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(GPU) AMD Radeon R9 290X

(Profile updated as of 10th July. 2019)

Here it is! The mighty Radeon R9 290X graphics card, with its Hawaii GPU that is now almost legendary. The GPU that beat Kepler and half of Maxwell. *Nostalgia* Anyway I did a profile for it so here you go.

(click for full images).

(Picture 1) The silicon die of Hawaii, surrounded by its sixteen GDDR5 SDRAM chips, giving the silicon its distinctive 512-bit bus (16x32bit).

(Picure 2) The architectural block-diagram for Hawaii XT.

(Picture 3) Actual silicon die-shot of the Hawaii GPU. Image Credit: Fritzchen Fritz

(GPU) AMD Radeon R9 290X
(GPU) AMD Radeon R9 290X
(GPU) AMD Radeon R9 290X

Graphics Card Information

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R9 290X

Graphics Card Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices

Graphics Card Release Date: October 24, 2013

Graphics Card MSRP: $549 USD

Graphics Processor Codename: Hawaii XT

Graphics Processor Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices

Graphics Processor Implementation: Full Chip

Graphics Interface: PCI-E 16x Gen3

Architecture: Graphics Core Next 2nd Generation (GCN2)

Lithography Process: TSMC 28nm

Approximate die size: 438mm²

Sasha's GPU die Size Rating: medium-large

Approximate Transistor Count: 6,200 Million

Approximate Transistor Density: 14.1 Million / Square Milimetre

GPU Features

Double-speed FP16 Shading: No (FP16 Emulated)

Asynchronous Compute Capability: Full

DirectX Hardware Support: DX12.0 (FL 12_0)

Dedicated DXR Acelleration on chip: No

Variable-rate Shading: No

Adv. Geometry shading: No

Adv. Geometry shading (Programmable/DX12 Mesh Shaders): No

AI/ML Acceleration: No

Advanced Memory Management: No

Integer and Float Shader Co-execution: No

Tile-based Renderer: No

GPU Computing Resources

GPU Substructures: 4 Shader Engines

Graphics Cores: 44 Compute Units

Graphics Cores per Substructure: 11

Total Stream Processors (ALU/Shaders): 2816

Stream Processors per Graphics Core: 64

Graphics Core SIMD Structure: 4 x 16

Total Special Execution Units: 44 Scalar Units, 44 Branch Units, 704 Load/Store Units

Special Execution Units per Graphics Core: 1 Scalar, 1 Branch, 16 Load/Store Units

Total Texturing Units: 176

Texturing Units per Graphics Core: 4

Pixel Pipelines (ROPs): 64 (16 x Render Backend with 4 Pixels per clock)

Level 2 shared on-chip cache: 1024 KB

Geometry/Tessellation Processors: 4

Raster Engines: 4

GPU Memory Subsystem

Graphics Memory Type: GDDR5

Graphics Memory Standard Capacity: 4096 MB

Graphics Memory Composition: 16 x 256 MB GDDR5 SDRAM Chips

Graphics Memory Access Granularity: 32-bit (4 bytes)

Graphics Memory Standard Clock Speed / Data Rate: 1250 MHz / 5000 MHz

Graphics Memory Full Interface Width: 512-bit (64 bytes per clock)

Graphics Memory Peak Memory Bandwidth: 320 GB/s

GPU Frequency and Peak performance

Graphics Engine Clock: 1000 MHz

GPU Computing Power FP16: N/A

GPU Computing Power FP32: 5,632,000‬ Million operations per second with FMA

GPU Computing Power FP64: 704,000 Million operations per second with FMA *

GPU Texturing Rate INT8: 176,000 Million texels per second

GPU Texturing Rate FP16: 88,000‬ Million texels per second

GPU Pixel Rate: 64,000 Million pixels per second

GPU Primitive Rate: 4000 Million triangles per second

GPU Thermal and Power

Standard Cooling Solution: Blower design with vapour chamber heatsink

Typical Board Power: 250-295W *

Maximum Board Power: 375 W *

Maximum Allowed Junction Temperature (TJ Max): 95*C

Graphics Card description

The R9 290X launched in 2013 as AMD's high-end graphics card for that year. It performed very well and almost universally beat NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 780, matching the Original TITAN in many cases. This prompted NVIDIA to release the GTX 780 Ti; with the fully enabled GK110 graphis processor. This card took back the performance crown but fast forward to 2019 and the 290X has the last laugh thanks to architectural longevity and an extra 1GB of video memory.

The Hawaii GPU is unique among relatively modern Graphics Processors in that it has a very wide (512-bit) memory interface using GDDR memory. THis requires a grand total of 16 DRAM (32-bit x 16) chips to fully populate, giving Hawaii's its distinctive memory layout. However, it's interesting to note that according to AMD, Hawaii's 512-bit is denser on the silicon die than Tahiti's 384-bit, due to density optimisations.

Graphics Card approximate 3D Performance

Sasha's gaming performance rating (2019): Acceptable for 1080p medium/high settings 60 FPS

Today the once mighty R9 290X has fallen to the low-mid range in terms of performance, and it performs roughly similar to a GTX 1650, and a bit below the RX 570. Performance varies depending on the game due to resource distribution differences between these GPUs. This makes Radeon R9 290X suitable for comfortable gaming at 1920x1080 with medium or high settings (not Ultra) at, or close to, 60 frames per second.


GPU Computing Power FP64

Hawaii processor has a native 1:2 rate of FP64:FP32, but it is throttled to 1:8 on the Radeon gaming cards.

Typical Board Power

Official Board Power is 250W but the actual board power is between 250 and 295W, on average.

Maximum Board Power

This is based on R9 290X board power of 250W (official) and +50% Power Limit.


This bit is for my personal opinion on this Graphics card / Graphics processor

Sasha's Awesomeness Rating: Legendary

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