Our Final Thoughts
Once the cooling is figured out this could be one hell of a card. The performance per dollar is right and I can imagine once temps are managed the thermals will be much better allowing less heat and less fan noise. Even though the card may be engineered to run like that, those kinds of temperatures will damage the card over time, or at least decrease its lifespan.
As for now I think AMD simply put out what they had knowing full well that they will likely be offering a refresh which will likely be much better soon (hopefully early next year) and at that point I am hoping competition will really start to heat up.
As for now AMD made one very capable GPU that just needs some love from the cooling department.
I am anxiously awaiting the entries of custom 290X models carrying custom coolers which will make for what I believe to be much better performing cards with much better consumer satisfaction as well.
If the 290X is a sign of where AMD is heading in terms of graphics technology then the future is bright but for the love of god figure out the power consumption and cooling so that it is a dead heat contender to current gen NV cards.
For now I will give the card a silver as it has massive performance potential and it simply lacks a proper cooler to keep things civil for gamers.
NOTE: We are working on another article soon that will cover a more fair comparison of 290X to other cards by tuning it in to better match thermals and fan noise of its top competitors then we will see how the card really stacks up when compared apples to apples with similar fan noise and thermals.