We continue to say over and over again how impressed we are with the latest generation of AMD video cards. It has really put NVIDIA on the back foot, and for the most part we have seen the company retaliate with price drops. With that said though, as AMD launched its higher-end models, which saw the $999 NVIDIA GTX TITAN 6GB take quite a beating, the company retaliated with the GTX 780 Ti 3GB.
We had a chance to look at the GTX 780 Ti 3GB when it launched in November, and we found ourselves extremely impressed with what NVIDIA was offering. While the company managed to kill its $999 GTX TITAN 6GB in one swoop, it was a sacrifice that had to be made for them to continue to be competitive in the high-end segment.
Moving away from the talk of the highest end models, today we're talking about the one from the AMD camp that sits just below that: the R9 290 4GB. When we looked at the model in early November, we again found ourselves impressed with what AMD was offering. While dropping the X did of course bring a drop in performance with it, it did continue to look fantastic across the board. The cost to performance was great at just over $500; just like so many of the other R series cards.
With the particular card we're looking at today, following the reference design and having already looked at the reference R9 290 4GB, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to throw the two cards together, and see how CrossFire performance is. So, what does just over $1,000 get you from AMD? Well let's find out!
Taking a look at the box, you can see it's very typical of Sapphire. We've got the brand and model number clearly shown, and some of the main features, which include that 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 512-bit bus, along with support for 4K, and Eyefinity. Turning it over, you can see we've got a bit of a blurb on the card, along with some of the main features that we just mentioned, covered in a bit more detail.
Moving inside the package, you can see we've got the normal lineup of paperwork, along with a Driver CD. We've also got a case sticker, alongside two power connectors; one is a dual Molex to 8-Pin PCIe, while the other is a single Molex to 6-Pin PCIe. We can see that in typical fashion, Sapphire has chosen to include a HDMI cable, which is something they do offer on their higher-end models.