Radeon R9 290 

Released November, 2013
  • 947 MHz
  • 4 GB GDDR5
2.3 Out of 10

NVIDIA's GTX 780, which has seen a price drop down to $500 last week suddenly looks really expensive, but it does run cooler and quieter; not sure if that's worth the extra $100.
by techPowerUp!
It yields additional performance to beat the GTX 780 by increasing maximum fan speed from 40% to 47.
by techPowerUp!

GPUBoss Review Our evaluation of the Radeon R9 290 among Desktop GPUs over $400


Radeon R9 290
Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 21 more


Radeon R9 290
T-Rex, Manhattan, Sky Diver Factor and Fire Strike Factor


Face Detection, Ocean Surface Simulation and 3 more

Performance per Watt

Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 31 more


Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 31 more

Noise and Power

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


Overall Score

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Radeon R9 290

Bitcoin mining Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
540.64 mHash/s
GeForce GTX 1080
755 mHash/s

Face detection Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
89.33 mPixels/s
GeForce GTX 1080
143.9 mPixels/s

Ocean surface simulation Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
1,366.31 frames/s
GeForce GTX 1080
2,051.39 frames/s
GeForce GTX 1080 SEA HAWK X EK
2,051.39 frames/s

T-Rex (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290

Manhattan (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
GeForce GTX 1080

Fire Strike Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Radeon R9 290

Sky Diver Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Radeon R9 290

Crysis 3

Reviews Word on the street for the Radeon R9 290

You still get four independent tessellation units, 64 ROPs, a 512-bit wide memory interface, and 4 GB of memory running at 5.00 GHz, churning out 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth.

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


One cornerstone for this impressive performance is AMD's updated driver: it switches the upper fan speed limit from 40% to 47%, which yields higher performance because it allows the card to throttle later.
by techPowerUp!
The driver does not affect the fan speed/performance ratio of any other AMD product.
by techPowerUp!
I'm don't really know why AMD increased the fan speed limit at the last minute instead of looking into making the card quieter and doubt many people will care about a few percent in performance, or whether the card beats the GTX 780.
by techPowerUp!


As soon as you play any games on the card, though, the experience becomes extremely noisy.
by techPowerUp!
Averaged over all our games and resolutions, the card exactly matches the performance of the Radeon R9 290X in "Quiet" mode, and the difference is just - 6%, very little, compared to the R9 290X in "Uber" mode.
by techPowerUp!
It is functionally very similar to the CHiL controllers we've seen on previous generation cards and provides software voltage control and extensive monitoring via I2C.
by techPowerUp!


Right now, the R9 290 has the best price/performance ratio in the segment, and just like with the R9 290X, its price helps me overlook its shortcomings in regards to power, heat, and noise.
by techPowerUp!
Then you'll be sold after hearing the price.
by techPowerUp!
At $399, the same price at which NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 770 and a whole $150 (27 percent) cheaper than the Radeon R9 290X launched last month, the Radeon R9 290 is another disruptive product from AMD designed to wreck the competition's lineup.
by techPowerUp!


The TMU count is down from 176 to 160, and the GPU core clock speed is 948 MHz instead of 1000 MHz.
by techPowerUp!
Overclocking of our card worked reasonably well and did yield positive performance improvements (remember, the R9 290X in quiet mode scaled negatively during OC), but a bug in the BIOS seems to hold back memory overclocking—the memory could clock much higher and did so on the R9 290X using the exact same PCB and components.
by techPowerUp!
The cooler also cools memory chips and voltage regulation circuitry.
by techPowerUp!


The card's noise will overpower any other component and possibly your game's audio; that is, unless you play with headphones or increase the volume.
by techPowerUp!

Specifications Full list of technical specs


GPU brand AMD
GPU name Hawaii
Market Desktop
Clock speed 947 MHz
Turbo clock speed 947 MHz
Is dual GPU No
Reference card None

raw performance

Shading units 2,560
Texture mapping units 160
Render output processors 64
Compute units 40
Pixel rate 60.6 GPixel/s
Texture rate 152 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance 4,800 GFLOPS


Memory clock speed 1,125 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 5,000 MHz
Memory bus 512 bit
Memory 4,096 MB
Memory type GDDR5
Memory bandwidth 320 GB/s

noise and power

TDP 300W
Idle noise level 39.5 dB
Load noise level 57.2 dB
Idle power consumption 87W
Load power consumption 381W
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Showing 2 comments.
Totally agree with Yar. Best GPU for the money. It's simply a killer of a chip coming for pennies really. Even listed on Amazon for a whooping 35% discount right now http://amzn.to/TLc7Se Perfect time for a Crossfire setup and then add in Mantle API and there's no stopping you from ruling the world ;)
Best GPU for the money period. If you can stand the heat and noise (or get a version with decent cooling) or want Nvidia features (Physx, Shadowplay etc), there is absolutely no reason to buy the equivalent GTX780. I have this card, modded with a custom cooler, and it runs cool,quiet and kicks ass.
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