AMD Radeon R9 M290X – Is This Graphics Card Good For 2023?

AMD Radeon R9 M290X - Is This Graphics Card Good For 2023

The AMD Radeon R9 M290X is a pretty old graphics card. Released way back in 2014 for high-end gaming laptops, it was pretty beastly in terms of performance back in the day. But if you are looking forward to buying systems and laptops with this graphics card, read this review first. 

AMD Radeon R9 M290X Specifications

The primary specifications and features of the AMD Radeon R9 M290X are:

Release Date9th January 2014
GPU CodenameNeptune XT
ArchitectureGraphics Core Next (GCN)
GPU GenerationCrystal System
Digital FoundryTSMC
CUDA Cores1280
Transistor Size28nm
Transistor Count2,8 billion
Bus InterfacePCIe 3.0 x 16
Base Clock 850 MHz
Boost Clock 900 MHz
Memory Clock Speed1200 MHz
Effective Memory Clock4.8 GB/s
Memory Size (VRAM)4 GB
Memory TypeGDDR5
Memory Bus256 Bit
Bandwidth153.6 GB/s
Shading Units1280
Computing Units20
L1 Cache16 KB 
L2 Cache512 KB
Pixel Rate28.8 GPixel/s
Texture Rate72 GTexel/s
FP32 Performance2.304 TFlops
FP64 Performance144 GFlops
Shader Model6.5
Thermal Design Power100 W

AMD Radeon R9 M290X Benchmarks

AMD Radeon R9 M290X Benchmarks

To get a clearer picture of how well this graphics card can perform, I had run some benchmark tests on them. 

1. Passmark

To test the 3D rendering capabilities of this graphics card, the Passmark PerformanceTest Suite is the best. This tool simulates various types of load on your card using Direct3D 9 to 12 benchmark tests. Here, this graphics card has a score of 3,310, lower than most mid-end graphics cards available in the market now.

2. 3DMark TimeSpy

By using 3Dmark TimeSpy, I was able to test the DirectX 12 computing capabilities of this graphics card. This test will give us results on asynchronous computing, along with multi-adapter threading as well. Evert demo is rendered at 2k (2560 x 1440p) resolution. Here, this graphics card has a score of 23,961, which is on par with mid-range modern graphics cards. However, it’s still far behind most RTX graphics cards. 

3. 3DMark Fire Strike

If you want to check the graphics processing capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire, then this test is best. Here, you get to see a demo that renders an epic fight scene between monsters. Even though it’s pretty visually appealing, it’s equally taxing on your system as well. Here, this GPU has a score of 5,294, lower than most mid-end GPUs by 2023. 

4. 3DMark Night Raid

If you buy laptops with the AMD Radeon R9 M290X, then you will mostly be playing games at 1080p resolution. Therefore, this benchmark test will best test its 1080p capabilities. Here, this graphics card has a score of 33,417 – on par with more modern GPUs. 

5. Unigine Heaven 4.0

To test the stability of this GPU when it gets heated after hours of use, this benchmarking tool is best. Here, the test demo makes use of volumetric clouds, real-time day and night cycles, ambient occlusion, and adaptive hardware tessellation. These are all included in modern AAA games. Here, this GPU has a score of 62, which is pretty poor.

AMD Radeon R9 M290X Review: Gaming Performance

AMD Radeon R9 M290X Review Gaming Performance

The only laptop in the market that’s powered by the AMD Radeon R9 M290X is the Dell Alienware M17X R5. I got hold of this laptop after searching a lot. An old friend of mine was kind enough to lend me this laptop for a week. The configuration of this laptop is:

OSWindows 10 Home
Display17.3” (1080p)
Processor4th Generation Intel Core i7 4700MQ
Graphics CardAMD Radeon R9 290X (4GB DDR5)
Memory8 GB
Storage256GB SSD +1TB HDD

I got to use this laptop for a week, so I made the best use of it. I first started with the use of productivity applications for graphic designers. This includes Adobe Photoshop and video editors like Premiere Pro and After Effects. These apps ran pretty smoothly without hitches. Although, I did experience slight lags when editing 4K videos with lots of effects on top of it. 3D Blender Studio also ran pretty well.

When it came to gaming, I divided the games I played into two parts – pre-2015 games and modern games. AMD Radeon R9 m290X powered notebooks came out in those years. I measured its performance on games then and now. 

Games Average Frames Per Second (FPS)
The Witcher 355
Grand Theft Auto V68
Batman: Arkham Knight62
Mafia 358
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain72
Red Dead Redemption II36
Assassins Creed: Valhalla32
Elden Ring45
God Of War42
Halo: Infinite60
DOOM Eternal56
Overwatch 260
Apex Legends58

When it comes to the games above, I played them all on the highest settings (1080p resolution). As you can see, it manages to run games of its time easily around 60fps. However, it struggles to run games released in the last two years. 

In addition, another issue that I noted was the heating. My system heated up too much, especially playing the newer games. After just playing for an hour, the laptop was red hot. However, this can be attributed to the fact that it’s a 7-year-old laptop. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):-

Gamers have asked various questions regarding the AMD Radeon R9 290X. The answers for some of these questions are:

Q1. Is The AMD Radeon R9 M290X Good For Gaming?

Ans: If you wish to buy a gaming graphics card in 20232, the AMD Radeon R9 M290X is not the one. This is a pretty old graphics card that was good back in 2014. But it will be difficult to run any of the current generations of games on this GPU.

Q2. Is Radeon R9 Better Than RX?

Ans: Not in all cases. The FPS provided by the Radeon R9 is better than the low-end RX cards. However, mid-end and high-end RX cards will easily outperform R9 cards.

Q3. What Is The R9 290X Equivalent To?

Ans: When it comes to performance, the R9 M290X is equivalent to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.

Q4. Can I Download AMD Radeon R9 290X Drivers?

Ans: Yes,  you can still download AMD Radeon R9 M290X drivers from the official AMD website. However, AMD has officially stopped supporting R9 cards. Therefore, these drivers will receive no new updates from now on. 

Final Verdict: Is The AMD Radeon R9 M290X Worth It In 2023?

If you have seen all the benchmark tests above, along with my use of an old Dell Alienware M17 R5, the AMD Radeon R9 M290x was, during its release, a powerhouse of a graphics card. However, after 9 years of its release, this graphics card has lost all its steam and glory.

Therefore, if you are looking forward to buying a laptop with this graphics card – don’t. I would highly recommend buying laptops with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards if you want a gaming laptop.

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Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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