New Radeon R9-290X!

A while back AMD Radeon did something they haven't done in quite a while: They released a graphics card based on NEW and improved technology, instead of recycling old ideas.

The R9-290X is the new flagship of the company, designed to take on the Titan and other Nvidia high-end cards (such as the GTX 780). The card isn't "better" in forms of pure tech, but the architecture of the card is what makes it compete with Nvidia's ones. This architecture is GCN, Graphics Core Next. Combine this with the Hawaii XT GPU, and you have the Titan of AMD, the R9-290X.

The real "problem" of the card is the power. Even though it's a large card, the sheer amount of power it has makes it a hot and VERY energy hungry one. Despite this AMD keeps telling us that the 95ºC running temperature is "normal" and of no risk to the card itself. While the card itself might last this sort of heat, the rest of your computer might not. Besides, it has to keep itself cool. At 95ºC the fan is rather loud -even with around 50% fan power- but cranked up to a 100% it becomes extremely loud. Luckily AMD has one trick up the sleeve for this: You can opt to boot the card up in "silent mode" with 40% fan usage and a quiet, more silent gaming environment Of course this has a price, dropping the output of the card by a small amount. However if you want more power, you can always boot the card on its "Uber Mode" which uses all of its power.

The main thing why the R9-290X might successfully beat the Titan is the price tag. If the launch price sticks at 550$, 450£ and around 500 euros, you have an economic and (in nearly all ways) more effective Titan. According to tests, the R9-290X wins in four out of six when pitted against the Titan.

It's a tough race for the best graphics card. Who knows what Nvidia does to counter this...