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