definitely something to frame and hang on your wall above the monitor.
If you're just going for overkill, I want to see one of these with phase change cooling. It can't cost that much more, can it?