Updated GPU Benchmarks, and Saying Goodbye to the R9 290

Goodbye, old friend.

Goodbye, old friend.

Greetings! We have two updates we’d like to share.

First, we’ll start with the sad news…

Goodbye, R9 290

The last of the mighty R9 200-series GPUs from AMD has fallen, for today we remove the R9 290 from the Logical Increments parts guide. The 290 was arguably the better card when compared to the 290X, being cooler, quieter, and cheaper, while providing nearly the same performance. It outlasted the majority of the other 200-series cards, but this has been a long time coming. It is mostly sold out everywhere, and the remaining units are extremely overpriced.

Of course, the R9 290 is not dead. The same chip that was inside the 290 powers the R9 390, which is $10-$15 more expensive, but also ~10% faster. So, you can still buy the same card, albeit with a new name.

Next, some better news!

New GPU descriptions and benchmarks

GPU descriptions now look like this.

GPU descriptions now look like this.

We last updated our graphics card descriptions and benchmark information more than a year ago. Each card was compared to the R9 290 and GTX 780, and we noted each card’s performance in World of Warcraft and Crysis 3.

Since then, both the 290 and the 780 have been replaced, and WoW’s engine changed a bit. At some point, WoW removed anti-aliasing options, so reviews for new cards showed WoW with higher FPS. But then WoW apparently brought back anti-aliasing, so cards showed a huge variation in benchmarks, depending on when the benchmark was taken. For example, on 1440p the GTX 970 gets 166 FPS in this review, and only 82 FPS in this review, even though both reviews come from the same site!

Next, Crysis 3 is no longer the “most GPU crushing game around,” as Witcher 3 has taken the throne. So we now show each card’s performance in Witcher 3 instead of Crysis 3.

We now compare GPU power to the Fury X and 980 Ti, the flagship cards currently available from AMD and NVIDIA (not counting the Titan X). WoW and Witcher 3 benchmarks are taken from modern, consistent reviews. The “relative power” and “FPS in [game X]” data were taken from a wide collection of sources, so we now give ranges instead of specific values, This should make our description more accurate and realistic, though slightly less precise.

Sources for data are: