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

OpenGL: Maya 2013 And LightWave

Maya 2013

We chose two example scenes that don’t use the new Viewport 2.0 with DirectX to demonstrate the consumer graphics cards’ disadvantage compared to the workstation graphics cards with OpenGL. The AMD FirePro and Nvidia Quadro graphics cards benefit from their much more optimized drivers. The Radeon R9 290X falls in line with the rest of the consumer graphics cards. The second scene demonstrates nicely how well Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 still does if you give it the right task.


LightWave generally just kills consumer graphics cards. Still, in a pinch, the newest Radeon cards can be used for medium-sized models that aren’t too complex. Make no mistake, though; the workstation cards are clearly ahead.

AMD's Radeon R9 290X edges out the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. Once again, we're surprised that the Hawaii-based board doesn’t pull ahead by a wider margin.

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!