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).
Very good performance
Even better value than R9 290X
Overclocks reasonably well
Reference card is loud and runs hot
No bundled games
AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB
The AMD Radeon R9 290 is available to purchase from Scan Computers*
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