Today AMD is launching the Radeon R9 290, which is the second card in its all-new Hawaii series of GPUs designed to take on Nvidia's GK110-based super GPUs. This particular card is extremely similar to its big brother, the R9 290X, but has slightly lower clock speeds and fewer stream processors, allowing it to come in at a slightly lower price point of $400. Though it was originally designed to take on the formerly $400 GTX 770, AMD is now positioning it to compete with the GTX 780 due to Nvidia's recent price drops on both cards to $500 and $329, respectively. Read on to see how it handles the heat, both literally and figuratively.
Getting two graphics processing units (GPUs) on one video card is a time-honored tradition for enthusiast rigs. With this generation, AMD has gone with an integrated closed-loop liquid cooler (CLC) to keep its two R9 290X GPUs from getting crispy. Nvidia’s dual-GPU card has yet to make an entrance, but two 780 Ti’s linked together with SLI have roughly the same performance and price. If you’re prepared to spend about $1,500, these two options are natural competitors.
Taking a trip to 'Hawaii' just got a bit more affordable
Competition is fierce in the graphics card market, and while we've seen AMD and Nvidia duke it out with bundled game offers, it's the price wars that truly get our attention. Speaking of which, Nvidia certainly got AMD's attention when it launched Maxwell during the company's GAME24 event, which saw the release of the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 for $329 and $549, respectively (MSRPs). AMD has just responded by cutting the price of its Radeon R9 290 and 290X Hawaii cards.
You know it's a serious card when it comes in a briefcase
See that image of the Ares III? According to Asus, the Ares III is the world's fastest water-cooled dual R9 290X graphics card on the planet, and we won't argue that claim. After all, who knows what that thing's lugging inside its metal briefcase. What we do know, however, is that this impressive graphics card is wielding dual AMD Radeon Hawaii XT R9 290X GPUs, both factory overclocked to 1030MHz.
Have you put off upgrading your graphics card because you're interested in AMD's R9 series but didn't like the inflated price points (compared to MSRP)? Well, good news, folks -- apparently that's no longer going to be a concern. AMD is reportedly putting the word out that its entire line of R9 video cards is available, in stock, and with street prices back down to where they should be.
PowerColor's next Devil 13 graphics card may require four 8-pin PCI-E power connectors
You might have expected hell would freeze over before you'd ever see a graphics card with the audacity to demand four -- yes FOUR! -- 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. You'd also be wrong. Maybe, anyway -- if leaked photos posted to a Chinese language web forum turn out to be legitimate, then PowerColor's upcoming Devil 13 Radeon R9 295X2 dual-GPU graphics card will have a hellish thirst for electricity.
In the roundup of budget GPUs from the May 2014 issue, the Sapphire Radeon R7 275 is the odds-on favorite due to its impressive specs and the fact that it consumes more than twice the power of Nvidia cards. Sure, it's an unfair advantage, but hate the game, not the player. This board is essentially a rebadged Radeon HD 7850, which is a Pitcairn part, and it slides right in between the $120 R7 260X and the $180ish R7 270. This card actually has the same clock speeds as the R7 270, but features fewer streaming processors for reduced shader performance.
Today AMD is pulling the wraps, or the briefcase as it were, off its new flagship GPU - the massively badass Radeon R9 295X2. Packing two fully-loaded R9 290X GPUs, this air-and-water cooled $1,500 GPU is the new "fastest single GPU" on the planet, and sets new records for both benchmark performance as well as sticker price.
AMD's Radeon R9 290 graphics card already runs fast, but kicking things up a notch is Sapphire, which just launched its R9 290 Vapor-X OC with a custom cooling solution. It has 2,560 Stream Processors, 4GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1,400MHz (5.6GB/s effective), and an overclocked GPU that's been goosed to 1,030MHz, up from a maximum clockspeed of 947MHz on reference cards.
Are retail R9 290X boards slower than press samples, and does AMD'S driver update fix it?
Last month AMD launched the Radeon R9 290X GPU, and overall it went very well for AMD as the card was heralded for its incredible price-to-performance ratio compared to Nvidia's top silicon. Shortly after the launch a few media outlets got ahold of some retail boards and found them to be much slower than the cards sent to them by AMD. Naturally, people suspected foul play, but AMD insisted it was simply different boards using different fan speeds, and it released a driver to fix the "problem." We decided to test and see what the problem was, how the press board differed from the retail board, and whether AMD's latest drive resolved the issue.