So anywayz, I've received my XFX 290x, so far it seems to be working (which is awesome, because I got it from Newegg and the card is not an EVGA's product, so returns/replacements can be extremely annoying for such stuff). I've played few games, ran few apps like Folding@Home (spoiler: it "folds" noticeably slower, even with x17 WU's), etc. Is it a "Titan killer"? That depends on your personal definition. Because I can afford to buy (and keep) both cards I'd say "definitely not". It plays all games equally well at the particular resolution and configuration that I currently use (in terms of actual numbers it is slightly worse) BUT it is more loud (not by a lot but noticeably so) and runs more hot while drawing more power. It also needs the BIOS switch to stay in non-default "Uber" position in order for the card to consistently stay at claimed 1GHz clocks. I also do not appreciate XFX putting tiny "warranty void if removed" stickers all over the top of the screws on the back of the card and making their policy regarding "modding" extremely vague and ambiguous (it basically says "we may allow you to change heatsink by yourself, but you must contact us first for an approval, which is not guaranteed"). It also annoys me that there aren't many good overclocking/monitoring tools available for it, basically all you have is "MSI Afterburner" thingie which is kinda deficient in some ways (and I never use the "GPU-Z" buggy garbage for anything).
The price is definitely attractive point about this card, BUT
considering the fact that you can, for example, buy a factory-overclocked GTX780, with a much better multi-fan cooler pre-installed, which would run more quietly and more cool, from an awesome retailer like EVGA (or any other personal favorite retailer you might prefer), for about the same price and about same performance:
I don't really see the reason to purchase the 290x right now, especially considering a very limited current stocks... Unless you're a brain-dead fanbot who believes that Mantle/TrueAudio will be automagically embraced by every major game developer for all future titles, or you're just a marketing shill... Or you just have some money to throw around on pointless hardware experiments
TL;DR version: AMD forced Nvidia to lower their prices. Which is the only positive thing about new Hawaii GPU's. At least for now, considering its inefficient stock "blower" cooler, lack of Mantle-enabled games and the card's current prices.
6.3L V8 451hp@6,500rpm and 443 lb-ft@5,000rpm, 7-speed SPEEDSHIFT MCT, aux oil cooler, 14.2" rotors & 6-piston calipers front, 13.0" rotors & 4-piston calipers rear, 30% LF LSD, 18" AMG wheels with Continental ContiSportContact 5P