With launch just a few hours away, we finally know the exact timings and have a conformation regarding the prices of AMD's upcoming flagship Radeon R9 290X and Radeon R9 290 graphic cards. The Radeon R9 290X launches tomorrow while the Radeon R9 290 would hit retail next Thursday. The embargo lifts on both the graphic cards at 12:01 EDT (24th October For R9 290X / 31st October For R9 290).
AMD Radeon R9 290X Launches Tomorrow, R9 290 On 31st October
So before telling you the specifications which you might already know if you have been following us of lately, both the Radeon R9 290X and Radeon R9 290 graphic cards would be based on the Hawaii GPU. This is in-fact the only new graphics chip in the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 series lineup which is not a rebrand or a refreshed part of the Southern Islands lineup.
AMD Radeon R9 290X “Hawaii XT”
Let’s get on with the specifications, the Radeon R9 290X is the flagship part featuring the full blown Hawaii chip with 2816 Stream Processors divided into 44 CUs (Compute Units). It has a clock speed of upto 1 GHz. Essentially, the graphic card features two clock speeds at which it operates. These are configured through the card’s Dual BIOS switch that is located right next to the place where the CrossFire bridge is located on Radeon cards. Most reference cards don’t ship with Dual BIOS support and this is probably the first flagship GPU to ship with such an option. The high stream processor and core count allows the Radeon R9 290X to deliver a compute performance of 5.6 TFlops. It features 64 Raster Operators which are twice the amount featured on the Radeon HD 7970.
In addition to the core specs, the Radeon R9 290X comes with a generous 4 GB GDDR5 memory which runs along a 512-bit interface. The clock speed for the memory is effectively maintained at 5.0 GHz that provides a bandwith of over 320 GB/s. The Radeon R9 290 Series is mainly targeted towards the Ultra High-Resolution audience who want to play the upcoming titles at 4K resolutions and beyond that since AMD were showing demo’s of Eyefinity 4K monitors running over a single Radeon R9 290X GPU. The Battlefield 4 Angry Sea gameplay was also demo’d on a single Radeon R9 290X in Eyefinity. The Radeon R9 290X features Dual-DVI, HDMI, Display ports for display capability and has a single 6 Pin and 8 Pin power connector to juice it up. The Radeon R9 290X would be available tomorrow for a price of around $649.99 US (549.99 Excluding Tax via Fudzilla)and is currently available with the Battlefield 4 bundle package that retails at Newegg for a price of $729.99.
AMD Radeon R9 290 “Hawaii Pro”
Next up we have the more cost-effective Hawaii Pro graphic card known as the AMD Radeon R9 290 (Non-X). As you might have seen, the Radeon R9 290 comes with 2560 Stream processors which means only 40 CU’s enabled on this Hawaii part. As for clock speeds, we are looking at 947 MHz max frequency which is yet again adjustable from the Dual BIOS switch. For memory, we have 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM running across a 512-bit interface that will pump out 320 GB/s bandwidth at a clock speed of 5.0 GHz.
The Radeon R9 290 will be powered with an 8+6 Pin power configuration though the picture we were provided shows dual 6-Pin connectors so either there’s something wrong with the picture or there seems to be a typo in the chart itself. The display outputs include Dual-DVI, HDMI and Display port with Eyefinity compatibility and just like its bigger brother, it is supposed to run games at 4K resolution with ease. The Radeon R9 290 would hit the market on 31st October for a price of around $499. You can have a look at the launch schedule below which is courtesy of Videocardz:
Before moving into the performance, have a look in the following chart for the complete Radeon R9 290 series specification round-up:
|AMD Radeon R9 290X||AMD Radeon R9 290||GeForce GTX 780||GeForce GTX Titan|
|Base Clock||800 MHz||900 MHz||863 MHz||837 MHz|
|Turbo Clock||1000 MHz||947 MHz||902 MHz||876 MHz|
|VRAM||4 GB||4 GB||3 GB||6 GB|
|Memory Bus||512-Bit||512-Bit||384-Bit||384 Bit|
|Memory Clock||5 GHz (effective)||5 GHz
|6 GHz (effective)||6 GHz (effective)|
|Power Configuration||8+6 Pin||8+6 Pin||8+6 Pin||8+6 Pin|
|Launch Date||15 th October 2013||Q4 2013||23rd June 2013||21st February 2013|
|Launch Price||$649 ($549 US Excluding Taxes)||$499||$649||$999|
We have a bit more performance benchmarks although they won't matter now since most of you waiting for the card would rather wait for the proper reviews that arrive tomorrow. Nevertheless, those who want to see get an early look at the performance of the Radeon R9 290X graphic card can have a look below at the charts which are courtesy of hardlimit. The most notable thing about the pictures is that they showcase the latest AMD Overdrive panel which will be displayed with the new Catalyst Control Center only available with the PowerTune 2.0 enable R9 290 series graphic cards giving them a more accessible control over Power limits, GPU Clocks and temperature that is similar to what NVIDIA does with their Kepler 2.0 graphics cards.
Some more performance metrics in CrossFire and the a display shot of the new AMD Overdrive panel can be seen below courtesy of Dark.Tech: