90-some percent of the performance for 70 percent of the price; PowerColor's PCS+ R9 290X

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 6, 2015 - 04:54 PM |
Tagged: factory overclocked, powercolor pcs+, R9 290X

The lowest priced GTX 980 on Amazon is currently $530 while the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X is $380, about 72% of the price of the GTX 980.  The performance that [H]ard|OCP saw after overclocking the 290X was much closer, in some games even matching it but usually about 5-10% slower than the GTX 980, making it quite obvious which card is the better value.  The GTX 970 is a different story, you can find a card for $310 and the performance is only slightly behind the 290X although the 290X takes a larger lead at higher resolutions.  Read through the review carefully as the performance delta and overall smoothness varies from game to game but unless you like paying to brag about your handful of extra frames the 970 and 290X are the cards offering you the best bang for your buck.

View Full Size

"Today we examine what value the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X holds compared to overclocked GeForce GTX 970. AMD's Radeon R9 290X pricing has dropped considerably since launch and constitutes a great value and competition for the GeForce GTX 970. At $350 this may be an excellent value compared to the competition."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards


Source: [H]ard|OCP

Video News

April 6, 2015 | 06:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's a bit weird logic - gtx 980 can be overclocked too

April 6, 2015 | 08:47 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

Very true.

You get an extra 15-25% overclocking the GTX 980. Just remember that a 20% increase in FPS on the 980 yields more FPS increase than a 20% performance increase on the R9 290X or 970 because it is already starting at a higher base FPS.

What this means is that you are actually getting 75% of the performance for 70% of the price if you compare both cards when overclocked while missing out on smoother performance in some cases.

April 7, 2015 | 01:33 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Only if you succeed on the specific $530 card I mentioned, most 980's cost more. 

Yes, you can still OC your GTX 980 and increase the performance gap, but we are still talking a handful of frames.

April 7, 2015 | 10:33 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

Actually Jeremy the difference between the two cards can be substantial.

When both are overclocked and running at 2560x1440/2560x1600

BF4: 78fps vs 64fps
Watch Dogs: 62fps vs 50fps
AC IV: 58fps vs 41fps
Splinter Cell: 61fps vs 45fps

In many games the GTX 980 hovers around 60fps while the R9 290X sits in the mid 40fps so handful of frames makes a big difference.

I'm not saying the R9 290X isn't a good deal only that it's not as good a deal as you may think.

As for the price the Gigabyte GTX 980 OC goes for about $535 USD in Australia.

April 8, 2015 | 01:10 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

That would be a great price in NA, in Oz that is an incredible price!  If the 290X is within 80% of that then sure, the 980 is the obvious choice if you can swing the price

It's always a tough choice when you are looking at price/performance instead of pure power, otherwise the Titan X would be a reasonable choice. Always do the math and see what you are paying per frame; but also keep track of the frame rating results as well, eh?

April 8, 2015 | 07:40 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

To be honest Jeremy it was a lot more expensive comparatively speaking when the AUD was stronger. I paid $699AUD for the reference design near launch which would have been closer to $599 USD and not such a good deal.

The R9 290X is a little as $439 AUD here. I think I just made your case for you. :)

April 8, 2015 | 09:16 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Until the next sale when the ratio moves again. ;)

Pleasure to have a nice chat in the comments for a change

April 9, 2015 | 02:12 AM - Posted by ThorAxe

Yes; it is a nice change. :)

Just for your info the Titan X in Oz is going for around $1,550 AUD....Yikes!!

April 7, 2015 | 04:31 AM - Posted by JohnGR

My first thought. An article that looks AMD biased but it's logic is so easily rejected that in fact has the completely opposite results. HardOCP remains an Nvidia biased site in my opinion and in my mind. Articles like this looks more like a joke and dust in the eyes of the reader.

April 7, 2015 | 11:51 AM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

You amd fans must really be hurting.

I mean it must be terrible that an AMD COLORED SITE with an amd connected rep Kyle himself at hardocp "looks biased against amd" to you.

Where do you amd fanboys ever get your ideas ?

AMD has been given every break on every review site for YEARS... they always try to booost the underdog lest "competition" be lost, so they are constatly slanting and covering up for AMD..

AMD can blow it for YEARS ON END - while all the major review sites DENY THERE IS ANY PROBLEM despite thousands of the same complaints from end users - which are of course "rebutted" by the amd fanboys - THEN FINALLY AFTER YEARS OF RUNT FRAMES AND CHOPPY PLAYING - THE TRUTH FINALLY COMES OUT ON AMD CF by the major review websites who non-chalantly perhaps remark "I guess we were wrong for years"...

If it's nVidia, though, ALL the sites claim they are suspicious and immediately declare a thorough and ongoing investigation to attempt in any and every way to "uncover the weakness with the exceptions we know "exist!"

Then they may or may not, often NOT, be able to discover the weakness scenario they dreamed up - doesn't matter though ! IT'S NOW ALREADY ABSOLUTE PROOF OF THE "PROBLEM" which gets repeated and written in stone and virally spread about the web immediately.

That's how it really works, fella.

April 7, 2015 | 12:30 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)


Here's the game tests on the 290x max oc vs 970 max oc at hard

score (the settings in game were all the same !)

nvidia by a lot

That's 2 wins each and 2 ties. nVidia won by the most in tomb raider 3

Here's the "conclusion line" with the massive amd bias:

"This PowerColor PCS+ video card provided one of the highest overclocks we have seen on a Radeon R9 290X video card. We also saw this video card perform cooler and with better power efficiency than other R9 290X cards. This video card provides factory overclocked performance on-par with the GTX 970. After achieving our highest overclock, we managed to pass the overclocked GTX 970 in performance at 1440p in most games. There was a real advantage to using the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X over the GTX 970. "


Yeah, that's a "lot of nvidia bias" there bucko...

April 8, 2015 | 12:39 PM - Posted by Dusty

Right, but it's also about $150 more. So it makes sense to OC the two cards in the same price bracket. Your argument is also flawed logic.

April 6, 2015 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No thnx with them shit drivers & software AMD pushing out for those GPU's

April 6, 2015 | 07:57 PM - Posted by icebug

As someone that is running crossfire on 2 cards with completely different firmware versions, using that to push 3 monitors that are in a vertical orientation and using 2 different resolutions I don't have a problem with AMD's drivers. Maybe you should step back into reality and stop drinking the kool aid that was made on forums some 3-4 years ago...

April 7, 2015 | 11:56 AM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

That's what you guys said 3-4 years ago, and before that.

When the 290/x was released about 10 of the top review sites couldn't run half or more of their benchmarks.

That wasn't 3 or 4 years ago, noob, that IS amd's flagship.

April 8, 2015 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Dusty

"[A]bout 10 of the top review sites couldn't run half or more of their benchmarks"

[Citation Needed]


April 6, 2015 | 11:40 PM - Posted by donut (not verified)

Don't know what shit drivers your talking about. I just bought a cheap r9 280 and it's been working great. No crashes and I even OC it 1100 Mhz. Best value for money I've spent in years on a card. Great for 1080p gaming.

Thanks AMD for giving a cheap ass gamer like me an alternative to the graphics mafia.

April 7, 2015 | 04:34 AM - Posted by JohnGR

AMD's drivers are as bad as... Nvidia drivers. The difference is that Nvidia has better and stronger connections with game developers. And that's not always a good thing.

April 7, 2015 | 12:09 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

Yeah, it's not good for AMD fanboys who wish AMD had strong connections instead of ignoring even emails from game devs, and recently, having a grand total of 2 people who took phone calls and had available email addresses for game dev concerns, whilst nVidia LITERALLY had HUNDREDS on the scenes worldwide.


April 6, 2015 | 08:17 PM - Posted by Alien0227

I actually own 2 PowerColor PCS+ R9 290Xs and use them in triple monitor EyeFinity and i have not had the least bit of driver issues using the latest AMD Omega drivers. I am actually proud of the fact I've owned one of these for the last 6 months and used it and then purchased a second card 2 months ago for a total combined cost of about $640 and I get better performance in most games than the newest Titan X for $1,000. Better performance for 2/3 the amount spent. What's wrong with that? I made smart purchases based on diligent research. Please feel free to have nVidia call me anytime for an honest opinion of my experiences with AMD Graphics Cards products.

April 7, 2015 | 12:00 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)

Why do you have to use the recently released "omega"(last) drivers ?

I note you claimed you've had no trouble with "THEM"... of course we know that means the other catalyst was a bust for you.

See, even you claimers of perfection have big, big problems.

I ran OMEGA drivers on ati64 cards, and yeah, they were needed then, too.

April 7, 2015 | 07:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hope you AMD apologists enjoy The Witcher 3 soon oh and GTA V as well with those crossfire setups etc etc when they don't release game optimised drivers and crossfire profiles like Dying Light, Far Cry 4, Shadow of Mordor are just a few on top of my head....maybe around end of summer

April 7, 2015 | 12:01 PM - Posted by SiliconDoc (not verified)





April 9, 2015 | 03:13 PM - Posted by JustTheFacts (not verified)

Why is it that Nvidia fans seem so much more obnoxious than AMD fans? It's almost as if the average Nvidia owner is somewhere around 14 years old while the typical AMD user is in their 30s.

April 7, 2015 | 08:50 AM - Posted by collie

OK! So, I figured it out! Jeremy, Ryan, Josh, and all the rest ARE shills being payed by S3 graphics! It's a beautiful tactic, let Green and Red kill each other out with petty fighting, and in swoops team Yellow with the all new Chrome 600 series FOR THE WIN!!!!

It's all there people, you just need to read betwixt the lines people, who knows how far up this goes PEOPLE, they are watching people, they know, they are here! PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 7, 2015 | 05:36 PM - Posted by Bianchi4me (not verified)

Serious question. Can any of the Nvidia partisans explain to me why they are so eager for Nvidia to have a monopoly in the p.c. graphics area? You absolutely love paying higher prices for weaker products and having fewer choices? Remove AMD and Nvidia has no pressure to innovate, and no financial incentive to spend stacks of cash on providing all that implementation support you love so much. There is a reason the new Titan is massively cheaper than the old Titan, and it isn't Nvidia having a sudden burst of generosity.

I agree that the PC media often cuts AMD some slack, maybe they like having a competitive marketplace too? Certainly makes their job more interesting. Tough to publish a comparison test if there are no other products to compare.

All the "garbage" hyperbole and completely irrational nonsense (updating a driver = old driver is a "bust"...?...?!?) in a tech thread?Seriously, is there some point or goal to all this exaggeration?

April 8, 2015 | 08:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Serious question to you: Are you a retard with that thinking? Guess so....AMD fanboys ignorant fools...

April 8, 2015 | 05:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey old AMD´s card is on par with new Nvidia Gen. AMD is BEST! :D Soon we will have first HBM implementation from.... AMD! Nvidia announced theirs for next year. AMD wins again! :D

Nvidia is just a shitty crap company who copies the ideas of the inventors!

April 8, 2015 | 08:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Dumb troll, Battlefield forums that way --->>>

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.