Sapphire Radeon R9 290 

Released April, 2014
  • 1 GHz
  • 4 GB GDDR5
7.7 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

Gaming

Radeon R9 290
7.4
Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 21 more

Graphics

Radeon R9 290
7.6
T-Rex, Manhattan, Cloud Gate Factor, Sky Diver Factor and 1 more

Computing

Radeon R9 290
7.6
Face Detection, Ocean Surface Simulation and 3 more

Performance per Watt

Radeon R9 290
7.4
Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 32 more

Value

Radeon R9 290
n.d.
Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 32 more

Noise and Power

Radeon R9 290
7.5
TDP, Idle Power Consumption, Load Power Consumption and 2 more

7.7

Overall Score

Radeon R9 290
7.7

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Radeon R9 290

Bitcoin mining Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
540.64 mHash/s
GeForce GTX 770
103.88 mHash/s
GeForce GTX 970
487.83 mHash/s

Face detection Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
108.76 mPixels/s
GeForce GTX 770
49.37 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 770
1,631.29 frames/s
GeForce GTX 970
1,586.77 frames/s

T-Rex (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
3,356.28
GeForce GTX 770
3,351.86
GeForce GTX 970
3,357.8

Manhattan (GFXBench 3.0) Data courtesy CompuBench

Radeon R9 290
3,712.67
GeForce GTX 770
3,621.25
GeForce GTX 970
3,714.86

Fire Strike Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Radeon R9 290
71.97

Sky Diver Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Radeon R9 290
410.95

Crysis 3

Radeon R9 290
51

Reviews Word on the street for the Radeon R9 290


9.4
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

Performance

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!

Cooling

AMD is using their typical reference design cooler, which has been upgraded with some red highlights.
by techPowerUp!
But most people will care once the graphics card's cooler takes over acoustically by producing enough noise to negatively affect your gaming experience.
by techPowerUp!
The cooler also cools memory chips and voltage regulation circuitry.
by techPowerUp!

Overclocking

GPU overclocking is a bit lower than what we've seen on the R9 290X, but that's to be expected, assuming AMD is sorting GPUs to use the best ones on R9 290X cards.
by techPowerUp!
Being a new device, though, it might take a bit until it is fully supported in overclocking software.
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!

Temperature

With load temperatures of 94°C, the card already runs very hot, but even at those temperatures, the fan needs to run at a deafening 49 dBA to handle the heat.
by techPowerUp!
Temperatures are quite high.
by techPowerUp!
Especially its gaming temperatures at 94°C seem very high, but AMD apparently had no other choice since the card had to be kept at somewhat sane noise levels (it's still extremely noisy).
by techPowerUp!

Gaming

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!
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

GPU brand AMD
GPU name Hawaii
Market Desktop
Clock speed 1,030 MHz
Turbo clock speed 947 MHz
Is dual GPU No
Reference card AMD Radeon R9 290 947 MHz 4 GB

raw performance

Shading units 2,560
Texture mapping units 160
Render output processors 64
Compute units 40
Pixel rate 65.9 GPixel/s
Texture rate 164.8 GTexel/s
Floating-point performance 5,274 GFLOPS

memory

Memory clock speed 1,400 MHz
Effective memory clock speed 5,600 MHz
Memory bus 512 bit
Memory 4,096 MB
Memory type GDDR5
Memory bandwidth 320 GB/s

noise and power

TDP 275W
Idle noise level 39.5 dB
Load noise level 57.2 dB
Idle power consumption 87W
Load power consumption 381W
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Comments

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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