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

Test System And Benchmarks

Test Hardware And Software

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) 3.6 GHz Base Clock Rate, Overclocked to 4.3 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardASRock X79 Extreme6 (LGA 2011) X79 Express Chipset, BIOS 2.50
MemoryG.Skill 32 GB (8 x 4 GB) DDR3-2133, F3-17000CL9Q-16GBXM x2 @ 9-11-10-28 and 1.65 V
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro SSD 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s
GraphicsAMD Radeon R9 290X 4 GB
AMD Radeon R9 280X 3 GB
AMD Radeon HD 7990 6 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4 GB
Power SupplyCorsair AX860i 860 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 5 (All AMD cards)
Nvidia GeForce 331.40 Beta (All Nvidia cards)
Benchmarks And Settings
Battlefield 31920x1080, 2560x1440, 3840x2160, and 7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, v-sync off, 90-second Going Hunting playback. FCAT for 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440; Fraps for 3840x2160
Arma III1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x FSAA, Anisotropic Filtering: Ultra, v-sync off, Infantry Showcase, 30-second playback, FCAT3840x2160: High Quality Preset, 4x FSAA, Anisotropic Filtering: High, v-sync off, Infantry Showcase, 30-second playback, Fraps
Metro: Last Light1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Very High Quality Preset, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Low Motion Blur, v-sync off, Built-In Benchmark, FCAT3840x2160: High Quality Preset, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Low Motion Blur, v-sync off, Built-In Benchmark, Fraps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, FXAA Disabled, 25-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT3840x2160: Ultra Quality Preset, FXAA Disabled, 25-second Custom Run-Through, Fraps
BioShock Infinite1920x1080 and 2560x1440: Very High Quality Preset, 75-second Opening Game Sequence, FCAT3840x2160: Very High Quality Preset, 75-second Opening Game Sequence, Fraps7680x1440: Ultra Quality Preset, 75-second Opening Game Sequence, FCAT
Crysis 31920x1080 and 2560x1440: High System Spec, High Texture Resolution, FXAA, 60-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT3840x2160: High System Spec, High Texture Resolution, FXAA, 60-second Custom Run-Through, Fraps7680x1440: Very High System Spec, Very High Texture Resolution, FXAA, 60-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT
Tomb Raider1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 7680x1440: Ultimate Quality Preset, FXAA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, TressFX Hair, 45-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT3840x2160: Ultimate Quality Preset, FXAA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, TressFX Hair, 45-second Custom Run-Through, Fraps
  • 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.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    Great price point. This card?rel=ugc]http://www.overclock.net/t/1436561/various-amd-radeon-r9-290x-reviews-thread/370#post_21046990]card has already broken world records just a few hours after release!

    Reply
  • esrever
    2 of these for 4k looks amazing but Im a little disappointed by the power consumption when you crank up performance.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • tuklap
    This is awesome for us ^_^
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • julianbautista87
    daaaaayyyyyuuuummmm
    Reply
  • anxiousinfusion
    Wait the 290 X... X? is going to be $550?! Forgive me, padre for I have sinned.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    Good job, AMD!
    Reply