GPUBoss Review Our evaluation of R9 290 vs 970 among GPUs between $200 and $400

Gaming

Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 21 more

Graphics

T-Rex, Manhattan, Sky Diver Factor and Fire Strike Factor

Computing

Face Detection, Ocean Surface Simulation and 3 more

Performance per Watt

Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 31 more

Value

Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 31 more

Noise and Power

TDP, Idle Power Consumption, Load Power Consumption and 2 more

8.8

Overall Score

Winner
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 

GPUBoss recommends the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970  based on its compute performance and noise and power.

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VS

Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Radeon R9 290

Reasons to consider the
AMD Radeon R9 290

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Much better 3DMark06 score 32,300 vs 15,071 Around 2.2x better 3DMark06 score
Significantly higher memory bandwidth 320 GB/s vs 224.4 GB/s Around 45% higher memory bandwidth
Better floating-point performance 4,800 GFLOPS vs 3,494 GFLOPS More than 35% better floating-point performance
Higher texture rate 152 GTexel/s vs 109.2 GTexel/s Around 40% higher texture rate
Much wider memory bus 512 bit vs 256 bit 2x wider memory bus
Significantly more shading units 2,560 vs 1,664 896 more shading units
Significantly more texture mapping units 160 vs 104 56 more texture mapping units
More render output processors 64 vs 56 8 more render output processors
Front view of GeForce GTX 970

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970

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Much better T-Rex score 59,874.93 vs 3,354.52 More than 17.8x better T-Rex score
Significantly higher effective memory clock speed 7,012 MHz vs 5,000 MHz More than 40% higher effective memory clock speed
Better PassMark score 8,563 vs 7,049 More than 20% better PassMark score
Higher clock speed 1,050 MHz vs 947 MHz More than 10% higher clock speed
Much higher memory clock speed 1,753 MHz vs 1,125 MHz More than 55% higher memory clock speed
Higher turbo clock speed 1,178 MHz vs 947 MHz Around 25% higher turbo clock speed
Better PassMark direct compute score 4,375 vs 3,242 Around 35% better PassMark direct compute score
Better ocean surface simulation score 1,587.13 frames/s vs 1,366.31 frames/s More than 15% better ocean surface simulation score
Higher BioShock infinite framerate 107.6 fps vs 91.5 fps Around 20% higher BioShock infinite framerate
Much lower TDP 148W vs 300W 2x lower TDP

Benchmarks Real world tests of Radeon R9 290 vs GeForce GTX 970

Bitcoin mining Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
547.72 mHash/s
GeForce GTX 970
209.32 mHash/s

Face detection Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
108.76 mPixels/s
GeForce GTX 970
104.68 mPixels/s

Ocean surface simulation Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
1,366.31 frames/s
GeForce GTX 970
1,587.13 frames/s

T-Rex (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
3,354.52
GeForce GTX 970
59,874.93

Manhattan (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
3,714.04
GeForce GTX 970
3,711.14

Fire Strike Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Sky Diver Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Crysis 3

Reviews Word on the street

Radeon R9 290  vs GeForce GTX 970 

9.4
9.7
Today, we're reviewing the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SuperClocked ACX, a non-reference design, factory-overclocked GTX 970 graphics card, which comes with a custom-design PCB, and the company's signature ACX cooler, which features an aluminium stack heatsink that uses a trio of copper heat pipes, to draw heat directly from the GPU die, and dissipate it under the airflow of two 80 mm fans.
GeForce GTX 970

Comments

Showing 25 comments.
That's why I bought in the 1st computer the 290, and in the second one the 970, and both made the same result :P HAHHAH and so that no one cries yes, I did it just so that I experiment in my own the pure marketing world in which they make us live
He could be an Aussie... everything is high here.. and its card to keep are computers cool
I screwed up choosing the 970, Worst GPU I have ever owned! I will never buy Nvidia again. The drivers just plain suck!
Update. Traded in my r9 290 for a gtx 980ti sea hawk. The 290 preformed great as long as the case had very good air intake and exhaust. If i did not have enough fans to move the heat out and cooler air in it would over heat. I would say the card is great except for the heating issue. Its the biggest flaw. If you do not have a good static pressure fan bringing in cooler air and a decent normal fan exhausting be careful. The 980ti sea hawk i replaced it with is amazing. I have a 4k monitor and most graphic intense games i play at 1440p reso and get 60fps on high/ultra. Overwatch i play on epic settings at 4k and get 60fps. and it never gets hotter then 65c even when its at maximum power usage. I bet soon you will be able to buy them on ebay for under a 1070s price.
Glad you just proved my point better. It does get better performance.
"much better performance"
Much better performance, lower tdp, and lower heat for just a little more cost. I guess gtx 970 wins in every way here.
AMD fanboy spotted. The 290 has huge driver issues.
r9 290 doesn't stand a chance. Also, benchmarks don't matter cos the gtx 970 does better at actual real life performance.
the under dog being?
I have both and the R9 290 sucked my cock compared to my MSI GTX 970 GAMING. Not to mention my R9 caused constant black screens.
i love how 90% of the comments on this site are Nvidia people agreeing with the statement provided by the comparison. And then AMD fanboys throwing a fit about Nvidia users and calling them filthy fanboys. Which I'm sure they wouldn't do if they actually had anything to defend AMD with. *shrug*
I love reading the retarded shit people post on here. The thing to remember really is that AMD still innovates new technologies, MANTLE hepled get Vulcan up & running & also forced MS to improve DirectX performance. Also AMD has the only GPU right now using HBM, because like I said they innovate & push their boundaries. However, Nvidia barely makes improvements & then charges wayyyy too much for what it is. I had so many issues with Nvidia drivers & windows 10 also, I'm a certified technician & I have to fix systems that have issues and it seems like Nvidia has been slacking on their compatibility with Windows 10, leaving their customers to fix the issues themselves. I use video cards from both companies just like I use CPU's from Intel & AMD, it really comes down to price to performance ratio & I'm not going to spend 33% more on a card that only gives a 5% to 10% performance increase. But you douches can drop to your knees & suck whatever companies dick you want to..... LOL
So long as these guys keep slugging it out we all win. I remember this blurb at the start of an article not long ago and it's an eye opener. Love or hate, we win when there is competition: "The $399 R9 290 made NVIDIA look comically evil for asking $999 for the card it beat, the GTX TITAN; while the R9 290X remained the fastest single-GPU option, at $550, till NVIDIA launched the $699 GTX 780 Ti, to get people back to paying through their noses for the extra performance. Then there were two UFO sightings in the form of the GTX TITAN Black, and the GTX TITAN-Z, which made no tangible contributions to consumer choice. Sure, they gave you full double-precision floating point (DPFP) performance, but DPFP is of no use to gamers." - Techpowerup, June 2015 Then the price points for superior performance continued to drop. AWESOME!! Long live market dynamics!
Well... from the first DX12 benches it seems that AMD will get a bigger boost than Nvidia, due to async.
I'm also stuck with a 720p tn monitor, so all that VRAM won't matter for a few months anyways :P
I'm going to get the 970 only because I live in Texas, and where I'll be gaming it'll be 90+ degrees fahrenheit (Yes, indoors. My room is above the garage, next to the "attic", and exposed on the left and top to heat.) Sorry AMD, but I can't bear adding more heat when I'm already soaking with sweat.
Tough choice based on performance but if you're looking for a DX12 card then the Nvidia is the winner between the two.
Support the underdog. Competition is good for the market.
Weird; My GTX970 doesn't microstutter in BF4 at all.
I have both NVidia and AMD cards so I don't care who is who accept price for performance. I have a Gigabyte 290 and right now looking for a replacement for my MSI GTX 750 Ti Twin Frozr. Reason for not using the 290; 1. Hot as hell unless it's winter. Then it's a great room heater. 2. Sucks power like a whore who lives by doing the dirty. 3. Overall large and unwieldy and can't be used for ITX form factor build which I currently have. 4. Not sure about compatibility with true DX 12. ^^^^With this particular uncertainty, I've seen benchmarks from AMD which state the 290 will blast off like our favorite rocket ship zooming through the skies.....but is it real world performance?^^^^ Pretty much I use the 750 Ti because it's the opposite of all the reasons above even though the performance that is tangible is much less, but I can live with that. I also know that the 1st iteration of Maxwell is good with true DX 12. I would like to have a 970, but I don't know how it performance with gaming across multiple screens. My 290 is a beast with 4 screens on it, 5th being used by integrated graphics turned on in bios. How does the 970 fare along those lines? Honestly I wouldn't be asking this if there was an ITX 290. I wouldn't care about power draw then since I can still fit it into my ITX enclosure and watercool the bastard. Plus it wouldn't use as much power because of form factor. I've noticed this with regular 970 vs ITX 970. After all this blabbering the basic question. Which is better for power, heat, size, and price currently with no synthetic nonsense to muddle the water?
I was getting these with my HD 7950 as well when running multi-monitors with HDMI. Removed the extra monitor/HDMI and all is well.
So I got a 390 for my 970 after all runs smooth and with a GT640. I also run hybrid physx. Windows10 drivers under Nvidia are really bad if you ask me, GTA V doesn't work under AMD but with the 970 same stating this back to the game itself, btw GTA V online is broken anyways. I used that 970 since it is out, my friend who uses it now with SLI has no issues, but with the 390 almost same price(actually cheaper on most places) I get the 8GBvram which may be useful in upcomming games, a big DX12 performance boost, almost same noiselevel, 40-60Watt more than a 970(under load only idle is the same) and the driver doesn't crash if I wanna adjust something in CCC... I waited really long for Nvidia to fix that damn drivers, but seems like I got so butthurt from them I can't support them, I'm all they way to support AMD especially because of FOSS. Nvidia does great with Gameworks but it's a joke that Hairworks runs with x64 tessellation or more... Pushing it down via CCC to x8 or x16 and it looks awesome and doesn't hit the performance so hard, but you really notice Witcher3 is Nvidiaoptimised, well with the 970 I could atleast play through it because the game as great saveoptions/backups and the driver didn't always crash instant. I leave it up to you but nowdays if you take down fanboy glasses of anykind the 390 is better as the 970 except you like really on the edge OCed cards or looking at the highend segment. The HD7970, seems like it used to run smooth for you so why doesn't it do that? I suggest you to simply go back to the last working driver, thats how AMD works. IMO they only seem to update if they got some fixes. Also it could be that it simply doesn't work anymore. My 7870 got 1 month before guarantee was over damaged on the Vram(BSOD stated a RAM issue very unclear took me a week to test this out). I got it repaired and sold it after all. IMO you need to do some troubleshooting because in the case of BSOD and freezes it's not always the GPU except you are sure they state back to AMD's driver then it could be still a faulty card. Testing all of this is some work and you need a second PC but atleast you know after the testing. This maybe looks very fanboy-ish but I try to stay neutral and I like just to imagine what AMD could do with a big marketshare... Well afterall Nvidia is Highend but a bit overkill a Titan and a 980ti is also on the edge. Still think the way how Maxwell is built is bad, for Dx12 I can't imagine this will end well.
That's funny, i'm looking at getting a 970 because i get BSOD and freezing in games and sometimes in chrome. have a hd7970
Well the r9 290 came out almost a year earlier that the gtx 970 and can still compare with it. Not too bad for amd.
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