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

Results: BioShock Infinite At 1920x1080 And 2560x1440

We used BioShock’s introductory game sequence for benchmarking, since the built-in utility didn’t have a preset for testing at 3840x2160 (and choosing "Current settings" yielded two 1920x2160 tiles on AMD's hardware). We also kept the game settings constant for the purpose of comparison. As a result, we end up some crazy-high average frame rates at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440. AMD’s R9 290X serves up the highest numbers again, but they’re not statistically relevant given these performance levels.

Most interesting, perhaps, is that AMD’s cards see a couple of sizeable speed-ups during the benchmark run, while Nvidia’s hardware remains flat.

Frame time variance is again very low across the board. Radeon HD 7990 with frame pacing enabled stands out as being least-consistent. But with a worst-case variance under 1 ms, we’d consider that result nothing short of stellar.

  • 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!