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AMD Radeon R9 295X2 review

Andrew Unsworth
8 Jul 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,067
inc VAT

The fastest graphics card we’ve ever reviewed, but it’s also the most expensive by far

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Specifications

GPU: 2x Radeon R9 290X, Memory: 8GB GDDR5, Graphics card length: 304

The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is a single card that uses two Radeon R9 290X graphics processors (GPUs) in tandem to provide astonishingly high graphics performance. The R9 295X2 has 8GB of graphics memory in total, but this is shared between the two GPUs, with each having access to 4,096MB. Even so, 4,096MB is an impressive amount of graphics memory for a single GPU card, so having that amount available for each GPU is a boon. The memory runs at 1,250MHz, which isn’t particularly fast, but isn’t slow either, and we certainly had no complaints.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 side

As the card squeezes so many high-end components into such a small area it gets very hot, and the R9 295X2 uses liquid cooling to combat this heat. This means that if you buy the R9 295X2 you’ll have to make sure you can accommodate the card’s external radiator and fan, as well as the card itself, in your case. The liquid cooler is audible but fairly quiet.

To make use of the two GPUs in the R9 295X2 you must enable CrossFire mode, but this is no more difficult than enabling the option in AMD Catalyst Control Centre, the driver-cum-setup utility for all AMD Radeon graphics cards.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 card and cooler

Unsurprisingly, the card performed well in our challenging Crysis 3 graphics benchmark, producing an astounding average frame rate of 72.6fps at 1,920x1,080 with graphics quality set to Ultra and 4x anti-aliasing. The maximum frame rate at these settings was 104fps and the minimum was 72.3fps, making this result all the more impressive. Indeed, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti produced an average frame rate of 56fps under the same conditions, which shows just how powerful the R9 295X2 is.

Of course, no-one would buy an R9 295X2 to play games at a resolution of 1,920x1,080 when a much cheaper card would be satisfactory. We ran the same test at a resolution of 3,840x2,160 (Ultra HD) and were more than happy to see an average frame rate of 42.2fps with a maximum of 50fps and minimum of 36fps. Even with graphics quality set to Very High the R9 295X2 produced an average 28.4fps.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 ports

If you buy an AMD Radeon R9 295X2 you’ll have no problem playing the latest games at the highest resolutions and settings for some time. The R9 295X2 is, however, twice the price of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti but doesn’t provide twice the performance. We think the GTX 780 Ti is the better buy, but if you want the most powerful card you can currently buy then you should get the R9 295X2.

Hardware
Slots taken up2
GPU2x Radeon R9 290X
GPU cores5,632
GPU clock speed947
GPU clock boost speed1018
Memory8GB GDDR5
Memory interface512-bit
Max memory bandwidth320GB/s
Memory speed1.25GHz
Graphics card length304
DVI outputs1
D-sub outputs0
HDMI outputs0
Mini HDMI outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Mini DisplayPort outputs4
Power leads required2x 8-pin PCI Express
Accessoriesnone

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