AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Graphics Card Launch Review
It has been a busy time of late with AMD graphics card launches… and a little sprinkling of APU goodness with the A10-6790K. On the graphics card front things started with the introduction of something new and something borrowed which resulted in the R7-240/250 to R9-280X. More recently AMD went high end with the R9 290X which offered an interesting alternative to the GTX 780 but at a lower price point. Today AMD fill the gap between R9 290X and R9 280X with the R9 290 and are pretty confident that, with the latest driver, it will have enough to match the GTX 780 so we will be taking a look at the two in games such as Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins and Total War: Rome 2 to establish whether AMD are correct in their claims.
Before we look at this R9 290 though, here is a quick summary of some changes on the AMD platform which we covered in our previous R9/R7 articles…
"R9 290X, 290 and R7 260X add AMD TrueAudio which will be supported in future games. TrueAudio tech takes the gaming audio processing task away from our CPU and uses graphics card resource to provide more advanced audio effects (such as improved virtual surround sound), and then passes it to our output device.
Using Thief, one of the first TrueAudio titles as an example of how the tech impacts game development the above slides show what Yves Breton, EIDOS Montreal’s Lead Sound Designer had to say.
Then there is AMD Mantle…
Simply put, Mantle is AMD’s approach to providing the ideal platform for game developers to expose the features/performance of the AMD cards in their games. It is an approach similar to that found in consoles where developers can draw better performance out of the hardware than the PC equivalent… there is no need for the DirectX/OpenGL layer/overhead in the process. It’s GPU>Mantle API/Driver>Game. Using Battlefield 4 as an example there will be a patch released later this year which moves AMD users from the DirectX build to a Mantle build and gives Dice the opportunity to expose more graphics features and performance.
So that’s the basics on what AMD are doing in the current generation, with a little of what we can expect in the future. Essentially putting in place a platform now for developers to take advantage of later if they wish."
NEWS 4th November 2013:
Today AMD announced that upcoming games Star Citizen and Thief will use Mantle…
So, let’s see this R9 290!