AMD Radeon R9 290X: Killer Performance at an Amazing Price
AMD's Hawaii-based flagship GPU has finally arrived to take on Nvidia's super-sized GK110. This is a GPU grudge match that fans of hardcore PC performance have been waiting for, as both companies have been ratcheting up the tension ahead of today's announcement for the past few weeks.
The bottom line is this - at just $549, the R9 290X represents a very serious threat to Nvidia's single-card GPU dominance. Read on to see how it fares against Nvidia's top-shelf silicon, and what it all means for PC gamers.
AMD has some big plans for its Radeon graphics cards, details of which have been trickling out over the past couple of weeks. As a primer, we highly recommend checking out our Live Blog coverage of AMD's GPU14 Tech Day 2013 along with Maximum PC Online Editor Jimmy Thang's photo gallery from his visit to Hawaii where the event was held (work can be so grueling sometimes!). Unfortunately those pesky NDAs prevent us from sharing details of AMD's R9 290X and 290 video cards, but in the meantime, we have full specs on no less than five other Radeon R9 and R7 Series parts. Let's get to it!
Two overclocked flagship video cards go head to head one last time
Over the past year, the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7970 have served as the respective flagship GPUs for each of their camps, and even though both cards seem a bit like well-aged cheese by now, they are still fast. There have also been quite a few driver updates since these cards were released, so we've decided to pit two of the overclocked versions against one another in a battle royale to settle this feud once and for all. Fighters, touch circuit boards and come out of your PCI Express corners. It's time to get it on!
Note: This article originally appeared in the March issue of the magazine.
We're closing in on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico's Battle of Puebla fought on May 5, 1862, a victory against overwhelming odds and an important step towards Mexican independence from European rulers. These days, it's a popular holiday for getting drunk, dancing and making loud noises, but maybe that's just me. I think I'm gonna play it low-key this year instead, and take the opportunity to update our Best of the Best hardware with a couple new entries: the EVGA GeForce GTX Titan and AMD's Radeon HD 7850.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has started talking about its upcoming Radeon HD 8000M GPUs, codenamed "Solar System," which it plans to fully detail next month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. There will be at least four laptops at CES running the new GPUs, which are said to support DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.3, and OpenCL 2.1 programming interfaces.
Advanced Micro Devices is apparently trying to flex its Radeon brand everywhere it can. In addition to video cards and system memory, both of which are markets currently served by the Radeon brand, it's rumored that AMD is getting ready to launch a line of Radeon solid state drives (SSDs). If this works out, perhaps one day you could build an entire PC with nothing but Radeon parts.
Summer might be coming to an end in the coming weeks, but the GPU price wars between AMD and Nvidia are just starting to heat up. To wit, AMD rolled out a series of price reductions in July for its Radeon HD 7970, 7950, and 7870 graphics cards, and now that Nvidia has made Kepler affordable with its GeForce GTX 660 Ti part, AMD is once again responding in kind with another round of cuts.
By far the most common question we get asked here at Maximum PC is: “should I upgrade”? The answer to this one is never easy, however AMD just dropped word that should make anyone on the hunt for a new GPU sit up and take notice. The price of the 7000 series parts are about to see another price cut, and they are finally starting to make a pretty compelling price vs. performance case for themselves vs. Nvidia.
Graphics professionals need big-league processing power, and AMD aims to scratch that itch with its FirePro line of GPUs. Earlier this week, the company announced the launch of the FirePro W600, the first of the line to incorporate AMD's 28nm and GCN technology. Hopefully you didn't run out and buy one immediately, because today AMD showed off that card's big brother, the FirePro W9000, and it's a memory-filled beast. And hey, did we just see the first Radeon 7990, too?
When it comes to picking a video card these days the number of choices is pretty overwhelming. If on the other hand you are mortally allergic to the sound of fans, your list suddenly shrinks to a pretty pathetic set of offerings. Sapphire saw an opening, and was showing off a passively cooled Radeon HD 7770 at this year’s Computex.