Nvidia has been running the video card show for the last month or so, as the manufacturer rides the massive wave of success that their Maxwell cards have brought them. The two 900 series cards are both fantastic, but alone they still buckle under 4K gaming due to memory starvation. If that’s a concern, then AMD might have the answer you’re looking for.
That’s because the red team has just burst their R9 290X wide open to third-party manufacturers, with several 8GB variations of the card already hitting some markets. MSI, Sapphire, XFX and PowerColor all have their 8GB R9 290X cards out in the UK ready, with other larger companies such as ASUS and Gigabyte expected to follow suit.
In terms of performance, the new 8GB will be identical to previous R9 290X models. The only thing being bumped up here is the memory, which only really becomes an issue at high 4K resolutions. At that size card, horsepower also becomes an issue, but since memory isn’t stacked in multiple card configurations this could be the AMD answer enthusiasts have been waiting for.
This comes just a few days after a rumour suggested that Nvidia was busy prepping a 8GB GTX 980 of their own, with an expected launch next year. If that’s so, that could essentially bump this R9 290X to the side in terms of overall performance. That’s where pricing will come into play, when it’s eventually locked down for both sides.
Do you really need more memory if you’re not looking at gaming in 4K though? Right now, no. Even with the increasing demands from new games, a 4GB will be more than enough if you’re in the market for an upgrade to your PC gaming.
Last Updated: November 6, 2014