Asus Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC 4GB Review – Performance at the Right Price?

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Price and Availability

addtocartThe Asus Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC 4GB (R9290-DC2OC-4GD5) currently retails for $409.99 $329.99 on Newegg here, or £299.99 here. It also comes with a 3 year warranty from Asus.

However, I do think it’s time for Asus to make some price adjustments. Some of its competitors offers the same R9 290, with a (slightly) higher clock speeds but comes with a lower price tag. For example, the Gigabyte R9 290 GDDR5-4GB (GV-R929OC-4GD) has a current retail price of $369.99 $309.99 here. It features Windforce 3X cooler and a clock speed of 1040MHz. Meanwhile the Sapphire TRI-X R9 290 4GB GDDR5 OC currently retails for $427.47 $299.99 here. It features a core clock speed of 1000MHz and a memory clock speed of 1300MHz, 5200MHz (effective).

Note: All prices are subject to change, and they might have gone down by the time you visited this page. Please visit their respective links for the updated pricing.

Asus Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC Review: Conclusion

At the end of the day, the Asus Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC passed the tests without any problems. In terms of aesthetics, it’s a good looking and very solid card. The shroud is metal and the back is protected by an aluminum backplate. This type of design can also be seen on other Asus high end graphics cards, like the GTX 780, GTX 780 Ti and R9 290X. Noise and temperature were also within the acceptable values, and I find no flaws in this department with the sample Asus loaned me with.

When I buy a graphics card, I don’t base my decision on which graphics card overclocks better. In fact it’s not included in my “things to consider”, since I don’t overclock my graphics card when playing games. If I want something faster, better settle for the faster graphics card. I don’t have any other R9 290s to compare this sample with, so I can’t comment on how good or bad is the Asus R9 290 DC2OC when compared to other graphics cards in terms of performance. But like I mentioned in the pricing section, there are competitors, like Gigabyte and Sapphire, who are offering the same R9 290 OC variants with higher clock speeds, probably better cooler, at a lower cost. I think lowering its price will make it more attractive specially to consumers who are not loyal to a specific brand.

I also compared the results I got with the Asus GTX 780 I previously reviewed. Although they were tested on a different system, I don’t think that the performance difference would be that huge even if I re-test them together on the same system. I noticed that there are cases (whether benchmarking or gaming) that the Asus Radeon R9 290 performed better than the GTX 780. But generally when it comes to gaming, the GTX 780 did performed better. There are also situations where the performance difference is not that high, not to mention we also have to factor in the drivers used since newer drivers tend to perform better than the old ones. So when price matters, I’d say the Radeon R9 290 would win against the GTX 780.

The Asus Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC 4GB is a great card and I think performance is just right for its price. If you think the R9 280X would not satisfy your gaming needs and the R9 290X is just too expensive for you, worry not because the R9 290 is the sweet spot for you. This is a great performing and solid graphics card and it comes with a 3-year limited warranty from Asus. This graphics card surely deserves The PC Enthusiast’s Highly Recommended Award.

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