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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
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.