AMD's Radeon R9 290X is built on the company's Hawaii GPU, the first truly new high-end graphics chip from the company in a very long time (21 months). Using 6.8 billion transistors, the GPU is built on a 28 nanometer process at TSMC, Taiwan. It features 2816 shaders and 64 ROPs connected to 4 GB of memory using a 512-bit wide memory bus.
We are reviewing MSI's flagship R9 290X Lightning today. It comes with a large triple-slot, triple-fan cooler and MSI says it to be equipped with everything hardcore overclockers need to break world records. MSI overclocked GPU frequency by 80 MHz out of the box, while memory remains unchanged.
The MSI R9 290X Lightning is currently available online for $699.
|MSI R9 290X |
GTX 780 Ti
|Shader Units||2048||1536||2304||2560||2816||2816||2x 2048||2688||2880|
|Graphics Processor||Tahiti||GK104||GK110||Hawaii||Hawaii||Hawaii||2x Tahiti||GK110||GK110|
|Memory Size||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||2x 3072 MB||6144 MB||3072 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit||512 bit||512 bit||512 bit||2x 384 bit||384 bit||384 bit|
|Core Clock||1050 MHz||1006 MHz+||863 MHz+||947 MHz||1000 MHz||1080 MHz||1000 MHz||837 MHz+||876 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1250 MHz||1250 MHz||1250 MHz||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1750 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD + documentation
- 3x Voltage measurement cable
- 2x PCIe 6-pin to 8-pin adapter
- PCIe Molex to 6-pin adapter
- VRM heatsink for liquid-nitrogen use
MSI is using a predominantly black cooler with a yellow fan that has a few yellow highlights radiating outward. The shroud looks exactly the same as that of the GTX 770 Lightning. Dimensions of the card are 30 cm x 13 cm.
With the thick heatsink, the card takes up three slots when installed in your system.
Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one HDMI port and one DisplayPort. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor surround gaming is possible with one card, even more so if you use a MST DisplayPort hub.
The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.
A physical CrossFire connector is not present as all Hawaii-based GPUs send their CrossFire data via the PCI-Express bus.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).
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