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

CrossFire: BioShock Infinite At 7680x1440

R9 290X beat GeForce GTX Titan at 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 3840x2160. So what the heck happened at 7680x1440? Check it out:

Radeon R9 290X is getting beaten up by the workload with one card. With two installed, it spends most of the run just sitting at 727 MHz (72% of its rated clock rate). Now, again, I have to concede that achieving this performance level against $2000 worth of hardware from Nvidia is still phenomenal. But it's such a shame that AMD can't get more from this GPU. At any rate, let's look at performance over time.

The discrepancy between Titan and 290X naturally grows in a multi-card configuration, though the $550 board from AMD still has plenty to be proud of.

Enabling CrossFire over PCI Express through a DMA engine works brilliantly for circumventing the bottleneck imposed by AMD's top bridges. However, this mechanism might not be optimized yet. Our frame time variance numbers are by no means problematic. But they are notably higher than what Nvidia can do in SLI.

  • 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!