At $399.99 and just a step behind the Radeon R9 290x, the Radeon R9 290 should be a real winner for everyone. The price performance ratio is incredible and if that’s all that I cared about, I would declare it the undisputed champion of graphics cards.
Unfortunately, I care about other factors such as energy consumption, heat output and noise levels. Energy consumption and heat output is tolerable but noise levels? I heard when my Radeon HD 5770 spun up and didn’t like that so I can’t imagine how loud the R9 290 would sound.
Maybe aftermarket coolers or custom solutions from other vendors will curb the issue. I’m still not comfortable surging beyond the 50 dB level so I am certainly not comfortable with the 60 dB number.
I’m not a fan of the uncompromising pursuit of performance. Sacrificing reasonable noise, power and heat levels for performance is too much. I rather wait for manufacturing to catch up so we can get the performance along with the low noise, low power consumption and low heat output.