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AMD R9 290 Review (1600P, 4K and CF)

This review today will  feature comparisons against the fastest R280X card available today – the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition. We also include results from an overclocked Palit GTX770, reference clocked GTX780, a GTX Titan and the class leading MSI GTX780 Lightning – all of which we have reviewed in the past. We also add in results from the AMD R9 290X, so we can analyse the performance differences. Later in the review we test the R9 290 and R9 290X in a bridgeless mixed Crossfire configuration.
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We are using one of our brand new test rigs supplied by PCSPECIALIST and built to our specifications. If you want to read more about this, or are interested in buying the same Kitguru Test Rig, check out our article with links on this page.
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We are featuring results today with an Apple 30 inch Cinema HD Display at 2560×1600 resolution and an Asus PQ321QE Ultra HD 4K screen running at 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution.

Room ambient was held at 23c throughout testing.

Comparison cards:
AMD R9 290X (1000mhz core / 1,250 mhz memory)
Nvidia GTX Titan
(837mhz core / 1,502 mhz memory)
Nvidia GTX780 (863mhz core / 1,502mhz memory)
MSI GTX780 Lightning (980mhz core / 1,502mhz memory)
Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition (1,150mhz core / 1,600mhz memory)
Palit GTX770 OC (1046mhz core / 1753mhz memory)

Software:
Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Unigine Valley Benchmark
3DMark Vantage
3DMark 11
3DMark
Fraps Professional
Steam Client
FurMark

Games:

Sleeping Dogs
Total War: Rome 2
Dirt Showdown
Tomb Raider
Metro Last Light
GRID 2
Splinter Cell Blacklist
Batman Arkham Origins
Battlefield 4

All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform generally under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests games across five closely matched runs and then average out the results to get an accurate median figure. If we use scripted benchmarks, they are mentioned on the relevant page.

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  • Slashwat

    The price is great, but the cooler is certainly not……. waiting to see modified versions soon

  • Ben

    The prices are hard to ignore, and its good to see Nvidia dropping prices lately too, they had been overcharging for quite some time now

  • Topperfalkon

    I always wondered why they didn’t use a version of the HD7990 cooler. would have made more sense instead of something they probably used on a HD7850

  • Bob (Official)

    Please, get rid of Furmark. It’s meant to stress GPUs at the max temperature before they are permanentely damaged. Nvidia drivers detect when Furmark is running and throttle their cards, so these results are biased. Measure real world power comsumption and temperature from games that are driven by different types of workloads – Rome: Total War 2, L4D 2, Battlefield 4 and GTA.

  • Hi Bob, it has never damaged any GPU in the years we have used it. and we only use it to supplement the temperatures from testing games.

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  • Tonzskie

    I got AMD Radeon R9 290.. and it works great.. All games max graphics.. 😀 Thanks much