AMD Radeon R9 290X 8GB cards are now available

AMD seems to be making all the right moves in the last couple of weeks. After introducing a price cutting strategy for its high-end Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 models, the highly anticipated 8GB version of the Radeon R9 290X is finally available. Four R9 290X models have been identified on OCUK. AMD’s long-term partner, Sapphire has released two R9 8GB cards: one reference model and one Vapor-X modelMSI has also launched its custom 290X version, as well as PowerColor. All four cards are available for pre-order right now. Sapphire’s reference model goes for £359.99, while the other three custom versions cost £379.99. There is a fifth exclusive model leaked by Videocardz: the XFX R9 290X 8GB – a graphics card which will employ the smart looking XFX Ghost Double Dissipation cooling unit.

AMD has given the green light for the R9 290X 8GB to all its licensed partners, and although only 5 of them have come up with their own 290X 8GB versions, many more are expected to join the club. Asus, HIS, Gigabyte or Club3D are the immediate names which come to mind. The R9 290X 8GB could not have landed at a better time for AMD which is looking to take full advantage of Nvidia’s shortcomings. While the Geforce GTX 980 8GB is pretty certain to launch in the beginning of December, the Radeon R9 290X will be enjoying some time alone on the market in the meantime. 4K gaming is now more accessible, as 8GB of GDDR5 will be plenty to work with on 7680×4320 resolutions. As I’ve previously outlined, the R9 290X 8GB will feature a 512 bit memory interface, while the GTX 980 8GB will have a 256 bit interface. It will be very interesting to see how the GTX 980 will bridge the bus width gap and if the upcoming GTX 980 8GB will feature a 384 bit interface.

From what I’ve seen, the XFX, MSI and Sapphire Vapor-X 8GB models are very solid candidates for a CrossfireX setup. At the moment, AMD seems to be edging Nvidia in terms of marketing strategy and I’m very curious to see if the newly released R9 290X 8GB model will be able to outperform its GTX 980 8GB counterpart.