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Post by Eorl @ 12:07pm 09/04/14 | 15 Comments
The graphics card arms race continues with AMD today announcing the reveal of a brand new, dual-GPU, ultra-enthusiast graphics card: the Radeon R9 295X2.

Coming in just two weeks after Nvidia's CEO showcased their brand new dual-GPU on stage at its GPU Technology Conference, AMD has stepped up to show that it too has something only the most enthusiastic gamers can be eager for. Weighing in at a total of 5,632 cores between the two mashed together GPUs, the 295X2 is one heck of a beast. If that wasn't enough, AMD has also decided it would be smart to include a closed-loop water cooler attached to the card, just to ensure house fires aren't started.

Under the brushed aluminium shell you'll find a pair of AMD's Tahiti XT GPUs, with 128 ROPs and 8GB GDDR5 to boot, split between two 512-memory buses. If that wasn't enough to send you into a dizzy spin, the card also clocks in higher than the R9 290X series, at 1,018MHz, making it the first dual-GPU to run higher than its single-GPU card brethren.

PC Gamer were able to take one for a quick spin, spitting out BioShock Infinite at 58FPS on a 3840 x 2160 resolution. At a lower res of 2560 x 1600, the dual-GPU topped out at 100FPS with the same test, giving it a rather considerable lead on what Nvidia currently offers. Of course, the GPU arms race isn't static, and with the competition planning on releasing Titan Z soon enough the race for craziest graphics card performance may once again relight.

AMD's R9 295X2 will be retailing at USD$1,500, so expect our Australian land tax to hike that price up closer to the $2,000 mark. Eager? Let us know in the comments on your thoughts.













Latest Comments
ph33x
Posted 12:10pm 09/4/14
This would be great for mining as you could fit 14 GPU's into a single system. But just like the Titan Z, if you're using it to game on, it would only be useful to someone building a Mini-ITX system, and therefore can only run one card.

For any other reason though, buying 2 separate cards provides better performance per dollar, and plenty of flexibilty (add a 3rd or sell one off as you require).
Trex0321
Posted 12:39pm 09/4/14
ID BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR!
beau
Posted 01:36pm 09/4/14
Hate how they can just slap on an AIO and call it 'enthusiast.'
Net
Posted 01:40pm 09/4/14
Hopefully, having 4 mini DP out means it can support at least 4x1080p screens simultaneously. However I'm a bit wary of just how hot this card will get even with the liquid cooling.
Newgo
Posted 06:15pm 09/4/14
Its been tested and will run 5 screens at 1080 (closest thing to 5k atm) in eyefinity comfortably. And as for buying 2 cards, this actually performs as good as 2 x 290x and in some cases better. Its not your usual dual gpu. You will be paying like $400+ for the closed loop water cooling and the aluminium carry case lol. The water cooling keeps it at a decent temp but the pci 8 pin connectors get quite hot. They are over drawing on them. Should have opted for a 3rd 8pin connector.
Newgo
Posted 06:15pm 09/4/14
Its been tested and will run 5 screens at 1080 (closest thing to 5k atm) in eyefinity comfortably. And as for buying 2 cards, this actually performs as good as 2 x 290x and in some cases better. Its not your usual dual gpu. You will be paying like $400+ for the closed loop water cooling and the aluminium carry case lol. The water cooling keeps it at a decent temp but the pci 8 pin connectors get quite hot. They are over drawing on them. Should have opted for a 3rd 8pin connector.
ph33x
Posted 06:37pm 09/4/14
And as for buying 2 cards, this actually performs as good as 2 x 290x and in some cases better. Its not your usual dual gpu.

Source?

Basic electrical nonsense: A 290 is a 250watt GPU stock. A 295 would run at 500 watts under load. PCI-e 8+8+6 pin gives you 450 watts of power handling.

Knowing this, how can a 295 be faster than 2x 290's?
scottjames12
Posted 10:15pm 09/4/14
Check out Anandtech's review ph33x. The 295X2 is binned chips running slightly higher clock speeds than the 290X, hence the (usually) slightly better performance. As for the power, apparently AMD is ignoring PCIE spec and actually pull 220W per 8-pin connector, actually giving 515W total. Their system requirements actually state the PSU must supply 28A per 8-pin connector.
scottjames12
Posted 10:18pm 09/4/14
Damn, no edit function? Just though I'd add, AMD's reason for only putting 2x 8-pin power connectors was apparently because high end PSU's only have 4x 8-pin connectors, and they wanted quad-fire to compatible with a wider range of PSU's (assuming those PSU's can supply the aforementioned 28A per 8-pin).
ph33x
Posted 11:19pm 09/4/14
As for the power, apparently AMD is ignoring PCIE spec and actually pull 220W per 8-pin connector, actually giving 515W total. Their system requirements actually state the PSU must supply 28A per 8-pin connector.

Lol, here I am thinking 8+8+6 isn't even enough and they're only using 8+8? In before house fire.
Rominion
Posted 12:17am 10/4/14
Arg im sick of hearing about GPU's. The problem's are not hardware at the moment, is damn software. -_- Oh well i guess when daddy buy's these 14 year old so called enthusiast's a new gpu it will benefit us all in the long run.
Rdizz
Posted 04:38pm 10/4/14
This would be great for mining


If you are talking about BTC, the hashrate is way to high now for something like this, it would actually be costing you money to mine because the power usage to mining return wouldnt work out.


but F*** yeah finally a car out that I would be willing to upgrade my 5970oc from.
Vash
Posted 05:25pm 10/4/14

Arg im sick of hearing about GPU's. The problem's are not hardware at the moment, is damn software. -_- Oh well i guess when daddy buy's these 14 year old so called enthusiast's a new gpu it will benefit us all in the long run.


Actually as we enter the 4K resolution era, we're going to need cards like this as the norm.
ph33x
Posted 07:10pm 10/4/14
If you are talking about BTC, the hashrate is way to high now for something like this, it would actually be costing you money to mine because the power usage to mining return wouldnt work out.

I was referring to Litecoin. Yes, BTC is long gone for any card. About 6 months ago I worked out my 900W system would need to draw 10W (yes, 10 watts) to make me only $30 every 3 months if mining BTC.

Arg im sick of hearing about GPU's. The problem's are not hardware at the moment, is damn software.

I'm a strong disbeliever on this. An immense amount of manhours goes into 'cheap tricks' to give you awesome visuals at a small computational price. If devs could go balls to the wall on a game, we'd need a super computer to run it.

AA is a great example. When it first came out, it was basically Supersampling (raising the res internally on the card, doing the rendering, then compressing it to standard res) and the 'all' jaggies would be eliminated - all the while sharpening the textures and the image in general. This was computationally expensive, so MSAA, TXAA, FXAA (etc) were all devised to cut carious corners to give you whats visually close to proper AA, but uses much less power.

Since then Supersampling isn't commonly found in many games. However, as we move into the future where cards are becoming orders of magnitude more powerful, the disparity between top end vs 3-4 year old cards becomes larger. As a result, devs are starting to include Supersampling in their options so high end users can still put their card under full load and get something out of it as a result - while at the same time the game scales down for low/mid end users with no extra work from the dev than if they had to make adjustments for post processing, textures, shadows, etc etc.

Edit: I forgot to add just above - Now Supersampling is making its way back into games in the meantime - such as Arma 3 and BF4, both having a slider to adjust your rendering resolution from a default of 100% (lets say 1080) to 200% (which with a 1080 screen, is actually 4K res internal to the card)

With this all in mind, I think what holds us back is the fact that not everyone upgrades straight away. If we 'all' had these high end beasts, the devs would certainly cater for it - but until then it's extra work for no monetary return as we're most likely going to buy it anyways.
Vash
Posted 07:27pm 10/4/14
It would be nice if cloud gaming was viable. If we could have supercomputers running ridiculous games and just stream it to our home PCs.
But we struggle enough with input lag on big TVs so we're a long way off.
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