Note - Lack of GPUs
We've been slowing reviewing GPUs, and after this review we will be adding some of the higher-end AMD Radeon GPUs to our benchmark charts. We have a Radeon R9 290X, Radeon R9 295X2 and a few others that we're going to throw into the lineup very shortly.
Because I'm just starting out reviewing GPUs, we're going to slowly evolve our benchmarking setup. I'm not going to dive into the deep end and start testing out real-time FPS, as this will hurt the quality of the reviews. Instead, I'd like to nail these initial reviews and then we can start doing real-time numbers of games like Far Cry 4, and Star Citizen. For now, I've played Battlefield 4 on a 64-player server to provide some real-world performance numbers.
For now, I'm going to be using the same suite of benchmarks I've been using on my Tweakipedia articles, which uses a mix of synthetic benchmarks with Futuremark's 3DMark and Unigine Heaven. After that, we have a bunch of titles with built-in benchmarks (which does not represent actual in-game performance) but they are repeatable for you at home to gauge the performance of your PC or GPU.
Over time, I will be adding in new benchmarks and a new section that will concentrate solely on real-time gaming benchmarks. This will take more time per review, as I'll have to invest time into actually physically playing the games, but it'll be worth it in the long run. For now, let's get right into the synthetic benchmarks and see how this SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X performs.
Most people purchasing the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X will be gaming at various resolutions ranging from 1080p to 1440p, but the 8GB of VRAM comes into play much more at 1440p and 4K (and above). The card can handle all three resolutions without a problem, but I found the sweet spot on the card to be 1440p, especially on our ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q monitor, with its 144Hz refresh rate and G-SYNC technology.
Test System Configuration
We only recently built our new X99-powered system, something you can read about here. As for the detailed specifications, this is what we're running:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K processor w/Corsair H110 cooler
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 Wi-Fi
- RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz DDR4
- Storage: 240GB SanDisk Extreme II and 480GB SanDisk Extreme II
- Chassis: Lian Li T60 Pit Stop
- PSU: Corsair AX1200i digital PSU
- Software: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
We're running the system at stock CPU speeds, which will provide more of a 'real-world' feel to our benchmarks. Sure, this isn't an i7-5960X at 5GHz, but what person is going to team up an incredibly expensive CPU with a mid-range GPU? Not many.
Our GPU tests are changing, shifting toward more of a real-world feel. But don't worry, we will be doing some crazy balls-to-the-wall tests that will see serious overclocks, Extreme Edition processors, and much more in the coming months. For the most part, we will be doing more real-world testing by teaming up the right processor with the right GPU in its price category.
Even still, most people would be running an LGA 1150 socket Core i5 or mid-range AMD FX-8350 with a GeForce GTX 970, so we're still giving it some better guts as a CPU.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Packaging & Box Contents]
- Page 3 [Detailed Look]
- Page 4 [Card Specifications & Cooling Setup]
- Page 5 [Testing Method & Test System Configuration]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Synthetic (3DMark and Heaven)]
- Page 7 [Game Benchmarks (1080p)]
- Page 8 [Game Benchmarks (1440p)]
- Page 9 [Performance - 4K]
- Page 10 [Performance Summary]
- Page 11 [Overclocking]
- Page 12 [Power Consumption, Sound Testing and Software]
- Page 13 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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