All Hail Megatron The AMD Radeon R9-290X
Oh yeah, it's finally time review the AMD Radeon R9-290X. The new flagship product has been long discussed, awaited and anticipated. Actually in the next week or so AMD is to launch two products, the Radeon R9-290 and Radeon R9-290X. Both will compete with Nvidia's finest in both performance and price levels. These cards are little beasts. As such 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. This is one review you don't want to miss out on!
Now before we begin with the new graphics cards, the first thing that you guys will need to get used to is the new naming schema. 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 290X, the regular 290 still needs to be released. We can say though that these two products are based on the new Hawaii GPU. The products will get impressive clock frequencies and, much like NVIDIA, boost power, voltage, fan and load limiters. The two R9 290 cards with that new 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. Not bad for keywords, eh? 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 for certain selected SKUs. 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.
But let me first share the price with you as it really is gonna be interesting. The SEP of the Radeon R9 290X will start at 399€ + VAT (for reference (that's sub 499 EUR incl taxes), the price in the US is $549. 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 of the cards though. Meet the pimp daddy AMD Radeon R9-290X - Kablam!!!