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

Results: Tomb Raider At 3840x2160

Tomb Raider’s Ultimate quality preset is taxing—so much so that it knocks the 35 FPS average we saw in Gaming At 3840x2160: Is Your PC Ready For A 4K Display? using the Ultra preset down to 27 FPS on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan. Fortunately for AMD, its Radeon R9 290X is faster, averaging just over 30 FPS.

Unfortunately, charting out frame rate over time shows that our sequence nearly drops to 15 FPS at its toughest. That’s just too low to be considered playable.

Variance is a secondary measurement, and it doesn’t really matter once a frame rate is determined to be unplayable. Nevertheless, Nvidia’s cards exhibit worst-case variances that we’d consider detectable.

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!