The wait it finally over and AMD has now officially announced and launched its newest dual-GPU flagship graphics card, the Radeon R9 295X2. Based on two 28nm Hawaii XT GPUs which is the same one found behind the R9 290X graphics card, the new Radeon R9 295X2 is a proper performance beast. In order to keep the GPUs well cooled, AMD has teamed up with Asetek for the all new Project Hydra hybrid liquid+air cooler and according to reviews posted around the net, they definitely did a great job, both performance- and cooler-wise.
The card is definitely not aimed at those looking to game on sub-UHD/4K resolutions, with the exception of 5760x1080 Eyefinity multi-display configurations. After all new Radeon R9 295X2 features two fully-enabled 28nm Hawaii XT GCN2 GPUs, so it is overkill for 1440p or 1600p. Each of the GPU packs 2816 Stream Processors, 176 TMUs and 64 ROPs and each is connected to a 4GB of GDDR5 memory paired up with a 512-bit memory interface. The GPUs are interconnected via PLX PEX8747 PCI-Express gen 3.0 x48 bridge chip and each of the GPUs has its own 5+1-phase VRM design which draws power from the two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. The new R9 259X2 features single DVI and four mini DisplayPort outputs, which makes it highly suitable for multi-display systems.
As noted earlier, in order to cope with 500W of heat coming from two Hawaii XT GPUs, AMD has teamed up with Asetek for Project Hydra and it looks like they did a great job, at least according to reviews. The Project Hydra is the so-called hybrid closed loop liquid cooler paired up with a single center placed fan. While the two pump/water blocks connected to a 120mm radiator takes care of the GPUs, the single 92mm placed fan takes care of the VRM, memory and the PLX bridge chip. The cooler does a great job as the R9 295X2 never throttles down and it does it without producing much noise. The temperature is kept at around 60°C under load so there is more room for reduced fan noise.
Currently and with a suggested price of US $1,499, the Radeon R9 295X2 is the fastest graphics card on the market and will be without any competition. While two R9 290X graphics card should cost around US $1100 (when the coin-mining price gouging actually stops), you still have to take the Asetek premium hybrid cooler into account, as well as the fact that two R9 290X will need more power connectors, will most likely produce more heat and will definitely be louder.
Performance-wise, the Radeon R9 295X2 is the new king of the hill and easily takes away the performance crown. According to the first reviews, the performance is exactly the same as the one you would get with two R9 290X graphics card in Crossfire and, of course, it depends on actual driver Crossfire game optimizations. While Nvidia is preparing the US $3,000 priced Nvidia Titan Z, this one will be mostly limited to those looking for some serious compute performance and simply can't be considered as the competition to the R9 295X2, simply because of its price.
We overheard that the Radeon R9 295X2 will be a part of a new Never Settle bundle deal but currently there is no info on that one.
You can check out a few reviews at the following links: