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

Results: Battlefield 3 At 3840x2160

The R9 290X’s victory over Titan looks similar in Battlefield 3, though Uber mode doesn’t do anything for performance. Presumably, this is because Battlefield doesn’t tax Hawaii as much, so the chip doesn’t reach its target temperature. In Arma, the extra 15% fan headroom is necessary to prevent R9 290X from backing off of its peak clock rate, yielding higher frame rates.

We’re able to keep the fastest cards in excess of 30 FPS using Battlefield’s Ultra preset. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan dips under, though.

Strangely, while AMD’s R9 290X achieves the highest frame rates, it also encounters the highest worst-case variance. We attempt to minimize statistical noise by taking 95th percentile measurements rather than 99th, but even still, the Uber firmware runs into big variance numbers up there.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • beta212
    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.
  • slomo4sho
    Great price point. This card has already broken world records just a few hours after release!

  • esrever
    2 of these for 4k looks amazing but Im a little disappointed by the power consumption when you crank up performance.
  • aznguy0028
    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!
  • Benthon
    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!
  • tuklap
    This is awesome for us ^_^
  • Shankovich
    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.
  • julianbautista87
  • anxiousinfusion
    Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
  • Darkerson
    Good job, AMD!