AMD Radeon R9-290 and 290X preview

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Product Photos - AMD R9 290 and 290X

Product Photos - AMD R9 290

  • With recommended gaming horse power up-to 2560x1440 (in our honest opinion) the Radeon HD 290 has features like AMD TrueAudio Technology, and 4GB of memory, the AMD Radeon R9-290 is priced at $549.
  • With recommended gaming horse power up-to 3840 x 2160 (in our honest opinion) the Radeon HD 290X has features like AMD TrueAudio Technology, and 4GB of memory, the AMD Radeon R9-290X is priced at $649.

 

So the reference R9-290 and 290X have exactly the same design. it's the same card, yet the 'regular' 290 model has been castrated a little bit. Make no mistake, both have 6 Billion transistors on a 438 mm2 Die and that 512-bit Memory bus with 4 GB 5.0 Gbps GDDR5 memory. 

The biggest distinction are for the Radeon R9-290:

  • Stream Processors 2560
  • Clock Frequency up-to 947 MHz
And for the  Radeon R9-290X:
  • Stream Processors 2816
  • Clock Frequency up-to 1 GHz

Both cards are tied towards a massive 4 GB of 512-bit memory running at 5.0 Gbps. This makes these card perform well above high-end at the GeForce GTX 780 and Titan performance levels. Anybody with a monitor resolution up-to 2560x1440 can play their games at extremely good quality settings, and with a small tweak or two, Ultra high definition gaming at that Big Whopper of a resolution called UHD - 3840 x 2160 pixels.


 

The AMD Radeon R7 290/290X graphics cards also feature the first discrete GPU in the world with a programmable audio pipeline. TrueAudio Technology is designed for game audio artists and engineers to bring their artistic vision beyond sound production into the realm of sound processing. This technology is intended to transform game audio as programmable shaders transformed graphics in the following ways:

  • Programmable audio pipeline grants artistic freedom to game audio engineers for sound processing
  • Easy to access through popular audio libraries used by top game developers
  • Fundamentally redefines the nature of a modern PC graphics card
  • Spatialization, reverb, mastering limiters and simultaneous voices are only the beginning

 
Radeon R9-290 has two 6-pin power headers.

Here we can see the connectors, one full DP, one HDMI and two DVI connectors. So yes, Eyefinity works here perfectly fine as well. It might be a very interesting card to setup a cheap desktop multi-monitor setup this way. Not so much for gaming though. 

AMD allows you to opt for the multi-GPU road with Crossfire as an option. You can pair two in one PC and have them do a decent workout. As mentioned earlier, a Crossfire bridge is no longer needed. The data will be moved over the PCIE (preferably 3.0) bus.

The card has a maximum power consumption of give or take 250 Watts, our measurements actually show numbers really close to that under full gaming load. The board's overall power consumption from idle to load is excellent really, roughly 10 Watt in idle and when the monitor goes into sleep mode just 3 Watt.


Radeon R9-290 has one 6-pin and an 8-pin power header.

You will need to hook the 290 card up to your power supply with two 6-pin PCIe PEG connectors ant the 290X model with one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIE PEG power connector. We recommend a 550W power supply to start with, with one card of course.

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