XFX Double Dissipation R9 290 (4GB) Review – Rock Solid Value!


The latest installment of the long-running series by IO Interactive, Hitman: Absolution, offers some of the best looking lighting and post-processing effects. It also features small, but detailed environments and fairly high-resolution textures. Like all the other tests, we’ll be running the benchmark at both 1080p and 1440p on the “Ultra” preset with no MSAA anti-aliasing.

R9 290 Hitman Absolution 1080P1

Here we see our AMD Card gets beaten by a fair amount by the 970, as the 970 overclocked gets 80, 99 and 62 FPS in average, max and minimum FPS, compared to the 66, 93 and 52 FPS of our R9 290 overclocked as well. The GTX 670 actually keeps close with the 290 for the first time in our benchmarks today.

R9 290 Hitman Absolution 1440PAs we see again the AMD XFX Double Dissipation R9 290 matches up well against the Strix 970, with the Strix getting 74 FPS, 85 and 63 in average, max and minimum respectively compared to 72, 91 and 58. On our overclocked 290. The stock clock speed shows the AMD card taking a slight lead in everything except minimum. To the naked eye a difference is barely perceivable.

Oddly enough the 290 got slightly better FPS in 1440P. This is an anomaly and something we repeatedly tested and the results stayed the same.


The third installment of the Bioshock Franchise brings us to a brightly colored and beautifully stylized world. It isn’t the most graphically intensive game but it sure is purrty.

We’ll be testing it using the built-in benchmarking tool at both 1080p and 1440p with the “Ultra” preset with DDoF (Dynamic Depth of Field) enabled.

R9 290 Bioshock Infinite 1080PAs we see here our XFX Double Dissipation R9 290 has a much higher max FPS compared to the 970, but a lower average, which may cause some hitching or stuttering issues, this benchmark has a little more variance than we would like, but still serves as a good comparison.

R9 290 Bioshock Infinite 1440P

More of the above here, we see the 290 normalizes its max FPS closer to the STRIX and its average is more in line with the 970 the minimum is not as close, but none of those frame drops would be considered playable. This game is considered very playable with either of these cards at 1440P


Although the card draws almost twice as much as its competitor, the XFX R9 290 still performs like an absolute champ, even while being quite long in the tooth at over a year old. Every game we threw at it in the benchmark suite, it handled with ease!


The card also seems like a perfect fit for a 4K build in crossfire. More popular games like League of Legends, DOTA 2, CS:GO and other less taxing games will run at 4K on this single card without a problem.

XFX R9 290 DoubleD (1 of 1)

When comparing it to the direct competitors, this card has been between $240 and $320 the past few months and when it is at or below $270 it is by far  the best card for the money. Nvidia’s next best card would be the 960 which gets absolutely blown away by this card. Once we get in to the $300+ price range we start to see serious competition from the Nvidia 970s, which start to look like worthy competitors. As for the most part the STRIX 970 we put it up against played close to our XFX Double Dissipation R9 290, but also beat it in more than a few tests. The 970s also require less power, run cooler and quieter. So what we think of it really hinges on how much it costs currently.

At time of writing The XF R9 290 Black edition (which is clocked higher and should be a better card overall) is about $20 cheaper than the card we’ve reviewed which you can check out here   

With that being said this is a very strong and solid card, a far cry from the loud and incredibly hot reference 290s that came out over a year ago. The design of the cooler looks very sleek and understated, the noise is manageable and was never annoying. Most importantly, the performance is there and that is something no one can doubt. Normally this card would be getting a top value award from us, but due to the pricing environment currently we will have to leave that as it is. For those of you who are simply looking for the best deal on a 290 Check Here

All things considered this card got top marks from us in performance, design, warranty and build quality. We feel our Technology X Silver Seal is due here!

Tech X Silver Seal Opt

Check Out XFX R9 290 Pricing On Amazon!

The AMD R9 290 is a GPU based upon on AMD's older flagship Hawaii GPU core as seen in the 290X. It is priced below the GTX 970 from Nvidia, and offers comparable performance in most cases. This is why we're revisiting one of the top performers today. While AMD's next generation of cards may be around the corner, it will be quite a while until those cards will be sold at a price below $300 The XFX Double Dissipation R9 290 version is one of the better non reference cooler designs. XFX is also well known for their lifetime warranty. XFX…

Review Overview

Build Quality

Great 1440P Graphics!

While the price may vary on this card, it is still one of AMD's best non reference 290s and for good reason. This card kicks serious butt and with a 2nd card, 4K gaming is very affordable possibility!

User Rating: 4.16 ( 5 votes)


  1. Nice “mano-a-mano” review; and comes out how the 290 is overall “value leader” for entry into 1440p gaming! Many recognized this after the 970 came out… it didn’t much push healthier 1440p over 780. Two friends at time made the move buying just as the R9 290 price dropped, while they then used the approximately $100 they didn’t ante-up to 970 to offset the cost upgrading to a new 1440p panels. While the interesting thing on power… if you “sleep” your computer AMD ZeroCore can make back a good portion of the energy maxwell saves during gaming (unless you’re like >25 hours a week) in a months time.

    • Thanks a lot, we do see the 970 does quite well against our 290, but as I said in the article a decent 290 can be had for around $270 and does 1440P very well.

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