Article Index


As far as positioning goes, AMD's view is the 290 is comparable with the GTX780 as these cards are in the same performance bracket. Efforts have been made to ensure the 290X is not compared with NVIDIA's GTX TITAN. Despite having different price points, TITAN is an enthusiast, not professional product so comparisons can be made if taking into account price points.

AMD loves to hold the 'fastest GPU in the world'. When evaluating this claim we must look at all single board solutions, consumer and professional.

All R7 and R9 Volcanic Islands based products are not eligible for Never Settle which makes older HD 7000 cards more attractive especially at discounted price points.

If you are in the market for an upgrade from an older board including a HD 58/5900, 6900 or 7970, 290X is a fine upgrade path.

Do not sell your current high end Kepler card especially a GTX780 thinking the 290X is a NVIDIA killer. Even AMD's own reference scores show 10-20 FPS in many scenarios, which does not justify a signficant investment.. Dual Kepler in SLI or Dual 290/X in Crossfire is the correct upgrade path from a single high end NVIDIA Kepler based GPU.

A future Dual Hawaii based '290X2' would be a price/performance competitor to the TITAN, however the debate over single v dual GPU comparisons loom. TITAN still has superior texturing fillrate.

Hawaii's GCN design coupled with 28nm process can't be scaled up apart from clock speeds or power limits. All Shader and compute units are enabled on the 290X. What you see is what you get for at least the next few months.

In raw crunching power alone, dual 7970s still exceed the performance of a single 290X.

Raw teraflops should not be used a sole metric for choosing a graphics card as other aspects of the design affect game performance. Those with dual 7970s should consider upgrading to dual Hawaii cards to maximise their investment and graphics performance headroom rather than a single flagship GPU.

On paper, the 290X is AMD's well-received GCN architecture with the knob turned up to 20. Some icing on the cake such as overhauled PowerTune controls, bridgeless Crossfire and a new visual identity sweeten the deal, but AMD could have offered much more in hardware and software this time. Perhaps these will arrive on next time.

The Hawaii chip is an evolution not a revolution, where as Tahiti was a revolution bringing many new features to the table for the first time. NVIDIA's Kepler is the same here, Kepler in GeForce 600 form was a revolution while GeForce 700 and TITAN were evolutions.

AMD and independent reviews may claim victory for 290X with better price/performance over GTX 780 and GTX TITAN , but NVIDIA has sweetened their deal in time for AMD's launch with a game bundle. Their bundle has THREE of the latest AAA titles with its performance GPUs, Batman Arkham Origins (A$50), Assassins Creed IV Black Flag ($A70) and Splinter Cell Blacklist($A70), giving A$190 total value if these are purchased on STEAM.

NVIDIA did not comment regarding ANZ/APAC game bundle avalbiilty by press time.

nvidia geforce gtx holiday game bundle with shield tiers

When considing the NVIDIA package, including the SHIELD gaming discount, games and NVIDIA specific features such as near perfect Frame Pacing, PhysX, G-Sync, TXAA and others make the GeForce GTX offering competitive if not better choice than AMD's. Which package suits you depends on wether you are interested in the game bundle.

AMD needs to try much harder in all aspects of company operations and product development both for CPU and GPU. However, stay tuned for news about the cheaper R9 290, which should offer very good better price/performance.

On a nostalgic note...


20 years of gaming graphics

Exactly ten years ago, we had the succesful ATI Radeon 9800 ..and the infamy of 'GeForce Flow FX' aka dust buster' that NVIDIA successfully rectified wih its NV40 based GeForce 6800.

64-bit mainstream computing also appeared with AMD's Opteron and Athlon 64 processors during 2003.

1280x1024 (1.3MP) resolution was commonplace and consumer GPUs that consumed above 30 to 50W simply did not exist at the time.

Ten years later the equivalent product at the same $300 pricepoint draws up to 250W, can drive 4-8 megapixels at playable frame rates with near maxed out details. Gone are the days when quality was sacrifical and games had artifacts.

The past decade of PC and console gaming is somewhat unrecognisable to the early 90s when consumer 3D games first appeared. The adjacent meme sums this up perfectly.

We are sure the Hawaii GPU and 290 series will be remebered ten years from now as the first GPU series that was designed and specifically marketed for 4K gaming. What PCs we will be using in 2023 who knows. 

ATI Radeon 9800 R350 GPU die
AMD GPU14 Launch Sydney Australia

2018-09-21 | NVIDIA QUADRO RTX 6000 In action - Photoshop, Porsche RTX, Kubernetes, CLARA and Metropolis

2018-09-20 | NVIDIA RTX Live Demo - Ray Traced Porsche on Turing GPU

2018-09-21 | EPSON goes bright with laser projection and 4K

2018-09-15 | 8 NVIDIA TESLA V100 VOLTA GPU server from HP

2017-12-31 | Future of Networking with Extreme Networks - Eric Broockman CTO Interview

2018-02-16 | NVIDIA’S VOLTA is real, it works and it is finally here.

2018-02-07 | motorola harbourside chat and interview | moto x4, g5s plus, 360 camera & gamepad

2018-02-07 | Inwin X-Frame product tour and interview

2018-02-07 | ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe UX490 Ultrabook

2017-11-20 | VICHYPER - Australian Hyperloop Interview and Tour

2017-11-17 | Eugene Kaspersky & Kaspersky Lab Press Conference Sydney 2017

2017-11-17 | Eugene Kaspersky Keynote Sydney 2017

2017-05-21 | AMD RYZEN - Australian launch and Q&A Session | BIOS Update Detailed

2016-11-21 | Motorola Mobility VP Engineering Interview | Moto Z and Moto Mods Developer Kit for Makers & Modders

2016-11-30 | EPSON Tech Interview | 2016 Business and Professional Projectors

2016-11-30 | EPSON Tech Interview | 2016 Home Theatre Projectors 6000, 8000 & 9000 Series

2016-11-22 | EPSON HDR Home Theatre Projector Demo | EPSON TW9300W

2016-11-21 | HDR video Demo - AMD Radeon 'Polaris' RX480 with LG OLED TV

2016-11-30 | Intel Game Chamber 2016 Tour and Interviews | VR, Games, PC Mods, Overclocking and FUN

2016-11-30 | Intel Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E @ 5.62 GHz Live Overclock | Intel Game Chamber 2016

2016-08-29 | LG puts OLED in all the things - Integrate/CEDIA AUS 2016 Booth Tour

2016-08-12 | What is Software Defined Networking with Doug Murray, CEO Big Switch Networks.

2016-06-17 | NVIDIA DGX-1 launches in Australia - NVIDIA ANZ Interviewed

2016-05-01 | Build a kickass Dolby ATMOS Home Theatre - The Pros show us how

2016-04-01 | The Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 Story

2016-03-23 | Seagate 8TB Family, 10TB Helium & Mobile HDD 2016 Hard Disk Update

2016-03-21 | Panasonic Toughbook 20 : Fully Rugged detachable Laptop launch - Water, Drop & Weight Tested

2016-03-23 | ASUS ROG Gaming House Tour - Sydney, Australia

2016-03-01 | ASUS ROG GX700 Liquid Cooled Notebook Preview & Interview

2016-03-23 | League of Legends Legacy eSports Team Interview

2015-12-09 | Microsoft Store SYDNEY - Grand Opening Press Conference

2015-11-11 | HP 6th Gen Core Intel Skylake PC & Jet Intelligence Printing Launch - Melbourne Experience Centre

2015-11-11 | HP Experience Centre Melbourne Tour -Part 2

2015-11-11 | HP Experience Centre Melbourne Tour -Part 1

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - Flower Power Wireless Plant Monitor

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - ZiK 2.0 Headphones

2015-08-28 | Parrot Interviewed - AR. Drone, MiniDrones, Bebop Drone

2015-08-23 | MOTO G 3rd Gen IPX7 Water Proofing Demo & Moto X Style/Play/G Q&A

2015-08-21 | Motorola Mobility Interviewed - 3rd Gen Moto G, Moto X Play, Moto X Style

2015-08-20 | NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 950 Launch Ep.1 | Gamestream Co-Op - A New way to share games

2015-08-20 | NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 950 Launch Ep.2 | MOBA/DOTA 2 Latency and Smoothness

2015-08-08 | Intel SKYLAKE i5-6600K LN2 overclock at 6.33 GHz with ASUS Z170 ROG Hero

2015-08-07 | Intel Skylake i7-6700K @ 4.8 GHz & DDR4 @ 3.5GHz on ASUS Z170 Deluxe Overclocking Guide

2015-08-05 | ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard for Intel Skylake 6th Gen Core CPU Overview

2015-08-05 | Review - ASUS Installation Tool for Intel SKYLAKE 6th Gen Core CPU

2015-08-02 | HP Pavilion and Envy 2015 Consumer Notebook First Look

2015-07-25 | HP Envy Phoenix 2015 Overclockable Gaming Tower First Look

2015-07-22 | Ashes Of The Singularity - DirectX 12 Hands-On Demo with AMD FURY X

2015-07-14 | Media Q&A with AMD and Richard Huddy - AMD Fury X ‘Fiji’ Graphics comes to Australia

2015-07-14 | MSI Interview - AMD Radeon R9 300 Gaming, Armour and Lightning GPUs