Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC & R9 290 OC Review: Immense potential lost to GPU shortages and inflated prices
AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GTX 780 and Titan late last year, but that position soon weakened with unexpectedly high prices and limited options from board partners. Both issues reportedly stem from a Hawaii GPU shortage, partly due to the series' popularity for litecoin mining.
Like many enthusiasts, we were mostly impressed by the R9 290 because its $400 MSRP was almost 30% cheaper than the R9 290X while only being 5% slower, and the R9 290X's $550 MSRP didn't seem crazy next to Nvidia's $1,000 single-GPU flagship. In reality they are fetching around $550 and $700, respectively. We've finally received production cards from Gigabyte which should give us a better idea of how good of a deal AMD's offerings are in terms of third-party performance and actual retail pricing instead of its pre-launch MSRP.
The Radeon R9 290 is the non-X version of the company's flagship GPU, offering the greatest bang for your buck if you are looking for a top performing, high-end GPU. It features 4GB GDDR5 of RAM and 512-bit bus for 320GB/s of bandwidth. The I/O panel includes a pair of dual DL-DVI connectors, an HDMI 1.4a port and a DisplayPort 1.2 socket. The R9 290 supports a max resolution of 2560x1600 on up to three monitors as well as Ultra HD (also known as 4K) over both HDMI 1.4b and DisplayPort 1.2.
The Radeon R9 290X is AMD's latest and most powerful GPU set to go head to head with Nvidia's GTX 780 and the GTX Titan, in spite of being offered at a lower price at launch. The R9 290X GPU core is clocked at 1000MHz and packs a 4GB frame buffer. The R9 290X sports a pair of dual DL-DVI connectors, an HDMI 1.4a port, a DisplayPort 1.2 socket and a dual BIOS switch, it supports a max resolution of 2560x1600 on up to three monitors as well as Ultra HD.
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