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We were less than complimentary when we first reviewed AMD’s 290X so when MSI asked us to take a look at their lightning example we were less than enthusiastic. The problem with the AMD R9 290X was not the performance as it was clearly an astonishingly fast graphic card. The noise the reference cooler makes, due in part to the searing temperatures it needs to exhaust (95c!), gave us little option but to be honest and frank when giving our appraisal which was, for the most part a recommendation, to give a lot of thought to what you want out of a GPU. IF performance is above all else then the R9 290X will satisfy that need but if you also want a well rounded product, capable of extreme performance in all aspects, not just FPS production then you may want to look elsewhere . You see, a noisy card we can forgive, A hot card we can also accept but when a graphics card creates as much noise and heat as the reference design it is hardly surprising many would give it a wide berth when there is such stiff competition which runs both faster, cooler and quieter. Fast forward to today and we have in front of us one very special product which may give the AMD R9 290X some redemption.