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AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Reference Video Card Review - The Card and Specifications

AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Reference Video Card Review
The last major piece to the R series of video cards is released today with the new AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB. Let's dive in now and examine it. (NYSE:AMD)
| AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Nov 5, 2013 11:57 am
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: AMD

The Card

 

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You can see it pretty much looks identical to the R9 290X 4GB. It's got the black reference cooler with red highlights. We've got the single fan on the far right hand side that is designed to pull the cool air in and push it straight across the GPU and out the back of the case.

 

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Power comes in the form of a single 8-pin PCIe power connector and a 6-pin PCIe power connector. Moving closer to the front, you can again see we don't have the CrossFire connectors that we've become so used to seeing on high-end cards and you can also see we have a switch that lets us move between two BIOSes.

 

We won't go into a huge amount a detail again on the lack of CrossFire connectors as we explained the new technology in some detail in our R9 290X 4GB review. If you want to learn more about how CrossFire works on the new R9 290 models, then we highly recommend that you head on over to page two of that review.

 

As for the BIOS switch, unlike the R9 290X 4GB, it doesn't do anything special on the R9 290 4GB. While the R9 290X 4GB offered "Quiet" and "Uber" modes, adjusting the switch on the R9 290 4GB doesn't affect it in anyway. We're sure we'll see partners do a little more with it in the coming weeks and months.

 

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We've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors, along with a HDMI and DisplayPort to round things off. This is a very typical setup for high-end cards.

 

 

Specifications

 

Specifications between the R9 290 4GB and its big brother the R9 290X 4GB are quite similar in a lot of places. Like the other R series cards, we've got a 28nm core. Transistors like the R9 290X 4GB come in at 6.2B, while ROPs and Z/Stencil remain the same at 64 and 256 respectively.

 

Both cards carry 4GB of GDDR5 that sit on a 512-bit memory bus and carry a 5000MHz QDR memory clock.

 

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Most of the main difference come around the core area. The clock on the R9 290 4GB is down 53MHz, coming in at 947MHz, while stream processors drop from 2,816 to 2,560. Texture units are also slightly down from 176 to 160.

 

Overall the difference aren't too major and it will be interesting to see how this model performs against the more expensive R9 290X 4GB when running in both Quiet and Uber modes.

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