AMD R9 295X2 Specs, TDP, MSRP
|R9 295X2||R9 290X||R9 290|
|Availability||April 21, 2014||Shipping||Shipping|
The 295X2 is a dual-GPU solution on a two-slot card. AMD has heavily targeted this video card at the top-end gaming market, singling-out users who hope to play games on 4K resolution with high/max settings. The 295X2's target release date is "the week of April 21," so it'll be shortly after our PAX coverage, and it's slated for a $1500 MSRP at launch.
This video card hosts two Hawaii GPUs (from the 290X) with 2x4GB of RAM on 2x512-bit memory interfaces. The device will be branded as an 8GB card, but is effectively two 4GB GPUs in CrossFire. TDP rests around 500W according to AMD's press deck. The question has been brought up in several threads online as to how 2x8-pin connectors + PCI-e (75W) could deliver enough power; AMD noted that the spec for the power connectors supports higher than the 125W normally delivered, it's just a matter of finding the right PSU. AMD will not be independently validating compatible PSUs, so you'll have to check product specifications of the PSU being used to ensure its PCI-e power connectors can push more than 125W (you'll need 28A per connector). Actually, on this note, one of AMD's on-call engineers stated:
"We didn't want to dumb-down the product for some end-user who [has] a crappy silver box in their system. You'll need a beefy power supply for this."
tJmax has been dropped on the new GPU to 75C from the 95-100C of the 290X. The device is kept at this operating temperature allegedly without thermally-initiated throttling by using an Asetek cooling solution. Those familiar with our CPU cooler reviews should already know that name -- Asetek is a major supplier of CLC hardware; the likes of Corsair and NZXT, to give two examples, like to slap their stickers on Asetek coolers. A similar cooler (120mm) is being deployed for the 295X2 in its stock configuration. AMD commented that warranties will be largely dictated by the board partners. I'm personally not really a fan of Asetek, but if this is going to bring the thermals down by 20 degrees, I can get behind it. I'm a little concerned about warranty replacements going forward, though.
It's a high-performing card, but it's also very high TDP and isn't really meant for the vast majority of the market. AMD is pushing this GPU for 4K gaming, though I haven't had the fortune to do any benchmarking yet on 4K resolution screens, so I can't really speak to whether such a device is necessary.
AMD was disinterested in commenting on DirectX 12 at this time given the distant release timeframe, but was keen to note Mantle and OpenGL support. AMD did not make the same attempts at knocking nVidia as their competition did to them yesterday.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.