Select any two GPUs for comparison

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon R9 290 GeForce GTX 660 MSI Hawk 2GB Edition
Red Dead Redemption 2 16% 102%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 16% 102%
Cyberpunk 2077 60% 178%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 9% 89%
Borderlands 3 23% 114%
FIFA 20 38% 8%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 60% 178%
Ghost Recon Breakpoint 76% 206%
eFootball PES 2020 21% 38%
The Outer Worlds 7% 85%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 290 are significantly better than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 MSI Hawk 2GB Edition.

The GTX 660 has a 138 MHz higher core clock speed than the Radeon R9 290, but the Radeon R9 290 has 80 more Texture Mapping Units than the GTX 660. As a result, the Radeon R9 290 exhibits a 64.7 GTexel/s better Texture Fill Rate than the GTX 660. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The GTX 660 has a 138 MHz higher core clock speed than the Radeon R9 290, but the Radeon R9 290 has 40 more Render Output Units than the GTX 660. As a result, the Radeon R9 290 exhibits a 34.6 GPixel/s better Pixel Fill Rate than the GTX 660. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The Radeon R9 290 was released over a year more recently than the GTX 660, and so the Radeon R9 290 is likely to have better driver support, meaning it will be more optimized for running the latest games when compared to the GTX 660.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The Radeon R9 290 has 2048 MB more video memory than the GTX 660, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the Radeon R9 290 also has superior memory performance overall.

The Radeon R9 290 has 175.8 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the GTX 660, which means that the memory performance of the Radeon R9 290 is massively better than the GTX 660.

The Radeon R9 290 has 2560 Shader Processing Units and the GeForce GTX 660 MSI Hawk 2GB Edition has 960. However, the actual shader performance of the Radeon R9 290 is 2061 and the actual shader performance of the GTX 660 is 1104. The Radeon R9 290 having 957 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the Radeon R9 290 delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the GTX 660.

The Radeon R9 290 requires 275 Watts to run but there is no entry for the GeForce GTX 660 MSI Hawk 2GB Edition. We would recommend a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the Radeon R9 290.

GPU Architecture

Core Speed947 MHzvs1085 MHz
Boost Clock-vs1150 MHz
ArchitectureGCN 1.1 Hawaii PROKepler GK106-400-A1
OC Potential Fair vs Poor
Driver Support Great vs Good
Release Date05 Nov 2013vs01 Oct 2012
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

green tick vs -
green tick vs
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GPU Memory

Memory4096 MBvs2048 MB
Memory Speed1250 MHzvs1502 MHz
Memory Bus512 Bitvs192 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth320GB/secvs144.2GB/sec
L2 Cache 1024 KB green tick vs 384 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units2560vs960
Actual Shader Performance99%vs53%
Texture Mapping Units160vs80
Texture Rate151.5 GTexel/svs86.8 GTexel/s
Render Output Units64vs24
Pixel Rate60.6 GPixel/svs26 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections2vs2
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections0vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power275 Watts-
Recommended PSU750 Watts & 42 Amps-

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.4vs4.5
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHzvsIntel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution2560x1440vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewOverview
Radeon R9 290 is a High-End Graphics Card based on the First Revision of the Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture.

The GCN 1.1 revision of the Graphics Core Next Architecture adds new important technologies and is largely oriented for energy efficiency. New technologies such as PowerTune and TrueAudio are the biggest additions as well as DirectX 11.2 support.

It equips a GPU Codenamed Hawaii PRO which has 60 Compute Units activated and thus offers 2560 Shader Processing Units, 160 TMUs and 64 ROPs. The Central Unit is clocked at 947MHz.

The GPU accesses a 4GB frame buffer of fast GDDR5, through a 512-bit memory interface. The size of the frame buffer is adequate. The Memory Clock Operates at 1250MHz.

Power Consumption
With a rated board TDP of 275W, it requires at least a 750W PSU with one available 6-pin and one available 8-pin connectors.

Radeon R9 290 competes with GeForce GTX 780 but it proves to be slower than the latter at resolutions up to 1920x1080 but takes the lead beyond that.

System Suggestions
Radeon R9 290 is best suited for resolutions up to and including 2560x1440. We recommend a Very Strong Processor and 8GB of RAM for Optimal Performance.
GeForce GTX 660 MSI Hawk 2GB Edition a special edition of GeForce GTX 660.
The new features include the Twin Frozr III Thermal Design cooling solution which, according to MSI, generates 20% more airflow than traditional fan design.
In terms of overclocking, the base-clock was increased from 980MHz to 1085MHz and the boost clock can now reach 1150MHz, instead of 1033MHz. The memory clock was left untouched.
The overclocking is therefore extreme and the performance boost is around 8% when compared to the standard GeForce GTX 660.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants




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