AMD Radeon R9 290
It might belong to the same 200-series of GPUs as the R9 270, but AMD’s trusty R9 290 shows there’s still plenty of life left in this old card yet. With 4GB of memory at its disposal, the R9 290 is much better equipped to deal with today’s latest games than its infinitely frailer cousin, and it continues to hold its own as a decent choice for 1080p gaming.
Admittedly, the piddly little blower on this particular reference card kicked up a right old fuss during the course of my testing, but third party models will no doubt offer better cooling, and might even be a touch faster as a result. Here’s how it got on.
Can I play this at 1920×1080?
You sure can. You can get away with Shadow’s Highest graphics setting with SMAA anti-aliasing enabled (the lowest frame rate I saw was 42fps in Cozumel caves with highs between 50-60fps across both areas), but the R9 290 is definitely most comfortable on High.
SMAAS x2 anti-aliasing is a bit too much for it, with the frame rate veering between 30-45fps in the caves and a steadier 30-35fps in Cozumel’s town square, but drop the AA down a notch to SMAAT x2 and you’re looking at a much smoother range of 48fps to just over 60fps.
If a sub-50fps isn’t quite good enough for you, though, your options are to either play on High with SMAA, earning you a frame rate somewhere between 52-66fps, or drop down to Medium with SMAAT x2 for pretty much the same kind of speed.
Can I play this at 2560×1440?
Just about, but you’re pushing your luck. Medium on SMAA once again hovered around a playable but ultimately slightly shonky region of 36-46fps, but those after something even vaguely near 60fps will have to make do with Low and SMAA for a frame rate between 48-62fps.
Got a graphics card that isn’t covered here? Don’t worry. More cards will be added soon.