AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review: Hawaii x 2 - HotHardware

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review: Hawaii x 2

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For the past few weeks, AMD has been strategically dropping hints about the product we’ll be showing you here today—the ultra, powerful Radeon R9 295X2. If you’ve spent any time on our home page recently, or on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen the “two is better than one” tag-line bandied about on a couple of occasions. AMD was initially coy about whether or not the company was involved in the campaign, but it eventually became clear that not only was AMD involved, but that it was teasing a new flagship, dual-GPU powered graphics card. How did we (and virtually everyone else) know? It’s not terribly hard to put two-and-two together when a couple of containers of chips and a bottle of Hawaiian volcanic water arrive straight from AMD’s PR agency. And then you’ve got AMD posting pictures like this one on social media…but I digress.

Going back all the way to the Rage Fury MAXX, ATI/AMD has had a long history of releasing dual-GPU powered graphics cards. During the previous generation, AMD so much as said the Radeon HD 7990 was coming well before the single-GPU powered Radeon HD 7970 even launched, but a number of things delayed the arrival of the 7990, and towards the end of its development cycle we got the sense AMD was sick of answering questions about it and regretted unveiling its plan so early. This time around, there wasn’t so much as a peep (at least officially) out of AMD about a dual Hawaii GPU-based graphics card. Some folks--including yours truly--even wondered if AMD would attempt a dual Hawaii GPU-based card after seeing how much power a single Radeon R9 290X consumed, not to mention the difficulty in routing traces for dual 512-bit memory interface.

But, they did, and AMD is ready to take the wraps off of what is undoubtedly the most powerful graphics card the company as ever produced. The Radeon R9 295X2’s full list of features and specification are listed below, along with some reference data from the R9 290X and R9 290. As you’ll see, this thing is an absolute beast.

The Radeon R9 295X2 Dual-GPU Powered Graphics Card

AMD Radeon R9 295X2
Specifications & Features

Radeon R9 295X2 Radeon R9 290X Radeon R9 290
Process 28nm 28nm 28nm
Stream Processors 5632 2816 2560
Engine Clock Up to 1018 MHz Up to 1 GHz Up to 947 MHz
Compute Performance 11.5 TFLOPs 5.6 TFLOPs 4.9 TFLOPs
Texture Units 352 176 160
Texture Fill-Rate Up to 358.3 GT/s Up to 176.0 GT/s Up to 151.5 GT/s
ROPs 128 64 64
Pixel Fill-Rate Up to 130.3 GP/s Up to 64 GP/s Up to 60.6 GP/s
Z/Stencil 512 256 256
Memory Configuration 8GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5
Memory Interface Dual 512-bit 512-bit 512-bit
Memory Speed 5.0 Gbps 5.0 Gbps 5.0 Gbps
Power Connectors 2 x 8-pin 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
Typical Board Power 500W 250W 250W
PCI-E Standard PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
DirectX Support DirectX 11.2 DirectX 11.2 DirectX 11.2
Mantle Support Yes Yes Yes

The Radeon R9 295X2’s specifications tell a large part of the story. As you can see in the chart above, the card is essentially two Radeon R9 290Xes crammed onto a single PCB, though the 295X2’s peak GPU frequency is actually a bit higher (1018MHz vs. 1000MHz). If you want to nit-pick, technically, the Radeon R9 295X2 is MORE powerful than a pair of Radeon R9 290X cards running in CrossFire, thanks to its higher GPU peak clock.

The Radeon R9 295X2 -- Liquid Cooled, Right Out Of The Box

Because the Radeon R9 295X2 features the very same Hawaii GPU that’s at the heart of the Radeon R9 290X and R9 290, we won’t be covering many of the deep technical details again here; in this piece, we’re going to focus on the R9 295X2 itself. We would, however, recommend checking out a couple of previous articles if you’d a refresher on what AMD put into Hawaii:

In our coverage of the Radeon R9 290X, we discuss many of the Hawaii GPUs main features, like its new dongle-less CrossFire DMA engine, TrueAudio Technology, new PowerTune features, Mantle, and its flexible display output options. Of course, we also cover performance—like we did in the Radeon R9 290 piece as well. We also discuss the other members in the Radeon R-series of graphics cards in the “AMD Radeon R7 260X, R9 270X, and R9 280X Tested” piece, and show what kind of performance impact is available with Mantle in our Battlefield 4 and Star Swarm benchmarks.

We’ve got a full set of new numbers here, but if you want to see what kind of technology is incorporated into AMD’s current flagship GPU, those articles should do the trick.

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its crazy how, as you crank up the settings.. the performance gap decreases. Other tests Ive seen show it even beats the GTX SLI in some. amazing! Plus, its cheaper than getting SLI titans - by a lot!

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Need to get a killawatt monitor. Like to know how much this cost electricity wise. 

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Didn't know they made kilowatt monitors. What do you use them for?

BTW no need for a kilowatt PSU if you're running one of these. The NZXT Hale 90 v2 850w has a single 12v rail rated at 70A.

Available on the Egg for $160

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That's not hard to do because the Titans are for those who do computing mostly and want to have some fun too. It's ultimately a budget compute card that's sort of almost getting up there towards cutting into lower-tier Tesla sales.

It can perhaps sell as a Gamer card for those who's in the middle of deciding they actually want to do productive stuff with that card eventually.

Ultimately, Nvida has created a new niche of buyers more like their workstation audience for growth and profit. It's a clever way of continuing their workstation market dominance (over 80%).

It's for that reason comparing ATI's flagship gamer card to Nvidia's Titan lineup is rather pointless and a bit naive.

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With 1500$ or more i can live more than 2 months and many people could find any other things much more important than this card. Maybe there are some people who can't agree with this but they do not know how hard you work for the money. What could possibly justify the step from a 780 to this?

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Daniel Telea:
What could possibly justify the step from a 780 to this?

Some people have plenty of money.  They can by what they want without feeling the pain. Smile

I ~USED~ to have lots of it when I was working in Aerospace, but I'm retired and on a fixed income now.

I have a budget and I stick to it. That's why two OC-R9-280X cards in crossfire will have to do for me. Also, I bought them second hand and saved a bundle of cash.

Anyways, it's not like I'm suffering.

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it looks like a nice card, but i'm not a fan of the AIO liquid cooling solution, as i would have nowhere to mount it. sell me just the card and save me the money all that cooling costs and i'll use the inevitable koolance or EKWB block to tie it into my existing loop.

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Check the CryoVenom.

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Most decent cases are able to support a rad this size in the rear exhaust position, or in the front panel. And I'm sure in a short while the after market cards will be out for those with custom loops.

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Not sure what you're referring to, Samuel.

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