Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
Coming in at $539.99 at the time of writing, the Sapphire R9 290 4GB (or just R9 290 4GB in general) isn't a cheap card. By itself though, the card has managed to do an excellent job of proving itself as something that is worth the money. The question is: Should you go into the four digit category when looking for a new video card setup? The R9 290 4GB setup is not a cheap one; it costs nearly $1,080 for two cards.
CrossFire, like SLI, also continues to be a technology that isn't perfect in any sense of the word. Saying that though, we do see it perform extremely well in many areas, and with some extremely intensive games currently on the market, you can see that a setup like this is needed to get truly playable FPS. This is even truer when AA and AF come into the picture.
You can see under Metro: Last Light, the setup still wasn't enough to give us playable FPS at 2560 x 1600 with AA and AF turned on. At the same resolution under Sleeping Dogs, you can see we only just managed to scrape past that 60 FPS range, with a 61 FPS average.
Unlike lower-end CrossFire and SLI setups, you can't really compare this setup to any particular single GPU one, as we really don't have any $1,000 single GPU options. Of course, while the GTX TITAN 6GB is still technically an option, the release of the GTX 780 Ti 3GB at a cheaper price point and higher performance level, means the model is all but dead.
Considering the move to a pair of R9 290X 4GB cards is going to set you back further by $200, this isn't a bad option for people who are wanting to spend around that $1,000 mark when it comes to a video card setup. I think one of the most important aspects of a setup like this though, is that you've got a monitor that is able to make use of it. Spending $1,000 on a video card setup to power your $200 monitor is just completely insane.
Moving away from the CrossFire specifics, and thinking more about the Sapphire card we've got on hand today, there's not too much to say. Of course, from the looks and performance of the card, it's going to be the same as the reference card. The bundle is typical Sapphire, which means it's fairly similar to most other companies, with the addition of a HDMI cable being included.
If you're looking to spend around the $500 - $550 mark, then the R9 290 4GB continues to be a good option thanks to its excellent performance at the price point. As for the Sapphire one we're looking at today: there's nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the card. That's not a bad thing though, if you're looking for a reference R9 290 4GB at a reference price, then this is a good option. If you've bought Sapphire in the past as well, you'll probably feel more comfortable.