ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

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ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:06 am

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rad ... ,3650.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/rad ... 50-35.html

Radeon R9 290X Review: AMD's Back In Ultra-High-End Gaming

By Chris Angelini, Igor WallossekOCTOBER 23, 2013 10:00 PM

A trip to Bora Bora is going to set you back big time. Monte Carlo and Capri are also great places to go if you want to be seen spending lots of cash. But Hawaii—now that can be done relatively affordably. And it can still be pretty damn close to paradise.

Similarly, AMD’s Radeon R9 290X isn’t the most expensive or luxurious graphics card out there. It leans on an old cooling solution that we’d like to see improved, and it’s wrapped in a plastic shroud. There are a few things we think AMD could be doing better, and we’ll get into those. But when it comes to gaming performance, this card has little trouble trouncing its primary competition, GeForce GTX 780, and even Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan in a number of cases—both of which are substantially more expensive boards.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first. AMD is pushing its Hawaii GPU pretty hard in order to achieve the performance it’s getting. Although the R9 290X is rated for 1000 MHz, the right load will get Hawaii up to its 95 °C limit pretty fast. From there, you have to rely on the right fan speed to keep that clock rate up.

AMD says it gives you total control over this and, thanks to an updated PowerTune technology that defines maximum fan speed (rather than dialing in an absolute value), indeed it does. But you also get stuck with the same noisy thermal solution that makes reference Radeon HD 7970s so acoustically grating. Company engineers insulate you from having the same loud experience by implementing two firmware modes: Quiet and Uber. Quiet keeps the fan under 40% duty cycle. Uber lets it get up to 55%, and that’s too loud for me. So, I stick with Quiet mode. Once Hawaii is at 95 °C and the fan hits 40%, frequencies start retreating quickly. It’s not uncommon to see them bouncing between mid-700 to mid-800 MHz in single-card configs. In CrossFire, they’ll drop to 727 MHz and stay there. The bummer is that a more effective thermal solution could keep acoustics down and allow Hawaii to operate toward the top of its range more consistently.

How much does any of that matter if R9 290X is still a stellar performer? I guess that depends on how much it costs, right? As it happens, AMD says you’ll find it flagship Hawaii-based board for $550. That’s $100 less than GeForce GTX 780 and $450 less than a Titan. And better performance, in many of the cases we tested, than both. Wowsa.

Practically speaking, if you own a single QHD display, AMD’s Radeon R9 280X remains a good entry point for playable performance in most games at $300. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 770 is the next step up, but it’s not so much faster that’d we’d recommend spending an extra $100. If you really want to play taxing new titles like Arma III at their highest quality levels, Radeon R9 290X becomes the most affordable way to go with the speed-up to match its price.

It’s certainly possible to play games at 3840x2160 using R9 290X, but nobody is going to spend $3500 on a new monitor and settle for barely-playable performance at dialed-back settings. You’re going to want two Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 cards to make that happen. We couldn’t benchmark CrossFire against SLI at Ultra HD resolutions, since AMD doesn’t support the display output configuration we’d need to use for our FCAT-enabled equipment. However, based on our 7680x1440 results, expect the Hawaii-based boards to be faster. And $200 less when you buy a pair.

The coup de grâce is our set of benchmarks across three QHD screens—more than 11 million pixels. With all of our games cranked up to their highest possible settings, two R9 290Xes come close to a pair of $1000 Titans. AMD isn’t helped by the fact that its cards are pretty much pegged at 73% of their stock clock rate due to heat and my insistence on using the Quiet firmware. But maybe the company’s board partners will work some thermal magic and “uncork” some of Hawaii’s performance without compromising acoustics.

In the spirit of getting massive performance at a substantial discount, then, I’m giving AMD’s Radeon R9 290X Tom’s Hardware’s Elite award—the first time a graphics card has received this honor, I believe, during my tenure. The decision was controversial. Nvidia still does thermals, acoustics, and aesthetics better. But now it’s also charging a hefty premium for those luxuries. AMD’s card is faster, cheaper, and it makes an effort to keep acoustics under control, so long as you stick with its Quiet mode. AMD reworked its approach to CrossFire and now has a more elegant solution that, while not perfect (we still measured dropped and runt frames in Skyrim, along with notable variance in other titles), does facilitate frame pacing right out of the gate at resolutions all the way up to 7680x1440. I’ll get more enthusiastic about the R9 290X if third-party designs start showing up with better cooling. Until then, it’d be downright negligent to not recognize this card’s class-leading performance at a price we paid for Radeon HD 7970 two years ago.


Is it perfect? No... it does run hot of course and a bit noisier than GTX 780... but it does match or beat GTX 780, and for a $100 cheaper!!! Great job Daamit, and Kudos on the lower-than-expected price on it!! Not everyone can afford a $500+ video card, but for those that can, this card is friggin awesome!! 8) :D
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby mhudon » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:19 am

Just got through the article, this is amazing. $550 is one of the greatest, most positive surprise I've had in 2013. I can't wait to see the numbers of these baby wearing a Gigabyte Windforce or MSI Twin Frozr cooler.

This put's a lot of pressure on Nvidia. I wonder how GTX 780 owners will feel after hearing about this huge difference in pricing.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Sauron_Daz » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:04 pm

They won't be happy..
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:29 am

With NVidia cards being generally more expensive outside of North America, it gets better! Or worse, depending on your point of view... :wink:
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby TAViX » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:19 am

Good, good.
I'm thinking of buying one too, but what do you think, is it worth over a 5870 CrossFireX setup? I still have no problems with any games, but I am thinking about the 512 bit bus and 4GB of VRAM thou..
But definitely I will wait for a custom cooler card since the default is UBBER CRAP!!
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:21 am

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Depends on what resolution you want to run your games at.

If 2560 x something resolution ( or higher ), then deffo it is worth it..specially for playing BF4 with everything maxxed out.

If you game at 1920x1080 then you could probably put this purchase off for a while longer... :)

Here is some Daamit marketing propaganda to encourage you in your next purchase:

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:mrgreen:

All Daamit really did here was overclock the last generation and rebadge it for the most part, but you have to give them Kudos for the price points they are releasing the new cards at!! 8) :D
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby TAViX » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:35 am

1080p for me. No need more, not that a hardcore gamer.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby mhudon » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:30 am

CF 7970 setup here so I'll pass on the Rxxx series.

My latest card's a Sapphirre Dual X OC paid only $309 cad. With the Never settle bundle, thats a lot of performance for your money. I used to be an Nvidia fan and was tempted by the GTX 780, but AMD is so generous with it's customer, today I've got no regrets.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:40 am

Switched to AMD a few years back as well. Never looked back.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby TAViX » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:15 am

I hate that they are still releasing games with stupid PhysX. Like those Batman....
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:37 am

Edit: I thought nVidia PhysX was about to die in the gaming market due to both new consoles using ATi/AMD gpu's but I was wrong:

http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/co ... s4-1136063

Nvidia to offer PhysX support on AMD-powered PS4

PhysX and Apex are going to give Playstation 4 games a boost


By Hugh Langley March 7th

While we feverishly await details of what it will look like and, you know, a PS4 release date, more information has trickled out about the console's capabilities with the news that Nvidia will offer PS4 game developers its PhysX and Apex technology.
The PS4 might be based on an AMD platform but Nvidia isn't going anywhere and has updated its software development kits to accommodate the next generation of gaming.
According to Nvidia, the new support will let developers build game environments like no other, as well as offering jaw-dropping destructible objects and clothing that interacts with characters' bodies.
Eye candy
It will certainly help to bring the PS4 up to a PC level, offering graphics so lifelike we should be able to single out every hair on Lara Croft's head. A little like the stuff we saw last month, in fact.
While PhysX support has been available on the current-gen platforms in games such as Batman: Arkham City and Borderlands 2, low specs have held it back from achieving its potential.

We know that the PS4 is going to pack as much horsepower as possible, not to mention 4K video support. However, we don't expect to see the fruits of Nvidia's support before the PS4's 'holiday 2013' release date. At which point we might be ready to kiss our gaming PCs goodbye.


Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utf5749FEJc

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/28 ... -and-more/

Nvida Physx for PS4 and Xbox One and more

Started by MajorKc , Jun 22 2013 05:00 AM


http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/releases/n ... e-997.aspx

So after years of being proprietary, now, because both PS4 and Xbone use AMD gpu's, nVidia decides to finally allow their precious PhysX to actually run on AMD/ATi gpu??!!! lmao... well good news for console owners though... :D

MHudon - Crossfire 7970's eh? Yes, you should be all set with that setup for a while methinks... :D
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:13 am

All Daamit really did here was overclock the last generation and rebadge it for the most part, but you have to give them Kudos for the price points they are releasing the new cards at!!

The new GCN architechture is really quite impressive as well.

It might be the first time since the original GeForce was released that i´m impressed by one...
Hmm, though the Radeon 9000 series was very neat as well.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby mhudon » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:26 pm

Right you are Hammer_Time! I know I went a little overboard with these since I game at 1080p. Still, I really wanted to see how 2 of these would perform. Launching Tomb Raider for the first time was a revelation; graphics, light, hairs were simply breath taking.

Some are cars and tuning enthusiast, I'm into building PCs! Every time I receive a box of components feels like Christmas! My 2yo boy is following my tracks. I found him deeply concentrated working into my editing machine lying on the floor. I won't forget to put back those thumb screws ever again, it cost me my beloved sound card...
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:26 am

:lol: Yeah, can't run an open case with the youngsters running around! :twisted:

I like building puters too, good hobby to have... budget does not allow me a killer high-end gaming system, but I manage to still do okay on a limited budget here... :D
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Sauron_Daz » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:54 am

So even 2 yo's can provide a good lesson..
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:14 am

and cats!! Don't forget the cats!! :twisted:
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Sauron_Daz » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:43 am

I can't. Mine tends to go to places where we don't want, nor need it to be.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:02 pm

Sure did not take nVidia long to respond to the R9 threat! :

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/16971 ... r9-barrage

Nvidia announces GTX 780 Ti and deep price cuts in response to AMD R9 barrage

By Joel Hruska on October 28, 2013

Over the past month, AMD has restructured its entire product line with deep price cuts and a new GPU launch. The R9 280X and R9 290X (at $300 and $550 respectively) blew Nvidia’s price-performance ratio out of the water, with the GTX 770 stuck at $400 and the GTX 780 at $650. A response was inevitable, and this morning Nvidia let fly its own salvo. Beginning immediately, the GTX 770 takes a price cut down to $330, the GTX 780 drops to $500, and the upcoming GTX 780 Ti will launch on November 7 at $700.

What is the GTX 780 Ti, you ask? Great question. There are two possibilities. The first option is rather pedestrian — simply crank up the clocks on the GTX 780 and voila — you’ve got yourself a GTX 780 Ti. That accomplishes the first goal — create a faster GTX 780. Rumors, however, point to the idea that the GTX 780 Ti might be faster than Titan itself. The best way to make that happen is to bring some of the disabled cores back online and bring clock speeds up simultaneously.

The 15th SMX

According to Nvidia, a full Titan implementation is 15 SMX cores. None of the cards based on GK110 that have shipped to date have actually used all 15 SMXs. Titan has 14 SMXs enabled, as does the K20X, while the K20 is a 13 SMX part. The GTX 780 has 12 SMXs. Nvidia, therefore, could theoretically squeeze more performance out of the Titan product family by fully activating the core and bringing clock and memory speeds up at the same time. The company has already announced a workstation card that does just that — the K40 Compute Module, with up to 12GB of GDDR5 RAM on-board.

A new SMX combined with a core clock jump would indeed leave the GTX 780 Ti running faster than Titan. The only question is whether or not NV wants to enable that capability at the $700 price point, or if it hopes to reserve it for a Titan 2 coming at a later date. The new card, however it’s apportioned, won’t have the full-speed double-precision math capability that Titan offers. Whether Nvidia offers an incremental update to the 780 Ti or actually activates the full GK110 GPU for the first time in a consumer card will tell us a bit about how seriously it views the threat from AMD’s R9 290X.

ther news from Nvidia today includes the launch of new holiday bundles. The GTX 780 and 770 families are picking up coupons for Batman: Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Assassin’s Creed IV: On A Boat Black Flag, plus a $100 coupon for a Shield. The GTX 760 and GTX 660 get the latter two games and a $50 Shield coupon. If you’re hoping Agent Phil Coulson will deliver the product, we have bad news: You’re thinking of the wrong Shield. Nvidia’s Shield has been recently updated with Android 4.3 support, as well as advanced features for mapping custom controls and the formal launch of the game-streaming feature that NV promised with the original launch.

Reviews of the console at launch were positive, but noted that the Android limitation was problematic. Full game streaming compatibility with PC titles changes that, and throws open the doors to a great many more titles — and with a $100 coupon, it’s almost, but not quite, reasonably priced.


WOWSERS!!! GTX 770 at $330 and GTX 780 drops down to $500!! ( where it should be now, as the $550 R9 290X is slightly faster overall so the new pricing matches the performance of these cards ). 8)

R9 280X at $300 is still a wicked deal from a bang for your buck perspective, finally the GTX 770 is priced somewhat reasonably at $330 now ( was way overpriced at $400 before imho ).

Competition is good for the consumer, very good... 8) :D
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Celt » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:08 pm

Oh look, the competition has arrived so now we can't rip off our customers quite as much . . .

All this tells you I show much extra profit they were taking off the techno weenies who simply must have the latest and greatest product at any price.
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Re: ATi kicks ass at $550 price point - R9 290X Review

Postby Hammer_Time » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:14 pm

Of course, but we had to wait a looong time for Daamit to finally release new R9 series and drive prices down to more reasonable levels... can you imagine a world with no Daamit? ( only nVidia?? ) ... me shudders... same with Intel, we need Daamit to help keep Intel cpu prices "reasonable"... :P
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