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Performance

The results of the AMD Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X are marked in red in the diagrams below. The color of the EVGA GeForce GTX 80 Superclocked ACX is green. The MSI Radeon R9 280X Gaming is lilac.

3DMark (2013)

The second test scene of 3DMark, Cloud Gate, cannot squeeze everything out of these top-end graphics cards, but Fire Strike is perfect for benchmarking such solutions. The AMD Radeon R9 290 is expectedly slower than its senior X-marked cousin but easily beats its direct opponent GeForce GTX 780. When overclocked, it beats the Radeon R9 290X as well as the original EVGA GeForce GTX 780 which is itself overclocked by 19.6-22.3%. That’s a good start for AMD’s card!

Unigine Valley Bench

Nvidia looks better in this benchmark, yet the overclocked Radeon R9 290 beats the more expensive Radeon R9 290X as well as the EVGA version of GeForce GTX 780. The latter only wins this competition when overclocked.

The games are listed below in the order of their market release.

Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Fall of the Samurai

The Radeon R9 290 and the GeForce GTX 780 end their struggle in a tie - both at the default clock rates and in the overclocked mode. The difference between them is never larger than 1-3 fps. The R9 290 is 5 to 9% behind the R9 290X and can easily bridge the gap through overclocking.

Battlefield 3

We’ve got the same standings here as in the previous test:

 
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