AMD Radeon R9 290 4 GB

AMD Radeon R9 290 4 GB

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Introduction



AMD's Radeon R9 290X, which launched a couple weeks ago, severely disrupted NVIDIA's high-end lot. At $549.99, it isn't low by AMD standards, but is made to look great because of NVIDIA's overpriced offerings in the segment. Today, the company launches its second graphics card based on the "Hawaii" silicon, the Radeon R9 290 (with just the "X" missing from the name). As with most "second best" offerings based on high-end GPUs from both AMD and NVIDIA, the R9 290 is a slightly trimmed down version of the company’s flagship at a significantly lower price that could very well cannibalize even AMD's own R9 290X.

At $399, the same price at which NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 770 and a whole $150 (27 percent) cheaper than the Radeon R9 290X launched last month, the Radeon R9 290 is another disruptive product from AMD designed to wreck the competition's lineup. What makes it extremely catchy at that price is how much AMD left on the chip after cutting it down from that of the R9 290X.



The Radeon R9 290 features 2,560 of the 2,816 stream processors physically present on the "Hawaii" silicon, which is only a 9% reduction from the R9 290X—compare that to the 12.5% reduction in stream processors the Radeon HD 7950 was left with when it was carved out of the 2,048 stream processors-laden "Tahiti" silicon. The TMU count is down to 160 from 176, and the GPU core clock speed is 948 MHz instead of 1000 MHz.



Absolutely everything else is the same as on the R9 290X. You still get four independent tessellation units, 64 ROPs, a 512-bit wide memory interface, and 4 GB of memory running at 5.00 GHz, churning out 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth.

At its $399 price, the R9 290 reviewed today has several NVIDIA products in its crosshairs. It's priced just $70 higher than the GeForce GTX 770, and the GTX 770 retails for $329.99 while only performing on par with the $299 Radeon R9 280X. The R9 290 is also a whole $100 cheaper than the recently price-adjusted GeForce GTX 780 now going for $499.99, though the Radeon R9 290X convincingly beats the GTX 780 in terms of performance. It will be extremely interesting to see if the R9 290 can repeat that performance lead.

Radeon R9 290 Non-X Market Segment Analysis
 Radeon
R9 280X
GeForce
GTX 770
HD 7970
GHz Ed.
GeForce
GTX 680
GeForce
GTX 780
Radeon R9
290 Non-X
Radeon
R9 290X
Radeon
HD 7990
GeForce
GTX Titan
GeForce
GTX 690
Shader Units20481536204815362304256028162x 204826882x 1536
ROPs323232324864642x 32482x 32
Graphics ProcessorTahitiGK104TahitiGK104GK110HawaiiHawaii2x Tahiti GK1102x GK104
Transistors4310M3500M4310M3500M7100M6200M6200M2x 4310M7100M2x 3500M
Memory Size3072 MB2048 MB3072 MB2048 MB3072 MB4096 MB4096 MB2x 3072 MB6144 MB2x 2048 MB
Memory Bus Width384 bit256 bit384 bit256 bit384 bit512 bit512 bit2x 384 bit384 bit2x 256 bit
Core Clock1000 MHz1046 MHz+1050 MHz1006 MHz+863 MHz+947 MHz1000 MHz1000 MHz837 MHz+915 MHz+
Memory Clock1500 MHz1753 MHz1500 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz1250 MHz1250 MHz1500 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz
Price$300$330$380$390$500$400$550$770$1000$1000
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