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Review: AMD Radeon R9 290

by Tarinder Sandhu on 5 November 2013, 05:00

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab4kz

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Conclusion

This is a good graphics card that, outfitted with a 4GB framebuffer, should service your gaming needs for some time to come.

The AMD Radeon R9 290 follows in the footsteps of the range-topping 290X by providing a high-quality gaming experience at a palatable cost. And just as the second-rung performance card has historically offered an even better bang-for-buck, the R9 290, priced at $399, is substantially cheaper and almost as fast as AMD's premier graphics card, thanks mainly to AMD boosting frequencies to maximum peak speeds using the latest Catalyst driver.

Providing effortlessly smooth performance at a full-HD setting and more than capable at the enthusiast 2,560x1,440 resolution present on 27in monitors that we wholeheartedly recommend, the R9 290 has no performance peer at its current price point - it provides GeForce GTX 780-like muscle for less financial hurt.

This is a good graphics card that, outfitted with a 4GB framebuffer, should service your gaming needs for some time to come. But our praise does come with one major caveat: do be wary of the reference design, as it is loud and (deliberately) runs hot. We therefore wait to see what AMD's partners can do to turn the underlying promise into great retail cards.

Offering a fuller picture, AMD does not currently bundle the excellent Never Settle Forever gaming goodness with R9 290-series GPUs, while Nvidia is providing a trio of triple-A games with GeForce GTX 780 cards, thus helping to balance the pricing inequity that exists between the two.

Yet we come away from the review with a positive impression. Packed with the latest GCN goodness that is high on performance and value, the Radeon R9 290, in retail form, has the potential to become the next Radeon 9700 (R300).

The Good

Very good performance
Even better value than R9 290X
Overclocks reasonably well

The Bad

Reference card is loud and runs hot
No bundled games

HEXUS.awards


AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB

HEXUS.where2buy

The AMD Radeon R9 290 is available to purchase from Scan Computers*

HEXUS.right2reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.

*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through theSCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 45 Comments

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Tell scan to hurry up with there product pages - competitors are already live with pricing - £319 shipped @ ocuk


http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-337-SP

and they are bundling games with it
Too loud too hot. I'll stick with nVidia even though it may be more expensive.
jnutt
Too loud too hot. I'll stick with nVidia even though it may be more expensive.
Hopefully partner boards will sort this one out soon. Cracking bang for buck but early adopters are let down by the reference cooler.
Was the 290 run in uber mode or quiet?

Regarding the cooler, it will do me for a card knocking on titan performance for just over £300.
Looks like Nvidia's cards could do with another price cut.
I do wonder though what performance the nvidia cards could put out if they were allowed to run at those temps and power. Not sure if this is kind of a cheap trick / easy route to performance by AMD. These 290 cards sure are tempting though…