Originally Posted by r0cawearz
Hmm, I'm leaning towards a 7950 because of how much cheaper it is, but for a 290 I could get it for around 380 along with a BF4(which would be around 320+bf4). Is it not worth getting if I don't plan on getting a waterblock?
Also, how much would a nonreference 290 be when it's released? Any estimates?
7950 is definitely "the card" to get, all the way up to the R9 290 really. The 280x is okay, but the 7950 can easily get to the same performance levels (within 1-3% depending on the game).
The R9 290 reference is a solid enough card from what I can tell. It'll just be noisy with a good fan profile to keep the card cool enough, or it'll run really hot but be quiet-ish. The reference coolers always suck (that's actually why I'm trading my 7970 because I can't stand the noise anymore, lol). Is the 290 worth getting? Depends on if you can handle the noise. I'd definitely not get one and keep the fan speed at auto, I like to overclock things.
The difference in price is GENERALLY anywhere from nothing to about $20-50 depending on the brand, type of cooler, and the overclock from the factory. Usually, the price is about $10-20 at most difference....usually.
Basically, with AMD cards, you've got the HD7850 / 7870 or R9 270 (all of these are really close to each other in performance). These are all worth in my books about $150 (I haven't checked on newegg for a long time). The 7950 is about $200, and holds that price bracket really really well. It's a huge upgrade from the lower end cards, and keeps right up with the high end ones. Then there's the R9 290 at $400, which is a HUGE upgrade from the 7900 series and the 280x. The 7950, 7970, and 280x are all so close to each other in performance, they're really just about all the same card. The 290 is I want to say a 40-50% increase? It gets about 20% less performance than two 7950's in crossfire. Anything other than those cards, really isn't worth looking into if you ask me. But it fully depends on your uses and budget.Edited by pioneerisloud - 11/15/13 at 12:49am