AMD Radeon R9-290 review

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And then there's the AMD Radeon R9-290, daddy cools little brotha

Last week we have shown you a review on the R9-290X model of AMDs new impressive flagship graphics cards. This week we will have a look at its little brother, as we review the AMD Radeon R9-290. The new second to best flagship product has been long awaited and anticipated. Where the X model stays in line with the competition's GeForce GTX Titan, the more regular Radeon R9-290 will compete with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 780. Now we have all seen the very competitive pricing from AMD with the X model, 499 EUR incl VAT is roughly what AMD is aiming for. That however might be a hundred EUR too steep for many of you. As such the R9-290 will be the more affordable enthusiast class product. Priced at 399 EUR it is going to command and conquer. Yes these cards are beasts in terms of price, performance and product positioning. This in-depth review will cover the Volcanic Islands GPU architecture, Hawaii for the 290 series, we'll benchmark these cards with FCAT Frametimes, Ultra High Definition and of course we'll check out game performance with the latest games next to power consumption and heat levels as well. 

Before we begin with the new graphics cards the first thing that you guys will need to get used to is the new naming scheme. AMD ended with the Radeon HD 7000 and 8000 series graphics cards in 2013. Logic dictates that AMD would have continued with a series 9000. But hey now, we already have had the Radeon 9000 series many years ago (2003), oh and who doesn't remember the Radeon 9800 Pro right? As such it was time to bring in a new naming scheme, a bit more in line with AMD's APUs. R9 will be high-end and R7 will be mainstream and inevitably R5 being entry level. After that you'll notice products being tagged as 250, 260X, 270X, 280X and the coolest two of them all are the Radeon R9 290 and R290X.

This review will cover the Radeon R9 290, please do check out our 290X review right here. Both products based on the new Hawaii GPU architecture. The products will get impressive clock frequencies and, much like NVIDIA, boost power, voltage, fan and load limiters.  The R9-290 silicon comes with a truckload of new features like integrated DSPs offering TrueAudio technology. Some keywords as a small appetizer, 6 Billion transistors on a 438 mm2 Die, 512-bit Memory bus with 4 GB - 5.0 Gbps GDDR5 memory, Ultra HD ready, 5.6 TFLOPS of compute performance. AMD is partnering with EA's Battlefield 4, meaning that for as long as the coupons are available, you will receive Battlefield 4 with the card. That would be a deluxe edition with extra DLC and weapons. AMD also is focusing strongly at gaming in Ultra High Definition (UHD), so this will be a focus in our review as well. Will we be able to play the hottest games at that whopping 8.2 Mpixels at a 3840x2160 resolution @ 60 Hz.

Now one of the best things I'll disclose immediately as it is a rather big annoucement to make, the AMD Radeon R9 290 will cost 399 USD / 349 EUR (that is 289€+VAT). So yeah dude, head over to the next page where we'll start-up the technology overview first, but not before you have seen at least one AMD Radeon R9-290 though.


The AMD Radeon R9 290 - Looking 100% similar to the 290X model

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