AMD Radeon R9 290 review

Dave James at

Almost two weeks after AMD released their Radeon R9 290X they’ve taken a scalpel to the Hawaii XT GPU and produced this ever-so-slightly cut down version, called the AMD Radeon R9 290.

First off though, an apology. Sorry if any of you guys went out and bought an R9 290X after our review of AMD’s latest top-end graphics card. You were, unfortunately, victims of a graphics card price war between AMD and Nvidia. At the time it was released it was a fantastic card, offering incredible performance compared with both the GTX Titan and GTX 780 but for a good deal less than they were retailing for. Because of that, with a few caveats about heat and noise, the R9 290X got a glowing recommendation from yours truly and an Editor’s Choice award.

Then the inevitable happened. Nvidia hit back, announced their own GeForce GTX 780 Ti, due to be released in early November, and slashed the prices on their standard GTX 780 and GTX 770 cards. Dropping the GTX 780 to around £400 / $500, or below, meant AMD had to follow suit with this R9 290. And so we’ve got a new graphics card, based on AMD’s top graphics silicon, for just £320 / $400.