So AMD have had a lot of big releases in the last month or so. One of the most exciting being the 290x single gpu card, which was nicknamed the ‘titan killer’. After all the price and performance speculation, AMD went along with a beautifully low $550, a great deal less than the Titan, which sat at $1000. This is a strong start to seeing AMD return to the ultra high end of the GPU market, prompting some sharp responses as Nvidia attempt to compete with the new pricing.
The 290x runs well at 4k and 1440p, however the 1080p performance isn’t much better than Nvidia’s 780 cards. The main bug of the 290x is that it runs at a very toasty ~90 degrees celsius, which is somewhat acceptable considering it is only available on stock cooling at the moment, however if this doesn’t improve once aftermarket coolers are out, it could be a problem. The high temperatures are also resulting in the card throttling the clock speed down, in order to cool the card, which results in less stable performance whilst using it. Unless of course you want to run the fan higher than the 47% speeds which are preset, after which it would become very loud. For this reason, some reviews were actually showing benchmarks from the 290, the little brother of the 290x, with very similar performance to the 290x, because the 290 doesn’t run at the same heat and clock speeds, and so can manage more consistent performance. AMD say they are now working to fix this in a software update, and it will be interesting to see how this will affect benchmarks.