Friday, November 16, 2018
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AMD Officially Launches the Radeon R9 290X

AMD has officially launched their fastest and most powerful consumer graphics card yet, the Radeon R9 290X. The Radeon R9 290X was introduced back at AMD’s GPU ’14 event, but today it is officially available to consumers for $549.

AMD Radeon R9 290X

The Radeon R9 290X features the latest GCN 2.0 architecture, which is massive compared to the Tahiti core, but actually 30% smaller than NVIDIA’s GK110 core. The AMD GPU measures 438mm2 and has been setup by AMD to utilize more performance while keeping efficiency rate twice that of their last generation core. The Hawaii chip is made up of 6.2 billion transistors on a 28nm die process.

AMD-Hawaii-GCN-2.0

The block diagram you see above shows us that the core consists of 8 Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE) modules. This is twice as many as were on the Tahiti chip. In the middle of these modules is the main graphics command processor that allows global data share. There are 4 Shader Engines with their own parallel linked geometry processors and rasterizers. Each Shader Engine will hold 44 Compute Units with 64 Stream Processors. The full blown Hawaii GPU will come with 44 Compute Units, 2816 stream processors, 176 texture mapping units and 64 raster operators.

AMD-Hawaii-GCN-Efficency

The GCN 2.0 architecture efficiency slide shows us the main improvements between Tahiti and Hawaii. The geometry processing rate has been increased by 1.9 times and the texture and fill rate have been improved by 30% and 90% respectively. The bandwidth has been set at 320 GB/s compared to 264 GB/s. Compute has been improved as well from 12.2 that was on Tahiti to 12.8.

AMD-Hawaii-CrossFire-DMA-Engine

With the R9 290 series AMD is introducing bridge-less CrossfireX technology which does not require an external connector for CrossFire to work. AMD says that the new CrossFire technology is designed for AMD Eyefinity and UltraHD (4K) resolution setups. This technology allows for direct access between the GPU pipelines over PCI-Express. This new technology should help with the fame pacing issues that AMD faced with Multi-GPU setups in the past.

Now down to the specifications, here is a graph comparing the two new R9 cards to NVIDIA’s current offerings.

r9-290-graph

And here is the extensive list of launch reviews.

AMD Radeon R9 290X CrossFire Review @ TechpowerUp
AMD Radeon R9 290X CrossFire Review @ PCPerspective
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ TechPowerUp
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ PCPerspective
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Anandtech
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ TomsHardware
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ HardwareCanucks
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ HardOCP
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ KitGuru
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Semiaccurate
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ TweakTown
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ HotHardware
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Hexus
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Bit-Tech
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ LegitReviews
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Hardware.Info
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Computerbase
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Sweclockers
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ TechReport
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Vortez
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ Expreview
AMD Radeon R9 290X Review @ VR-Zone

Here are the rest of the performance slides / charts.

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Performance

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-CrossFire-Scaling1

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Scaling

AMD-R9-290X-Eyefinity

AMD-R9-290X-Battlefield-4

AMD-R9-290X-4K-Gaming

AMD-R9-290X-4K-Gaming-2

AMD-R9-290X-3DMark-FireStrike

4K Gaming Performance

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Gaming-Performance-4K

Eyefinity Gaming Performance

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-Eyefinity

4K CrossFire Gaming Performance

AMD-Radeon-R9-290X-4K-CrossFire

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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