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

Results: Crysis 3 At 3840x2160

AMD’s Uber firmware does little to help the R9 290X’s performance in Crysis 3. Not that it needs it. In our custom run, the Hawaii-based board is able to slide by GeForce GTX Titan by a few frames per second, on average. Is that enough to call the R9’s finish a win? Not exactly—dropping under 30 FPS, even at a reduced quality level, doesn’t satisfy the maxed-out details you’d want with an expensive display on your desk.

This is where we see those dips, in this case corresponding with a big explosion. Still, R9 290X is a big improvement over Tahiti. The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition approaches 20 FPS—definitely too slow.

As with BioShock, our variance numbers aren’t troubling, even if the instantaneous frame rates are.

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!