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Power consumption

Please note that our load test isn't an absolute peak scenario. Instead, we have the cards running a real game, Skyrim, in order to show us power draw with a more typical workload.

The 290's power draw at idle is a little higher than the 290X's, possibly due to differences in voltage or chip binning. This small delta isn't anything to worry about, though.

Under load, well, like I said, the power limits on the 290 and 290X appear to be the same. The 290 is often faster than a GeForce Titan, but it gets there by using more power.

Noise levels and GPU temperatures

AMD's eleventh-hour decision to raise the 290's fan speed bought a few percentage points worth of added performance, but it means the 290 is relatively loud for a high-end graphics card.

For what it's worth, had AMD stuck with the original plan, the 290 would have been quieter than the R9 290X. The 290 originally registered 46.5 dBA on the meter under load.