Radeon 295x2

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Radeon 295x2

Postby Kahless » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:13 pm

What do you guys think of the new Radeon 295x2? I've read about 5 different reviews on it so far. They seem to be all over the place. Its either faster then a 780ti SLI setup or slower depending on which review you read. Looks like the Titan Z will have to cut their price in half if you they hope to sell any. It would seem most peoples cases are not setup to house such a card. My coolermaster Haf X would be perfect for it.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:08 am

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7930/the- ... 5x2-review

Final Words

Bringing this review to a close, when I first heard that AMD was going to build a full performance dual Hawaii GPU solution, I was admittedly unsure about what to expect. The power requirements for a dual Hawaii card would pose an interesting set of challenges for AMD, and AMD’s most recent high-end air coolers were not as effective as they should have been.

In that context AMD’s decision to build a card around a closed loop liquid cooling solution makes a lot of sense for what they wanted to achieve. Like any uncommon cooling solution, the semi-exotic nature of a CLLC is a double edged sword that brings with it both benefits and drawbacks; the benefits being enhanced cooling performance, and the drawbacks being complexity and size. So it was clear from the start that given AMD’s goals and their chips, the benefits they could stand to gain could very well outweigh the drawbacks of going so far off of the beaten path.

To that end the Radeon R9 295X2 is a beast, and that goes for every sense of the word. From a performance standpoint AMD has delivered on their goals of offering the full, unthrottled performance of a Radeon R9 290X Crossfire solution. AMD has called the 295X2 an “uncompromised” card and that’s exactly what they have put together, making absolutely no performance compromises in putting a pair of Hawaii GPUs on to a single video card. In a sense it’s almost too simple – there are no real edge cases or other performance bottlenecks to discuss – but then again that’s exactly what it means to offer uncompromised performance.

“Beastly” is just as fitting for the card when it comes to its cooling too. With a maximum noise level of 50dB the 295X2’s CLLC is unlike anything we’re reviewed before, offering acoustic performance as good as or better than some of the best high end cards of this generation despite the heavy cooling workloads such a product calls for. Which brings us to the other beastly aspect, which is the card’s 500W TDP. AMD has put together a card that can put out 500W of heat and still keep itself cooled, but there’s no getting around the fact that at half a kilowatt in power consumption the 295X2 draws more power than any other single card we’ve reviewed before.

Taken altogether this puts the 295X2 in a very interesting spot. The performance offered by the 295X2 is the same performance offered by the 290X in Crossfire, no more and no less. This means that depending on whether we’re looking at 2K or 4K resolutions the 295X2 either trails a cheaper set of GTX 780 Tis in SLI by 5%, or at the kinds of resolutions that most require this much performance it can now exceed those very same GeForce cards by 5%.

But more significantly, by its very nature as a CLLC equipped dual-GPU video card the 295X2 stands alone among current video cards. There’s nothing else like it in terms of design, and that admittedly makes it difficult to properly place the 295X2 in reference to other video cards. Do we talk about how it’s one of only a handful of dual-GPU cards? Or do we talk about the price? Or do we talk about the unconventional cooler?

However perhaps it’s best to frame the 295X2 with respect to its competition, or rather the lack thereof. For all the benefits and drawbacks of AMD’s card perhaps the most unexpected thing they have going for them is that they won’t be facing any real competition from NVIDIA. NVIDIA has announced their own dual-GPU card for later this month, the GeForce GTX Titan Z, but priced at $3000 and targeted more heavily at compute users than it is gamers, the GTX Titan Z is going to reside in its own little niche, leaving the 295X2 alone in the market at half the price. We’ll see what GTX Titan Z brings to the table later this month, but no matter what AMD is going to have an incredible edge on price that we expect will make most potential buyers think twice, despite the 295X2’s own $1500 price tag.

Ultimately while this outcome does put the 295X2 in something of a “winner by default” position, it does not change the fact that AMD has put together a very solid card, and what’s by far their best dual-GPU card yet. Between the price tag and the unconventional cooler it’s certainly a departure from the norm, but for those buyers who can afford and fit this beastly card, it sets a new and very high standard for just what a dual-GPU should do.


Interesting card, but its price of $1500 puts it out of reach of most of us. ( Forget GTX Titan Z which is aimed more at gpgpu compute than gaming anyways and costs double the price of this card ).

Some folks will pay anything to have the single fastest card ( for small builds like mini-ITX or micro-ATX where they only have one video card slot on the mobo ), but the size of this 295X2 card plus its bulky water cooling radiator prohibits its use there of course ).

The other interesting thing is that this card performs EXACTLY the same as a pair of "regular" R9 290X cards in Crossfire, not a hairs difference between them... except cooling solutions and noise of course...

The cheapest 290X on newegg.com right now is $570 USD but it is noisy of course:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814129278

So a pair of those costs $1140 but would be noisy.

You can buy a waterblock R9 290X card for $700 these days:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814131568

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lcs ... ,3754.html

Plus you need to add the price of a water-cooling kit ( around $100 or so these days ) and then you are up to a total of $1500 to have the equivalent performance and cooling and low noise of the 295X2 solution.

Thus it appears that AMD has priced their new 295X2 card just right at $1500, since it would cost that much to buy two waterblocked 290X cards and a liquid cooling kit to achieve the same exact end results.

GTX 780 Ti cards come with much better factory air cooling solution than "regular" 290X cards, and they are fairly potent too:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127770
MSI GTX 780Ti GAMING GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Video Card

TECHPOWERUP EDITOR’S CHOICE - Score 9.9

$669.99


So a pair of those runs you $1340 and no liquid cooling hassles to worry about.

Anyhoo, Kudos to AMD for releasing the 295X2 card, even though it is out of most peoples budget range of course.

Geez, I am still happy gaming at 1920x1080 with my lowly HD 7870 card here... :mrgreen: :twisted: :lol:
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:50 am

I wonder if AMD will take that CLLC further, it would be an interesting development if they started offering that for more cards, could allow low noise midrange cards for example.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby mhudon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:14 am

DIREWOLF75 wrote:I wonder if AMD will take that CLLC further, it would be an interesting development if they started offering that for more cards, could allow low noise midrange cards for example.


Agreed, Those water coolers have proven to be pretty reliable so far, using them was a good idea to keep temps low and noise level down.


The 295x2 really is a beautiful piece of hardware. Very nice design :whistle: For now, I think the price is on par with the performance and tech level involved in creating the beast. I expect (hope) it to substantially drop pretty fast anyway since the 2 gpu's doesn't have any impact for mining.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Kahless » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:19 am

It will be interesting to see if if the price of the Titan Z is dropped. Otherwise it is going to have to be nearly double the performance to justify its price.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby clone » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:44 am

I wonder if AMD will take that CLLC further, it would be an interesting development if they started offering that for more cards, could allow low noise midrange cards for example.
no. 1st no favorable cost scenario can be found. 2nd their is no market for it, think of the tagline, "at AMD we charge double to liquid cool cards that have no heat or noise issues".... it'd be an epic fail. instead of going liquid just offer up a beast of an air cooler with a low rpm fan for the mid range.

more moving parts, complexity & cost will always be bad vs fewer, simpler & cheaper. liquid cooling isn't the future, it's a band aid.

AMD could try offering up an aftermarket solutions category for enthusiasts but with that would come extensive criticism of the consumer products if they weren't equal to the markets demands making it highly unlikely they'll bother with it.

p.s. the only reason we are having this discussion is because the transition to 20nm has been delayed so long.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:41 am

Good point

GTX 8xx series ( Maxwell ) will be on 20nm dies, thus the lower TDP/heat/power consumption

Daamit still stuck on old 28 nm dies, way hotter and thus noisier... sucks but true...
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Kahless » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:19 pm

Have you guys seen the specs for the GTX 880?
It supposedly only has a 256 bit bus versus the 384bit. But from I understand the Maxwell architecture doesn't need a huge bus. Does just fine on the short bus. Oh and the memory bandwidth is considerably less then the high end GTX 700 products

Rumored specs for the R9 300 AMD cards:

http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/amd_pi ... eries.html
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby clone » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:05 pm

low end Maxwell is already out, it's an improvement, it's interesting but not exciting save for miners.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Kahless » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:23 am

I think its exciting in that how well it does with so much less. Like how it is able to keep up with other low end cards that require additional power supplied beyond the PCI-E port.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:49 am

Hammer_Time wrote:Good point

GTX 8xx series ( Maxwell ) will be on 20nm dies, thus the lower TDP/heat/power consumption

Daamit still stuck on old 28 nm dies, way hotter and thus noisier... sucks but true...

:(
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby clone » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:50 am

I think its exciting in that how well it does with so much less. Like how it is able to keep up with other low end cards that require additional power supplied beyond the PCI-E port.
power consumption doesn't bother me nearly so much as heat and noise.... it's nice, it's interesting but it's not compelling.

a few years ago I'd agree regarding the ability to run & perform without the additional PCIe connector but $24.99 psu's have them now so again while I agree it's interesting, it's certainly worthy of consideration to me it's the total package and most notably the price that will determine the buying decision.

all that said if all else is equal Maxwell will get the nod and it's certainly an ideal upgrade option for OEM boxes if they lack the PCIe connector.
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Hammer_Time » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:20 am

Kahless wrote:Have you guys seen the specs for the GTX 880?
It supposedly only has a 256 bit bus versus the 384bit. But from I understand the Maxwell architecture doesn't need a huge bus. Does just fine on the short bus. Oh and the memory bandwidth is considerably less then the high end GTX 700 products

Rumored specs for the R9 300 AMD cards:

http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/amd_pi ... eries.html


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:twisted: :P :lol: :mrgreen:

Sorry, could not resist here!! :whistle:
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Re: Radeon 295x2

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:19 am

:lol:

What did they do to that poor school bus..
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