AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-01 Review

AMD Radeon R9 290X Review, Design and Testing Performance

It is no secret that the announcement of a new family of graphics cards AMD Volcanic Islands with sufficiently low prices recommended flagship surprised not only users but also its main competitor. So, the answer – AMD Radeon 290X R9 – 549 U.S. dollars, the decline in prices for two of the three “top” of cards from NVIDIA. At the end of October 2013 recommended cost model for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 has been reduced from 649 to 499 U.S. dollars, and the version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 – from 399 to 329 U.S. dollars. Only flagship – NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN – was unmoved with its price tag of 999 U.S. dollars.

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AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-02Let’s see what made competitor so respond quickly to release AMD Radeon R9 290X. After the announcement itself flagship graphics card with a price tag of U.S. $ 549, though a surprising event, but without an appropriate level of performance is not able to stir up the market so.

Graphic core novelties called AMD Hawaii XT quite logically performed on 28-nm microarchitecture AMD Graphics Core Next and consists of four building blocks called «Shader Engine». Note also grown since AMD Radeon HD 7970 volume of L2 cache and 384 KB to 1 MB, and the bandwidth of L1-L2 with 700 GB / s up to 1TB / s.

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-03In turn, the composition of each Shader Engine, apart from a single block of geometry processing, computing are 11 units and 16 ROP units. Each computing unit consists of 64 stream processors and 4 texture units.

Another advantage of AMD Radeon R9 290X is increased up to 512-bit memory bus. It is possible to raise the capacity by 20% compared to the AMD Radeon HD 7970, which, taking into account the effective memory frequency 5000 MHz, are now able to pass an impressive 320.0 GB of information per second.

As a result, TTX trends in comparison with other models as follows:

AMD Radeon R9 290X

AMD Radeon R9 280X

AMDRadeon HD 7970 GHz Edition


Hawaii XT

Tahiti XTL

Tahiti XT2

Stream Processors




Texture Units




ROP Units (ROP)




GPU Frequency




Effective Memory Frequency








Video Memory Interface




AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-04AMD Radeon R9 290X is much greater than junior graphics computing power, so the most interesting is to compare its performance with competitors from the company NVIDIA, but we’ll discuss this in the relevant section, and yet continue to get acquainted with the features of the new flagship.

As it became known, AMD Radeon R9 290X received an updated mechanism for monitoring energy consumption and overclocking – AMD PowerTune.

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-05Also AMD Radeon R9 290X notable lack of connectors for bridges AMD CrossFireX, and thus before us the first flagship exclusively with the software implementation of this function. According to the company AMD, bandwidth PCI Express 3.0 is more than enough to synchronize the frame buffers.

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-06An interesting feature is support for standard VESA Display ID v1.3, which allows you to connect and configure the displays with a resolution up to 4K (Ultra HD) mode plug-n-play without user intervention, which greatly facilitates the setting.

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Specification Detail:


AMD Radeon R9 290X

Graphics Core

AMD Hawaii XT

Unified Shader Processors


Supported API And Technology

DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD TrueAudio

GPU Frequency, Mhz


Memory Frequency (Effective)

1250 (5000)



Memory Type


Memory Bus Width


Memory Bandwidth, GB / S


Bus Type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Maximum Resolution

Digital – to 4096 x 2160

Analog – up to 2048 x 1536

Display Output Interfaces

2 x DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

Supports HDCP And HD-Video Decoding


Power Supply


AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Review-08With support for DSP TrueAudio, graphics AMD Radeon R9 290X capable of outputting the processed (developer or automatically using the built-in libraries middleware) sound not only through the interface HDMI, but also to any other audio devices connected using USB or 3,5 mm audiojack. And now propose to move from theory to practice, a closer look at the reference graphics card AMD Radeon R9 290X.