Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts
With most AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB offerings sitting at over $500, the $549 price point that NVIDIA has set is very aggressive. For a long time, we always saw AMD being the value based model offering the best bang for buck. The NVIDIA cards tend to always bring with it a premium for being faster overall. Sometimes the extra money for the extra performance seen didn't always feel justified, but in the end, if you wanted the fastest, you paid that premium.
Jump forward to recently, though, and outside of the likes of the TITAN and TITAN Z, NVIDIA pricing has become really quite aggressive. This new $549 price point proves that once again. It's all of a sudden a little hard to swallow the price point on the R9 290X 4GB, which sees cards priced from just under $500 to around the $600 mark, depending on the brand and cooling solution.
We could say that we wished NVIDIA maybe mixed it up a bit with the reference cooler, but if we're honest, most people are going to skip it and instead opt for aftermarket cooling versions from partners. At the moment, the one I'm really looking forward to seeing is the MSI model, which uses the new TwinFrozr V cooler that we had a sneak peak of at Computex 2014.
NVIDIA are no doubt getting ready to make a run at the holiday season, and unless there's quite the price drop from AMD, they're going to be left for dead when it comes to the high-end single GPU market. We can see, for the most part, that the new GeForce GTX 980 4GB sneaks ahead of the AMD offering with no problem. At times, we do see the cards perform closely, and the AMD offering manage to even sneak ahead here and there. The issue is from a psychological point of view, users are going to want the new card that's out, not the 12 month old one. At the moment, there's not enough to entice someone to pick up the AMD offering over the newer NVIDIA option, in my opinion.
The real issue, though, looks like it will be the GTX 970, which is next for us to test. The fact that its launch price is just $329 puts a whole lot of hurt on AMD. Because of that price point, I really can't wait to see how that model performs against AMDs higher mid-range cards.
As of now, with the R9 290X 4GB being priced how it is, I'd be hard press to recommend it over this new NVIDIA GPU. Yes, video cards with upgraded coolers are going to cost a little bit more, but in the end, people don't want a card that is nearly 12 months old, when they can get something that is only 12 hours old.
AMD has got some real thinking to do and it's going to be tough on their partners over the next few months, it seems. For now, though, if you're after an awesome single GPU video card, grab the GTX 980 4GB. Keep an eye out for a look at SLI performance, overclocking performance and our first look at the GTX 970 4GB that also launched today, all coming soon to TweakTown.
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||N/A|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 980 4GB is a truly solid video card. While the performance is great, the aggressive pricing that NVIDIA has opted for is what really seals the deal on this brand new model. AMD has to go straight to the drawing board now in order to respond!
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [Video Card Details and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup & FPS Numbers Explained]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark Sky Diver & Catzilla]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven & Phantasy Star Online 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2 & Just Cause 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks -Metro Last Light & Nexuiz]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2 & Sleeping Dogs]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution & Tomb Raider]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite & Battlefield 4]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - GRID Autosport]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - 4K - 3840 x 2160 Testing]
- Page 15 [Temperature & Sound Testing]
- Page 16 [Power Consumption Testing]
- Page 17 [Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts]