When AMD launched the 7000 series of graphics cards, an evolutionary approach was made, moving the bar by improving not only gaming horsepower, but also power efficiency and temperatures. AMD ruled the roost for a time, until Nvidia came along with their 700 series cards, pushing things and gaining the upper hand. Like two titans battling for supremacy, these two companies trade blows with each successive generation launch.
And that brings us to latest AMD product; namely, the R9 290 graphics card. AMD is again looking to capitalize on their latest architecture, but the company has made it clear that framerates aren’t their primary goal. AMD wants to make affordable products that offer strong gaming performance, which is arguably one of the most important criteria for gamers out there who may be hard-pressed to choose where to spend their hard-earned money.
Today we’re focusing on the Sapphire R9 290, an enthusiast-classed performance card that’s a reference design. We typically see custom cards from Sapphire, and that may yet be in store in the not-too-distant future, but for now the R9 290 is Sapphire’s competition against Nvidia’s GTX 780. Looking to offer excellent performance for higher-resolution gaming, the R9 290 looks to be a powerhouse.
Let’s delve a bit deeper into the details with a closer look at the Sapphire R9 290 to find out how it measures up.