AMD Preparing New Catalyst Graphics Driver For R9 290 Series

A few sites have posted up articles about performance variances on the new R9 290 series and AMD is working on a new driver that will help reduce the variances people have been seeing. Basically, as the card heats up the performance drops. This is something we noed in our original Radeon R9 290X review as the performance and power both drop a bit from when the card goes from being cold (not used) to hot (being used).  AMD appears to be tweaking the fan profiles and clock speeds again on an upcoming beta driver.  We aren’t sure how it will impact overall performance, but we sure hope it doesn’t invalidate all of our performance numbers.  We were working on a Radeon R9 290X versus GeForce GTX 780 Ti article using a 4K monitor, but that has been put on hold for the time being. AMD hopes to have a new driver out tonight.

AMD has released the following statement in regards to performance variances on the new R9 290 series:

“A media outlet has uniquely reported instances of AMD Radeon R9 290X boards purchased in retail that have exhibited an uncharacteristic level of performance variance as compared to press samples issued by AMD. We’re working to secure the board(s) in question for further analysis.  Boards purchased by other media outlets have not exhibited similar characteristics that we’re aware of. In the meantime, we’ve identified areas where variability can be minimized and are working on a driver update which will minimize this variance.  We will provide an update shortly.” – AMD

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  • bobsmith

    Is AMD also shipping out ear mufflers as part of this “driver” update?

    • GettCouped

      I put my fan profile max to 100% When I’m playing a game it doesn’t bother me. 🙂 Besides I’m sure 3rd party will be great for the 290x.

      • dsfgsdgfs

        100%? are you sure about that? even AMD wouldn’t turn it past 47% hard to imagine what 100% is like.

        • GettCouped

          Its noisy but with headphones I can’t hear it.

          Ubermode goes above 47%

  • Zach B.

    The new drivers (13.11 Beta 9.2) are out,

    *Call of Duty®: Ghost – Improves anti-aliasing performance, and updates the AMD CrossFire™ profile
    *AMD Radeon™ R9 290 Series – PowerTune update to reduce variance of fan speed / RPM
    *Resolves intermittent crashes seen in legacy DirectX®​ 9 applications

  • johndoe

    right… cheat more AMD, clap clap. uncap those fan speed limits, that’s the only thing you are good at. If done correctly your 290x could take off and launch itself into space.

    • GettCouped

      What does this even mean?

      Anyway, currently very happy with my 290x although a 780 is a great buy, Thanks to the 290x.

      • Nathan Kirsch

        Basically, AMD is normalizing the fan RPMs to the corect values. This means they are going up in most cases. The correct target RPM values are 2200RPM for the AMD Radeon R9 290X ‘Quiet mode’, and
        2650RPM for the R9 290. If your 290X is not running at those speeds when gaming, then it’s off.

        • GettCouped

          Thanks Nathan. I had no issue reading your article. It was very well presented. I was referring to the johndoe above me. It just seemed like a fanboy rant, which I don’t understand because the 290 made the 780 cheaper, and also spawned the 780ti