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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon R9 290 GeForce GTX 460 SLI
Hitman 3 60% 177%
Cyberpunk 2077 23% 113%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 12% 95%
FIFA 21 38% 8%
Grand Theft Auto VI 73% 200%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 9% 89%
Resident Evil 8 23% 113%
Genshin Impact 23% 113%
Far Cry 6 78% 208%
The Medium 53% 166%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 290 are significantly better than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SLI.

The Radeon R9 290 has a 272 MHz higher core clock speed and 48 more Texture Mapping Units than the GTX 460. This results in the Radeon R9 290 providing 75.9 GTexel/s better texturing performance. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The Radeon R9 290 has a 272 MHz higher core clock speed than the GTX 460 and the same number of Render Output Units. This results in the Radeon R9 290 providing 17.4 GPixel/s better pixeling performance. 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 three years more recently than the GTX 460, and so the Radeon R9 290 is likely to have far better driver support, meaning it will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the GTX 460 when running the latest games.

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 460, 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 89.6 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the GTX 460, which means that the memory performance of the Radeon R9 290 is much better than the GTX 460.

The Radeon R9 290 has 2560 Shader Processing Units and the GeForce GTX 460 SLI has 672. However, the actual shader performance of the Radeon R9 290 is 2061 and the actual shader performance of the GTX 460 is 907. The Radeon R9 290 having 1154 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 460.

The Radeon R9 290 transistor size technology is 12 nm (nanometers) smaller than the GTX 460. This means that the Radeon R9 290 is expected to run slightly cooler and achieve higher clock frequencies than the GTX 460.

The Radeon R9 290 requires 275 Watts to run and the GeForce GTX 460 SLI requires 380 Watts. We would recommend a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the Radeon R9 290 and a PSU with at least 600 Watts for the GTX 460. The GTX 460 requires 105 Watts more than the Radeon R9 290 to run. The difference is significant enough that the GTX 460 may have an adverse affect on your yearly electricity bills in comparison to the Radeon R9 290.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed947 MHzvs675 MHz
Boost Clock-vs-
ArchitectureGCN 1.1 Hawaii PROFermi GF104-300-KB-A1 (x2)
OC Potential Fair vs None
Driver Support Great vs Poor
Release Date05 Nov 2013vs01 Jul 2010
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

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GPU Memory

Memory4096 MBvs2048 MB
Memory Speed1250 MHzvs900 MHz
Memory Bus512 Bitvs512 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth320GB/secvs230.4GB/sec
L2 Cache 1024 KB green tick vs green tick 1024 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units2560vs672
Actual Shader Performance99%vs44%
Texture Mapping Units160vs112
Texture Rate151.5 GTexel/svs75.6 GTexel/s
Render Output Units64vs64
Pixel Rate60.6 GPixel/svs43.2 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs2560x1600
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections2vs4
HDMI Connections1vs2
DisplayPort Connections0vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power275 Wattsvs380 Watts
Recommended PSU750 Watts & 42 Ampsvs600 Watts & 26 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 3.5GHz-
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 460 SLI is a solution of two GeForce GTX 460 put together using NVIDIA'S SLI technology.
SLI relies a lot on proper driver support and may cause micro stuttering in FPS below 30. This means this combination might even perform worse than a single GTX 460.
The optimal performance it delivers is slightly better than a single GeForce GTX 480.
Therefore, this combination is sufficient for gaming at 1080p and most demanding games can be played at the highest settings.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants