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

CrossFire: Crysis 3 At 7680x1440

The same sort of reversal affects Crysis, and a peek at the temperature logs reveal a pattern of heating up to 94 degrees or so, maxing out the fan at 40%, and then necessarily dropping clock rate in order to maintain stability.

Although the bars flip-flop, looking at frame rates over time shows that two GeForce GTX Titans and two Radeon R9 290Xes are quite competitive. Switching on AMD's Uber mode would really benefit these boards with additional cooling capacity. The thermal solution is simply too loud for that, though.

Here's more evidence that CrossFire likely needs some additional work. This is with frame pacing enabled, and yet the paired-up R9 290Xes demonstrate fairly high worst-case variance, more than doubling what we observe from one card. If you click on the following link, you can see what this looks like in a raw chart of frame times. The deep red line is a tell-tale indicator of more variance compared to the narrower pink line (or Nvidia's lines, which are also pretty clean).

  • 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!