AMD’s new flagship Radeon R9 290X will no longer require CrossFire fingers to operate in multi-card configuration. Instead only PCI-Express slots will be required to make the cards run in such combination.
According to previous leaks this new approach would eliminate most of the frame pacing problems for which AMD was criticized since the topic became popular. However AMD went a step further and decided it would be a good idea to eliminate the necessity of the a separate CrossFire connection. It was possible since PCI-E interface is already capable of delivering enough bandwidth for multi-gpu communication.
The new slide supposedly leaked from AMD Reviewers Guide for R9 290X revealed that this card will scale much better than expected. The R9 290X CrossFire configuration will deliver up to 2.0x the performance of the single card. There is no game on the list that would not scale lower than 1.8x, but we are more than sure that these games were chosen here for a reason.
Additionally to that we have a chart with all the frame rates listed. I updated it with the CrossFire to single-card comparison.
|AMD Radeon R9 290X CrossFire Scaling (Uber Mode)|
|Gaming Titles||Settings (4K Resolution)||Radeon R9 290X||Radeon R9 290X CrossFireX||290X CF / 290X|
|Aliens vs Predators||3840×2160 4xMSAA 16xAF||32,6||63,3||194,2%|
|Battlefield 3||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||39,2||77,1||196,7%|
|Bioshock Infinite||3840×2160 0xAF||43,9||80,4||183,1%|
|Crysis 3||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||32,2||62,1||192,9%|
|Dirt Showdown||3840×2160 8xMSAA 16xAF||31,7||60,7||191,5%|
|Far Cry 3||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||32,3||64,4||199,4%|
|Hitman Absolution||3840×2160 8xAA 0xAF||10,9||21,1||193,6%|
|Max Payne 3||3840×2160 8xAA 16xAF||16,9||32,6||192,9%|
|Metro: Last Light||3840×2160 0xSSAA 16xAF||25,2||46,6||184,9%|
|Saints Row IV||3840×2160 8xAA 16xAF||34||62,2||182,9%|
|Shogun 2||3840×2160 8xAA 16xAF||16,4||31,2||190,2%|
|Splinter Cell Blacklist||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||44,6||88,2||197,8%|
|Tomb Raider||3840×2160 16xAF FXAA (TressFX On)||28,4||56,0||197,2%|
From the same source we have a chart comparing Uber Mode to Quiet Mode. These results are very interesting, especially since there’s almost no difference between them. The average difference is just 1,54%. We believe that Uber mode is simply a safety switch for advanced overclocking. It should increase power limit, bump the voltage a bit and change the fan profile.
|AMD Radeon R9 290X Uber Mode vs Quiet Mode|
|Gaming Titles||Settings (4K Resolution)||Radeon R9 290X (Uber Mode)||Radeon R9 290X (Quiet Mode)||GeForce GTX 780 (Stock)||290X Uber Mode / 290X Quiet Mode|
|Anno 2070||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||34,3||34,2||25,2||100,29%|
|Aliens Vs Predators||3840×2160 4xMSAA 16xAF||32,6||32,3||23,5||100,93%|
|Battlefield 4||3840×2160 4xMSAA||36,8||36,9||31||99,73%|
|Bioshock Infinite||3840×2160 0xAF NoAA||43,9||44,2||31||99,32%|
|Borderlands 2||3840×2160 16xAF||76,2||76,1||62,4||100,13%|
|Company of Heroes 2||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||34,8||34,5||26,6||100,87%|
|Crysis 3||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||32,2||32,2||27,5||100,00%|
|Dirt Showdown||3840×2160 8xMSAA 16xAF||31,7||29,9||21,2||106,02%|
|Far Cry 3||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||37,2||34,2||30,1||108,77%|
|Grid 2||3840×2160 8xMSAA||47,9||46,3||39,1||103,46%|
|Hitman Absolution||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||35,9||36||32,1||99,72%|
|Max Payne 3||3840×2160 0xAA 0xAF||72,1||71,2||50,7||101,26%|
|Metro Last Light||3840×2160 0xSSAA 16xAF||47,8||47,7||40,7||100,21%|
|Saints Row IV||3840×2160 8xAA 16xAF||34||32,9||30,3||103,34%|
|Sleeping Dogs||3840×2160 16xAF AA||46,1||45,2||18,3||101,99%|
|Tomb Radier||3840×2160 16xAF FXAA (TressFX Off)||40,3||40,2||34,5||100,25%|
Here is an official slide comparing both Uber and Quiet mode in Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. If someone could explain why Uber Mode is worse than Quiet in BioShock Infinite, that would be great :)
One of the VC commentators posted a new chart, supposedly showing official 3Dmark performance in Uber and Quiet mode. Numbers seem to confirm what we wrote earlier in this post. The idea behind the Uber/Quiet BIOS switch was to uncap the performance by allowing more aggressive overclocking. However I would wait for more detailed information before describing this technology.
One more thing, someone found the picture of the ASUS R9 290X box. Of course it’s a Battlefield 4 edition. The biggest shocker here is the door hanger, a must have item for every progamer.