PowerColor R9 295X2 Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

PowerColor R9 295X2 Review

Introduction

It's not often that we get to kill two birds with one stone here at OC3D. Today, however, is one such day.

Dual-GPU cards have been in danger of becoming extinct as the performance capabilities of a single GPU reach undreamed of heights. Whereas once the 3870X2 and GTX590s of this world were the weapon of choice if you wished for the highest frame-rates, now the influx of games that were first born on consoles and thus are optimised for a single GPU is so prevalent and the performance of the top end cards such as the R9 290X and the GTX780Ti are such that a dual-GPU doesn't appear to be something that the manufacturers are putting too much development towards. Instead we're reliant upon third-parties to create the monsters that we knew and loved.

One such extraordinary piece of engineering is today's review, the PowerColor R9 295X2. A card boasting twin Hawaii XT GPU cores on a single dual-slot card. We have to confess we're drooling at the possibilities.

Secondly, it can't have escaped your notice that the big push in screen terms is towards 4K displays. Even the most stubborn person will have realised that 3D was always going to be a gimmick that never gained traction. Any technology that makes half the marketplace feel sick will be shunned in favour of ever-more crisp definition. However, we know from our experience that all consoles and the majority of graphics cards struggle with anything above the regulation 1080P, so the 295X2 is the perfect card to see how realistic this "you must have a 4K display" thing is. Let's face it, when HD TV is still broadcast at 720P, the infrastructure for 2160P is hardly there.

Technical Specification

It almost doesn't matter what number you believe to be a high one, the 295X2 definitely has you covered. 4K support? Yes sir. More shaders than you can shake a stick at? You better believe it. The power requirements are enormous and, as we'll see on the next page, not something that PowerColor take lightly. That 4096x2160 resolution is tasty though, huh.

Graphics EngineRADEON R9 295X2
Video Memory8GB GDDR5
Engine Clockup to 1018MHz
Memory Clock1250MHz x 4 (5.0 Gbps)
Memory Interface512bit X2
DirectX® Support11.2
Bus StandardPCIE 3.0
Standard Display ConnectorsDual-link DVI-D / 4 X mini DisplayPort
OpenGLSupport
CrossFireX™ TechnologySupport
ATI Stream TechnologySupport
ATI Eyefinity TechnologySupport
DVI OutputDual Link DVI-D x1
DisplayPortOn Board(Mini DP) x4
HDMISingle (By Adapter)
HDCP SupportSupport
DVI2560x1600
DisplayPort4096x2160
HDMI4096x2160
Board Dimensions305mmx110mmx38mm
Minimum System Power requirement (W)1000W (Power connectors capable of supplying 28A of dedicated current per connectors)
Extention Power Connectortwo 8-pin PCI Express Power connectors

 

Preview Video 

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Most Recent Comments

21-05-2014, 07:28:37

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...103111504l.JPG

It's been a while since we've seen a dual-GPU card, and PowerColor have arrived with a water-cooled behemoth, the R9 295X2.


Continue Reading

21-05-2014, 07:59:13

barnsley
oooh finally


I really want to see a 240 rad version. That would save the temperature issue. Kinda interesting to see that the fan that comes with the rad is crap/an airflow fan.

Red lighting. Do like. Especially now it doesn't have that weird thing on the fan.

21-05-2014, 08:16:39

Wraithguard
Top review Guv

Was it really that noticeable the card effecting the ambient temps and to push the CPU up by 10c...

I'm not surprised in the slightest about the 120 rad being unsuitable.. I mean come on AMD for 2 full fledged hawaii chips.. really. As Barnsley said it really should have been a 240 rad or at least the ability to somehow add it into a custom loop like the Poseidon.

21-05-2014, 08:36:43

Conchubair
oohh gawd.. i thought the original 2xx series cards were ugly enough, but this takes the biscuit.. its the worst looking card ive ever seen. i would dodge it on that basis alone, if i had the money to afford one. it would be a 780Ti for me every time.

21-05-2014, 08:39:53

MadShadow
Great review as always guv. There's a bit of a typo in the conclusion, though. It reads "patently" instead of "blatantly".

Edit: Sorry I cannot English today

21-05-2014, 08:45:24

Wraithguard
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddenShadow View Post
Great review as always guv. There's a bit of a typo in the conclusion, though. It reads "patently" instead of "blatantly".
No the Guv is right.

"Patently"

Meaning In a patent manner; openly, plainly, or clearly..

21-05-2014, 09:01:34

MadShadow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraithguard View Post
No the Guv is right.

"Patently"

Meaning In a patent manner; openly, plainly, or clearly..
My bad, sorry. Ill edit my post

21-05-2014, 10:17:21

deadbc77
Great review Tom,it didn't even cross my mind to play with the temp settings.I just let it do its thing at stock.Thanks again for opening my eyes.

21-05-2014, 10:30:15

Watsyerproblem
As always a good review Gov.

It is a shame that AMD have decided not to put a better fan on the Rad thought. For over 1000 i would at least want something akin to stock fans of a H100i, or even a SP120, as you said it is rather hot for a water cooled part.

21-05-2014, 11:14:48

armartins
Great, comprehensive list of titles, well written. BUT, please don't do what you did at the AvP chart. It doesn't state at the chart itself that it was run at a bigger resolution, it's easy to take that and use out of context, or someone taking that misinformation into account trying to make an average. Also, you guys need to run some Nvidia 4k benchmarks so we can see how it stands agains the red side, maybe Titan Z?

21-05-2014, 14:51:27

RickPlaysWarr
Really love the GPU, hate the cooling solution. Is AMD forcing the "Stock" cooling solution on everyone? I have looked at Saphire/Gigabyte/MSI/ASUS and a few others at my favorite e-tailer Newegg.com and they all are the same solution it seems with maybe a sticker change. Give me an option to just buy the card with a pre-installed water block and I am happy. I would even consider just adding it to a loop if and cut out the radiator.

I suppose the solution is just to wait for proper blocks to be developed and go that way. Its just a shame that there is an awesome performing GPU and they have not taken its cooling serious.

--Rick--

21-05-2014, 21:07:18

Luscious
If the radiator is that hot why didn't you test a push/pull setup? I recon a pair of better fans on that rad would easily knock 10 degrees off.

21-05-2014, 21:53:23

metalgun2000
I'm impressed at the Xfire scaling in the 4k tests. I'm not entirely sure if I would ever buy anything form AMD ever again though. I'm still properly impressed by the 780s I have which are my first ever from team green. Still waiting for them to get themselves sorted out.

22-05-2014, 04:02:22

Zoot
Regarding the graphics card warming up the CPU. I find my GTX 780 and 560 in my secondary rig do the very same; The 780 gives me about 10C extra on the CPU when Furmark is running, and something like 5/6C while gaming. Not that either matters much though.

I'd believe any high end GPU setup is going to do the same, particularly with the way the air is exhausted out of the case, given that it has to travel up around the CPU cooler to get out. As a result I can't see SLI 780 Ti's being much better than the 295X2.

Nonetheless, thanks for the review and video Tom. Enjoyed both, as always.

22-05-2014, 04:32:34

SuB
If the radiator is getting actually hot it's reaching the point where it can't dispel the heat properly and the card temp will start to rocket, more fans will 'help' but aren't going to really change this.

Push/pull doesn't make all *that* much different unless you're using really shitty fans, it's more of an aesthetic thing. If they've included a fan for it that isn't suitable for the fin count.. that's their problem! There's no way a custom water cooling solution like that should get hot to the touch, they should have increased the rad thickness or added another cell so it was dual fan instead of single.

22-05-2014, 06:46:46

Kaapstad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuB View Post
If the radiator is getting actually hot it's reaching the point where it can't dispel the heat properly and the card temp will start to rocket, more fans will 'help' but aren't going to really change this.

Push/pull doesn't make all *that* much different unless you're using really shitty fans, it's more of an aesthetic thing. If they've included a fan for it that isn't suitable for the fin count.. that's their problem! There's no way a custom water cooling solution like that should get hot to the touch, they should have increased the rad thickness or added another cell so it was dual fan instead of single.
+1

I have found from using a push/pull setup on a H100 that it makes only a couple of degrees difference at most.

I also think the cooling system on the 295X2 is total crap, I don't think water circulating at temps around 70c is very healthy for long term reliability and I hate to think what the damage would be if it sprung a leak.

I would have liked to see the 295X2 come pre fitted with a proper full cover waterblock and three or even four 8 Pin power connectors fitted so that if you are into overclocking you can push 1.4v or more through the card to give the single 290Xs a run for their money.
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