AMD launched their Hawaii based Radeon R9 290X and Radeon R9 290 last month and they proved to be really great cards in the high-end range considering their price and performance. But there are still some issues with the new cards that can only be fixed with the launch of custom designed GPUs from AMD's AIC partners.
Custom R9 290 May Arrive Early - Radeon R9 290X Cards To Follow in Q1 2014
While offering great performance for their price, both cards are using a reference designed cooler from AMD which not only produce alot of noise but that extra RPMs don't translate into better cooling since the graphic card as seen in many cases runs around the 95C mark leaving little to no headroom for voltage adjustments and overclocking.
On our website, we have found a bunch of people who are desperately waiting for the launch of custom solutions based around the Hawaii chip. Well thanks to Computerbase, we have some good news and some bad news. We will start off with the bad news, the AMD Radeon R9 290X which is AMD's flagship graphic card was launched in October and won't be seeing any new custom design till Q1 2014 (most likely till CES 2014). We have already seen PCB of an MSI Radeon R9 290/290X Lightning but bear in mind that AMD never supplied manufacturer's with enough Hawaii silicon to allow them to produce enough quantity of these cards so these custom boards would be kept bare until AMD hands over some Hawaii chips.
And now on to the good news, while we won't be seeing any Radeon R9 290X custom solutions till Q1 2014, the source reports that manufacturer's may be willing to launch the Radeon R9 290 non-reference cards sooner and possibly in December this year. We have already seen how the Radeon R9 290 just about matches the 290X in performance and if someone manages to unlock those R9 290's into a full blown R9 290X, then would their be any point in buying the flagship GPU anymore?
The AMD Radeon R9 290 retails for $399 US, a $449-$499 for the non-reference parts would sound accurate. The Radeon R9 290X retails for a higher price of $549 but we can see the non-reference parts still selling for lower or matching the $649 price of a reference GeForce GTX 780 Ti. NVIDIA also has some high-performance custom GTX 780 Ti boards planned for launch next year from partners EVGA, Colorful, Gigabyte. While the delay in custom cards sounds disappointing, CES 2014 will bring some good new designs that will pump up the overclocking scene for the Enthusiast PC modding community.