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 Date||9th January 2014|
|GPU Codename||Neptune XT|
|Architecture||Graphics Core Next (GCN)|
|GPU Generation||Crystal System|
|Transistor Count||2,8 billion|
|Bus Interface||PCIe 3.0 x 16|
|Base Clock||850 MHz|
|Boost Clock||900 MHz|
|Memory Clock Speed||1200 MHz|
|Effective Memory Clock||4.8 GB/s|
|Memory Size (VRAM)||4 GB|
|Memory Bus||256 Bit|
|L1 Cache||16 KB|
|L2 Cache||512 KB|
|Pixel Rate||28.8 GPixel/s|
|Texture Rate||72 GTexel/s|
|FP32 Performance||2.304 TFlops|
|FP64 Performance||144 GFlops|
|Thermal Design Power||100 W|
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.
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
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:
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Processor||4th Generation Intel Core i7 4700MQ|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon R9 290X (4GB DDR5)|
|Storage||256GB 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 3||55|
|Grand Theft Auto V||68|
|Batman: Arkham Knight||62|
|Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain||72|
|Red Dead Redemption II||36|
|Assassins Creed: Valhalla||32|
|God Of War||42|
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:
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.
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.
Ans: When it comes to performance, the R9 M290X is equivalent to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.
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.