© Joseph GTK / Shutterstock.com

Key Points:
  • Originally, AMD graphics cards were branded with the ATI logo. The R9 290X is one of the earliest GPUs to bear the official AMD Radeon badge.
  • The AMD R9 290X features more graphics processing power, faster clock speeds, and more compute cores than its less expensive little brother, the R9 290.
  • Featuring AMD TrueAudio technology, the AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU delivers an immersive PC gaming experience. This card also uses an early version of AMD’s Eyefinity technology.

If you like playing older games, watching 1080p movies, and editing photos, you don’t need the latest generation of graphics card. Some older models like AMD Radeon R29 290X are available and can do the job. Prices are declining across the board on GPUs, and now is a great time to review your options.

AMD Radeon R9 290X may an older graphics card but has many modern features. With so many newer graphics cards available, can the R9 290X still compete, and should you bother checking it out? We’ll find out if this card is right for you with reviews, specs, features, and pricing information. 

AMD Radeon R9 290X: Best Deal Today

It can be hard to find a good deal on a GPU with many different models to pick from. We’ve done the hard part for you by finding the best deals on the AMD Radeon R9 290X here:

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/03/2023 10:55 am GMT

AMD Radeon R9 290X: Overview

AMD has been making graphics cards for many years. Originally, AMD graphics cards were branded with the ATI logo. The R9 290X is one of the earliest GPUs to bear the official AMD Radeon badge. There are a few things to note about the R9 290X before buying. Let’s discuss them here.

Release date and price

If you’re shopping around for a new graphics card, you should give special attention to the release date. While price is important in determining the best GPU for your situation, you should ensure not to buy a card that is too old.

With that being said, the R9 290X may be too old for some users. With a release date of October 24th, 2013, the R9 290X is going on ten years old. Although the MSRP was originally $549, it is now possible to find this GPU for much less.

Different Models

AMD released the R9 290X as a supercharged version of the standard R9 290 series graphics card. The 290X offered more graphics processing power, faster clock speeds, and more compute cores than its less expensive little brother.

While the standard edition of the R9 290X offered a pleasing design and quality thermals, you could select a different model to get even higher specifications. Add-in Board Partners, known as AIBs, produce modified versions of graphics cards for sale to end users. Some of the most famed GPU companies include EVGA, ASUS, and MSI. 

You can often find graphics cards from these manufacturers for competitive prices. But the biggest advantage to these models is the upgraded specs. You can easily find an R9 290X with a faster boost clock and improved thermal design.


PC gamers will find plenty of features to satisfy them with AMD Radeon R9 290X. Featuring AMD TrueAudio technology, the AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU delivers an immersive PC gaming experience. This card also uses an early version of AMD’s Eyefinity technology, which improves image quality in open-world and graphically intense games.

Another key factor is DirectX compatibility. The vast majority of games produced in the last ten years require DirectX 11 or 12. However, older DirectX 10 and 11 GPUs are insufficient to run these newer games. DirectX 11.2 support is included with the R9 290X, making it an ideal older card to run most games. The only downside is you may run into problems with games that require the latest DirectX 12.

Additionally, you can easily connect external displays and gaming monitors to the system with the included connectors and ports. You’ll find all the most popular display options along the back of the GPU. There are two DVI ports, an HDMI port, and a DisplayPort, allowing you to connect up to four external displays.


front oblique view of Sapphire Radeon R9 290X
AMD Radeon R9 290 is capable of playing most indie games but not the high-performance games of 2022.

©D-Kuru, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Graphics ProcessorHawaii
GPU Cores2816
Compute Units44
Memory TypeGDDR5
Bus Width512-bit
Process Size28nm
Base Clock1000MHz
Memory Clock1250MHz

AMD Radeon R9 290X: Review

The AMD Radeon R9 290X might have been a competitive GPU in its time, but how does it fare today? With so many newer GPUs from AMD, such as the RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT, how does an older card like this fit into the lineup?

Due to the older hardware, the R9 290X sits at the bottom of the graphics card food chain. While the GPU does have sufficient power to run older games, it’ll run into issues if you try to play the latest titles. Demanding games and applications perform slowly and with low frame rates.

Gaming isn’t a top priority? Want a card with multiple display outputs? You will enjoy the R9 290X. If you work in finance or statistics, you’ll be able to put up charts and diagrams on multiple displays at once. Additionally, the extra display capability will improve your workflow if you are doing graphic design work.

Gaming Performance

If you are hoping to use this card for gaming, you should know it has limitations. While newer, more demanding games do not run well, older games perform fine. This card will bring you endless enjoyment if you enjoy games from the last generation, such as World of Warcraft and Minecraft.

We put together gaming benchmarks from some of the most popular games to get a feel for this GPU’s level of performance. While 4K gaming is simply not possible, running on medium settings at 1080p resolution, we could appreciate this card’s capabilities and limitations. Have a look at the table below to view the average frame rates for some of the most popular games:

TitleAverage Frames Per Second
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive146+ FPS
Fortnite91+ FPS
League of Legends163+ FPS
Overwatch91+ FPS
Battlefield 148+ FPS
DOTA 2145+ FPS
World of Tanks102+ FPS

Power Usage and Size

One thing you’ll notice with the R9 290X is it uses a lot of power. Compared to newer graphics cards, this GPU is not energy efficient at all. If you are looking to build an energy-efficient computer, you should consider a newer card.

With a TDP of 290 watts, the R9 290X is very power-hungry. When considering the power requirements of the rest of your system, you should have at least a 600-watt power supply to run this GPU comfortably. You’ll need an available 6-pin and 8-pin power connector to feed this card enough power.

Additionally, the R9 290X is a very large graphics card. Measuring 10.8 inches or 275mm in length, you’ll need plenty of room in your PC case to house this card. The dual-slot form factor requires more space than a single-slot card. Even still, you only need one PCI-E slot to connect your card to the motherboard.

AMD Radeon R9 290X: Pros and Cons

After selecting your motherboard, processor, and RAM, you’ll need to find a perfect graphics card to complete your PC build. If you’re considering the R9 290X for your PC, you should keep a few pros and cons in mind.


  • Enough power for older games
  • Supports multiple displays
  • Highly affordable


  • Weak hardware
  • Older graphics processor

AMD Radeon R9 290X: Is It a Buy?

Radeon R9 290X is affordable but it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of team. Ensure that the GPU meets your needs before purchasing it.

Buy it if…

You want a basic graphics card for playing older games. With limited hardware, you won’t be able to enjoy the latest titles or the highest frame rates. That being said, the R9 290X is still sufficient for less demanding games.

If you want a basic graphics card for connecting multiple monitors, the R9 290X is ideal. Though it lacks the high-performance hardware found in newer GPUs, you can still enjoy an immersive multiple-monitor setup.

Don’t buy it if…

You want to play the latest games on high settings. The R9 290X simply cannot handle it. If you want the most competitive GPU, you should look into newer AMD or Nvidia graphics cards like the RX 5500 or GTX 1060.

This card will not meet your needs if you do intensive computer-assisted design or 4K video editing. Although the R9 290X is fine for lower resolution video editing and graphics design, it will lag if you demand too much from it.

Check out the AMD Radeon R9 290X (Sapphire) on Amazon.

Up Next…

AMD Radeon R9 290x: Full Review With Specs, Price, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is the R9 290X good for gaming?

With such old hardware, the R9 290X is not a great choice for gaming. Even so, you can still use this card for older games like World of Warcraft and League of Legends.

How old is the R9 290X?

The R9 290X was released in October 2013.

How much memory is in the R9 290X?

The default configuration offers 4GB of DDR5 memory, although certain AIB cards offer up to 8GB.

How much power does the R9 290X use?

The R9 290X will use up to 290 watts of power.

What GPU architecture is the R9 290X?

The R9 290X is based on AMD’s “Hawaii” graphics architecture which uses a 28nm manufacturing process.

About the Author

Follow Me On:

LinkedIn Logo

More from History-Computer

  • TechPowerUp Available here: https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/radeon-r9-290x.c2460
  • AMD Available here: https://www.amd.com/en/press-releases/amd-radeon-r9-290x-2013oct24
  • Wikipedia Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_200_series#Radeon_R9_290X
  • UserBenchmark Available here: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-RX-580-vs-AMD-R9-290X/3923vs2166
  • PCMag Available here: https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/amd-radeon-r9-290x