AMD Radeon 295X2 Performance Review (Project Hydra)
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So AMD are basically saying the 295X2 is designed for 4K gaming. Certainly in their current range it has the most chance of achieving this, but what can $1500 worth of graphics card actually do? Well first off, we can breeze through 1080p testing. Nothing we tested troubled the R9 295X2 at that resolution, with max detail.
Up at 4K resolution we can play just about anything with medium detail, on occasion stepping up to high/maximum. Titanfall for example runs with everything on at 4k resolution, Crysis 3 required us to drop to medium, Thief was a "high" game but on Battlefield 4 we were back up to maximum in game settings with flawless framerates. Any negatives? The first, which is more of an observation, is that this card doesn’t benefit from Mantle… in fact it hampered performance for us. More importantly though, like all dual GPU configurations this card is impacted by driver profiles. In games where Crossfire works well (e.g. BF4) the 295X2 is great. In others, it hits the level of an overclocked 290X.
So that brings us to power and thermal performance. In our testing the R9 295X never hit the 500w advertised reading (during normal gameplay), or the 75°C temp which AMD state as their limit. Instead it ran at around 400-450w power draw when gaming with an idle temp of 35°C. Most impressive of all though were the gaming temps where the 295X2 rarely went above 65°C, often running below 60°C when gaming in our test environment.
Dissertation D Economie Et Corriges Summary: A big leap forward from AMD in build quality for a reference card. Pricing could be an issue but for those who don’t see that as a problem this is a low noise, low temp product which offers flawless performance at 1080p and some impressive framerates at 4k.