During the past week, AMD revealed their new R7 and R9 desktop GPUs, which mostly consist of rebranded 7000-series parts (e.g. the R9-280X). The one exception is the R9-290X, which uses the Hawaii core. Full details are not yet public, but Maingear is now taking preorders for their Shift and F131 systems that use the GPU. They also include a few pieces of information about the cards. For one, the R9-290X will ship with 4GB GDDR5 (along with TrueAudio and 4K resolution support), and second, the estimated ship date on the Shift and F131 is 10/23/2013.

As part of the offer, pre-ordering will also get you a copy of Battlefield 4 along with Battlefield 4 branded cases and hardware. These are “limited edition” systems, but that appears to be mostly related to the BF4 branding elements – and of course, Battlefield 4 will be one of the first games to support AMD’s Mantle API. The Shift is a CrossFire setup coming standard with two R9-290X cards and supporting up to three cards, with either the FX 9370 or 9590 CPU; pricing starts at around $3789. The F131 comes standard with a single R9-290X and supports up to two cards, and it uses an FX 8350; pricing begins at $2199 (depending on options).

Both systems are expensive and Maingear is known for relatively large markups, so it’s difficult to say how much each card will cost. The systems are also using AMD FX CPUs and motherboards, and while there are areas where AMD is still competitive, it’s pretty clear that overall Intel is well ahead in most areas of CPU performance. I suspect we’ll see Intel systems with R9-290X show up around the same time from other vendors, but we’ll wait for the full review before coming to any final recommendations.

10/10/2013 Update: CyberPowerPC has also announced systems with R9-290X for pre-order with a Battlefield 4 motif, and not surprisingly much of the hardware is strikingly similar to the Maingear offerings. The base model starts at $2169, and there are a lot more customization options available (e.g. seven different motherboards, FX-8350/9370/9590 CPUs, RAM, etc.) I suspect we'll see additional vendors announcing such systems in the next week or two.

Source: Maingear PR

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  • zanon - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    Might be sheer coincidence, but Apple is supposed to be doing their next event on October 22, which is interesting in light of the Oct 23 ship date here. Apparently they're staying pure AMD for their new Trashcan Pro, wonder if some R9-290X variant could feature there along with the Fire stuff that's been touted.
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    The specs from the Mac Pro announcement point toward Tahiti based Fire Pro cards. Though Apple could easily slip in a higher grade card as a build to order option.
  • sylar365 - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    I, like most of us, am excited to soon see some real world benchmark numbers for the 290X but I feel that using an AMD CPU - even if it is the 9590 - in a system designed to be a "limited edition Battlefield 4" rig is just unfortunate. After playing the BF4 beta and noticing just how CPU intensive it is in multiplayer (I needed to turn CPU intensive settings off/down with an i5-2500k @ 4.2 Ghz to make it smoother) it brings a tear to my eye thinking someone would decide to mate an AMD CPU to an unreleased, high-end graphics system like that. What a damn shame.
  • Novaguy - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    AMD cpu's. Interesting. The only connection I can think of why this might work is that "Perfect Parallel Rendering-perfectly utilize all 8 cores" cpu thing in the Frostbite/Mantle API presentation, but I'll have to see benchmarks first. If Mantle works better with 8 real AMD cores, it might squeeze something extra out of the FX 8 core architecture that would be lacking in intel's faster 4 cores.

    Even then, you'll still be stuck with weaker performance in the directX stuff.
  • willis936 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    I don't think there's a hardware/software configuration on earth that would have an fx chip outperform an 115x.
  • parkerm35 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    As you can see, Battlefield 4, along side most future games, are/will be optimized for 8 cores, so the FX chips will be perfectly fine for future gaming.


  • [-Stash-] - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Intel 3770K and 4770K results conspicuously absent from these results…
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    What an absolute waste of what is no doubt an incredible card (referring of course to the fact it has an AMD CPU).
  • chizow - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    Interesting to see CyberPowerPC is also bundling these cards with only AMD CPUs? Sounds like AMD is forcing this upon their OEMs, if you want their latest GPU you need to sell it with their CPU? Not a bad strategy, they probably should've done this long ago.
  • Nikhilanand - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    I think AMD's more number of cores benefit from this generation of games (as there are 8 jaguar cores in both Xbox one and PS4)

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