All of these cards are based on the same Hawaii GPU manufactured at 28 nm with either 2560 (in the case of the Radeon R9 290) or 2816 (for the Radeon R9 290X) shaders and a 512-bit memory bus. The differences between these cards, aside from their coolers, are limited to the core and memory clock frequencies.
|Radeon R9 290||GPU Clock MHz(Boost)||Memory ClockMHz||Memory BandwidthGB/s||Pixel FillrateGPixel/s||Texture FillrateGTexel/s|
|Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290||1000||1300||332.8||64.0||160.0|
|Gigabyte GV-R929OC-4GD R9 290 Windforce OC||1040||1250||320.0||66.6||166.4|
|Radeon R9 290 Reference + Arctic Accelero Extreme III||1100||1250||320.0||70.4||176.0|
|Radeon R9 290 Reference + NZXT Kraken G10 + X40||1100||1250||320.0||70.4||176.0|
|Radeon R9 290X||GPU Clock MHz(Boost)||Memory ClockMHz||Memory BandwidthGB/s||Pixel FillrateGPixel/s||Texture FillrateGTexel/s|
|Asus R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5 R9 290X DirectCU II OC||1050||1350||345.6||67.2||184.8|
|Sapphire Tri-X OC R9 290X||1040||1300||332.8||66.6||183.0|
|Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD R9 290X Windforce OC||1040||1250||320.0||66.6||183.0|
|HIS R9 290X IceQ X² Turbo||1060||1350||345.6||67.8||186.6|
|MSI R9 290X Gaming 4G||1040||1250||320||66.6||183|
Of course, there’s more to the overall performance story than just the maximum GPU clock rate. As we've already seen, calling your GPU a 1000 MHz part is pointless if it cannot maintain that frequency. This is precisely the problem AMD's reference design suffers from. Once its target temperature is hit, the clock rate starts scaling back and performance follows suit.
We warmed up our various contenders and ran them in a loop while we recorded their frequencies.
Coupled with other recent reviews, Sapphire's Tri-X OC series looks to be great cards, especially when you make a custom fan curve to further reduce idle and load noise.
I can not wait to see the 20nm updates, especially if AMD gets around to pulling a Titan with their reference coolers!