AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review: A Dual-GPU Beast

By Jos · 71 replies
Apr 8, 2014
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  1. misor likes this.
  2. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    I don't know whats more disappointing, having to dodge all the ad's and zoom out to properly view this article, or the fact that CrossfireX R9 290's aren't included. No, SLi 780Ti's and CrossfireX 7970's aren't enough.
  3. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    An impressive amount of complaints for a three line post. What do you have to zoom out for?

    Also has your browser been hijacked as there seem to be the normal amount of ads for me and they are very easy to ignore.
    Jad Chaar and Ranger12 like this.
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    @@AMD Radeon R9 295X2, WOW.
    sorry HBO's Rome tv series... the AMD Radeon R9 295X product makes me:
    as said by the character Titus Pullo.
  5. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    the article appears odd to me, too. using ie11 desktop version, 1600x900 resolution, windows 8.1 pro x64, latest updates current as of april 8, 2014 (Philippines) using this link.
    a small ads section appears below the article summary (iPad link in my case) plus an almost half-screen 'empty blank space' in which I have to scroll down.
    the oddity is not found when browsing the article by page.
  6. 500 freakin watts on the graphics card...!!! man...I've been a tech enthusiast for like 20 years, but now I feel we are entering the "unethical" phase of tech..., I mean, dude it's for entertainment, it's an insane amount of electricity just to have fun....well to each its own
  7. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Misor I just checked with IE11 and I also have a blank area under the last ad for the review summary page. That however doesn’t impact the review itself at all so I am still perplexed as to what amstech’s ‘zoom’ problem was.

    On another note I am sure you have your reasons for using IE11 but it’s a pretty poor browser. Chrome or even Firefox are worlds better.

    Finally glad you were impressed with the R9 295X2 as much as we were ;)

    500w gaming rigs are nothing new, they have been around for the better part of a decade. However 500w graphics cards are a new thing.

    I remember back in 2007 running a pair of HIS Radeon HD 2900 XT 1GB GDDR4 cards in Corssfire and that system consumed over 600 watts!!! So in terms of performance vs. watt things have in fact gotten a lot better as you would expect ;)

    I don't think using 500w or even 600 watts for gaming can be considered unethical, my crappy little heater under the desk consumes 2400w and its probably less efficient at generating heat than a pair of 2900 XTs, it also can't game.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    misor likes this.
  8. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Guru Posts: 306   +73

    What a monstrosity! Thanks for the review.

    @editor, On the overclock performance page, the Tomb Raider chart should have GTX 780 SLI on the top spot, if the numbers are as shown.
    Steve likes this.
  9. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    You are welcome and thanks for spotting the sorting error in the graph it has now been fixed.
  10. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    I have checked any techspot article using the following browsers:
    opera 20.0.1387.91, Mozilla firefox 28, google chrome 34.0.1847.11.
    the small ads section plus the 'empty blank space' can be reproduced when any article has the suffix:
  11. yeah it's true, I used to find 250-300 watts on a graphic card truly overkill from an ecological point of view, but now we just crossed god
    sad part is...and I dont mean sarcasm by this, I am barely impressed with graphics anymore, Frostbite 3 and stuff...same super polygonal **** as always, more AA, more defined, yeah yeah....everything feels like an evolution of the same, I haven't been woved by graphics in years actually
    I feel we are not getting any closer to photorealism, an old VHS movie still looks more realistic than this 4k, 32xAA bullshit....I dont know man, dissapointed with what graphics engines are pulling out
  12. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Not sure what to tell you then as the Battlefield 4 visuals blew my socks off, still trying to find them in fact.

    Each year there are at least half a dozen games that truly amaze me. Can't wait for those games later this year :)

    Problem I think you are finding is most games do look dated because they are made primarily for consoles and not PC's. Sadly even the latest Xbox OneMHz and PS486 are woefully under-powered compared to a mid-range gaming PC. Still it is those select few AAA PC titles that I hang out for each year :D
    Chazz likes this.
  13. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Yea its weird, not a big deal but a small annoyance.

    And their all legit.
    1) NO R9 290's when in benching a R9 295? I must be missing something because common sense tells me EVERYONE AND ANYONE would want to see how their R9 290's match up against this GPU.
    2) There are blank spots with erroneous add positioning, even with different browsers.
    3) The graphs are massive and don't fit or look as good as they did before, although I am using two 19" 1280 X 1024's with one 1680 X 1050 in portrait centered between the 19's, maybe these old mons don't have the rez anymore?
    The charts/graphs.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  14. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    So your only real complaint that concerns the article itself (not the web design which is still being tweaked) is that the Radeon R9 290’s aren’t included in Crossfire. Ohh that and the graphs being too tall for your monitor, you realize adding more GPU configurations will make the graphs even taller *nerd*

    Forgive me but I don’t see the lack of R9 290 Crossfire cards being quite the issue you do. That said I would have liked to include them if we had a second card, same situation with the GTX 780 Ti.

    If you are wondering why I don’t feel not including the R9 290 CF cards wasn’t a big deal let me explain. We already know that the R9 290 is just 5% slower on average than the R9 290X so a pair of R9 290 Crossfire cards are going to be 5% slower than the R9 295X2. It’s the exact same GPU architecture, the exact same driver and the exact same Crossfire technology.

    At around $1000 for the combo the R9 290’s are better value but that’s not a shocker, the R9 290 is better value than the R9 290X.
    GhostRyder likes this.
  15. I miss graphics jumps like going from Street Fighter 2 to Killer Instinct in the arcades, or going from Super Mario World to Super Mario 64, or jumping from Doom 2 to Unreal 1
  16. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Which is major disappointment that in a way. hurts this article. Not having R9 290/290X's in CrossfireX to compare to a 295 is shockingly ridiculous considering you included everything else but the 2 MAJOR setups people will compare this with.

    These graphs have a lot of blank space and take up too much room for what they are showing IMO. It's ok I don't mind zooming, others may not be so happy.
    This is a very minor complaint, I wouldn't care so much using my 30" at home but for 1280X1024, damn.

    That's fantastic but even with the same driver and tech dual GPU cards have had different performance in the past then their comparative CrossfireX/SLi counterparts, sometimes they are slower/choppier/faster, etc etc.
    I love your site and I have a lot of respect for you Steve, but your wrong on this one.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  17. WOW in every respect is all I can say.
    in regards to reading article, viewing on 24" - 16:10 - 1920x1200 on IE 11 with zero problems.
    only website glitch is no pictures for commenters until I log in.
    Steve likes this.
  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    While the card may be impressive, the inability to skip pages while reading about it is not.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
    St1ckM4n, misor and Raoul Duke like this.
  19. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Excellent review Steve, im actually shocked at how well this card does especially in the termperature category. Probably the best performing (At least on the stock setup) Dual GPU card I have ever seen especially with temps not exceeding 62C.

    Tomb Raider was an odd one of the bunch, by any chance ( I know your review said Very High and 2xMSAA) was TressFX on during the review at all?

    AMD was very smart and worked very hard on this card and it shows. Being able to keep 2 HawaiiXT GPU's on a single card while keeping them cooler at an overclocked state is no little feat. Im also glad you were able to actually overclock the card and show that off because its nice to see when a dual GPU card can overclock nicely.

    My only complaint (Not article related) is that the card costs 1500. Sadly Dual GPU cards have gotten very pricey in recent years and this costs beyond 2 290X cards (Heck my trio cost me $1650 plus tax). Though I guess it could be justified in the sense of the fact its an overclocked card and has an AIO cooler attached. Though if I were going to buy this I would want a water block version for myself.
    Steve likes this.
  20. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    The price of dual GPU's have always been ridiculous, now they're sublime. Personally I could never justify that kind of outlay just to play games.
  21. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 296   +125

    I get what you're saying. Load up and play FEAR 3, a 4GB game, and the differences aren't HUGE compared to newer games. Sure BF4 has better textures and lighting, but it's not like PS2 GTA: SA vs Crysis graphics leap. However I disagree there are set piece moments that really blow you away. Crysis 3 did it to me when I entered the biodome for the first time. It CRUSHED the computer I was using at the time (went from 40-50FPS to 25,) and that was on medium settings. I've noticed most games now look great on medium, and high is usually good enough where Ultra really isn't noticeable. I use Crysis 3 a lot as an example because I don't see games "Looking" better than that for a long time. You really can't. Not until ray tracing is used to bring games to the level of CG movies. A gen or two from there, and you're done. There will be no more visual upgrades possible. The hardware required to run those level's of fidelity in real time are not available, for a reasonable price anyway. Give it till the end of the PS4 and XBO generation, and we might be at that point. Until then, BF4, Crysis 3... that's about as good as it'll get. Maybe there'll be bigger worlds with those graphic levels, but that's about it.

    For now let's hope games like Watchdogs, Destiny, and others this gen push gameplay forward instead. Graphics are good enough for me. Time to make fun games again. I would like to be able to play everything in 4K/UHD though, but I feel that should be 1 or 2 GPU generations away anyhow.
  22. I'm using Chrome and the adds were on top of the article, just like amstech said.

    Now with regards to this card...I'm totally salivating; not necessarily because of it, but I'm just waiting to see what Nvidia responds with!! \o/
    Though, to be honest, if they are going to come in anywhere close to $3,000, AMD will have my business going forward (which they lost ages ago due to the HORRENDOUSLY HORRIFIC driver support).
  23. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Normally ive seen dual GPU cards run more close to a 1:1 ratio with maybe a slight price bump or what not in comparison to the past.

    The price premium is more justified if you count the real nice cooler and the fact of the stock performance comparative to the 290X. But its still high in my book.
    Steve likes this.
  24. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,336   +843

    It's a beast, nothing less expected for the price.

    BTW I have no problems with the article.
    Steve likes this.
  25. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Thanks for another great review @Steve. Ignore the complainers...

    I gotta say, AMD has made a beast of a card for $1500. Now that they have cured the temperature and sound issues, they now need to focus on lowering the power consumption. Also it would have been nice to see SLI 290Xs in there, but the review was already hard enough probably so I can cut you some slack Steve :p.
    Steve and GhostRyder like this.

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