Ok, it's time to boil down our test results to one of our famous value scatter plots. As always, the best combinations of price and performance will be situated closer to the top left corner of the plot, and the less attractive ones will be closer to the bottom right.
Click back and forth between the plots, and you'll see that the GeForce GTX 780 Ti wins the FPS performance sweeps by a nice margin over the Radeon R9 290X. In the 99th percentile frame times, the 780 Ti lands above the R9 290X but below the 290X in its noisy uber fan mode. The application-level issues we saw in Guild Wars 2 hurt the GTX 780 Ti there, perhaps unfairly. Some of the other games appear to be up against CPU performance limitations with the very fastest cards, as well. We're talking about very small differences in the delivery of the last 1% of frames rendered, but still, credit AMD's driver team for making some nice strides in smooth frame delivery.
Based on the totality of our results, I'd say the GeForce GTX 780 Ti has returned the single-GPU performance crown to the green team's trophy case in a controversial split decision. Perhaps more importantly, the GTX 780 Ti achieves these performance levels while running at much lower temperatures and noise levels than the R9 290X. This truly is the finest single-GPU graphics card on the market, and it's a very attractive overall package. If you buy your video cards based on bragging rights rather than value proposition, then the GTX 780 Ti is the card to beat. You can even make a value case for it over the $150-cheaper R9 290X if you factor in the bundled games, Shield discount, and quieter operation.
For most folks, though, forking over 700 bucks for the GTX 780 Ti will seem like madness when the Radeon R9 290 offers 90% of the performance for $300 less. Yeah, the Radeon is noisier, but I'm pretty sure $300 will buy a lifetime supply of those foam earplugs at Walgreens. Heck, throw in another hundred bucks, and you could have dual R9 290s, which should presumably outperform the GTX 780 Ti handily.
In fact, that's what I need to test next: the Hawaii GPU's new XDMA-based CrossFire tech. I plan to throw in a pair of GTX 780 Ti cards and connect it all to a 4K monitor, too. I have a feeling the next few weeks will continue to be unusually entertaining. Stay tuned.
Twitter implements a 140-character low-pass filter on my thoughts.