As a member of AMD’s graphics division, I’m surrounded by cool technologies each and every day: pre-release Mantle games, AMD TrueAudio tools and demos, UltraHD displays, liquid cooled rigs, wicked fast GPUs and more. I love each and every one of these technologies as an employee and a PC gaming enthusiast, but it’s not every day that these technologies come together at the same time or in the same place. The simultaneous intersection of these things would be a great occasion for me, often a tradeshow like E3 or GDC. But it just so happens that today is one of those “great occasions,” as I’ve received the honor of unveiling in this blog the coolest, quietest, fastest and most advanced graphics card we’ve ever built: the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2.
Over the years, you’ve told us that you want a no-compromise dual-GPU graphics card with two of the cores found on our fastest single-GPU graphics card. We heard you. The AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 features two AMD Radeon™ R9 290X ASICs (formerly codenamed “Hawaii XT”) in their full configuration: 2816 shaders running at up to 1018MHz. In fact, 1018MHz is faster than the qualified clockspeed of the AMD Radeon™ R9 290X.
The chips we selected for this product are the best of the best. And to ensure you get every last megahertz of that quality, we put these premium ASICs under an Asetek-built liquid cooling solution. Asetek is a name that needs little introduction, as many enthusiasts know they’ve spent 14 years perfecting the art of closed-loop liquid cooling solutions.
In the design we selected for the Radeon R9 290X2 , an integrated pump and waterblock assembly sits atop a high-turbulence plate. There’s one assembly for each chip on the board. To cool the loop, we selected a 120x120mm single thick radiator in a push configuration.
Moving to the exterior, we again went all-out to provide a genuinely premium experience. We started with a powder-coated machined aluminum shroud punched with industrial rivets. The shroud has form and function, as the aluminum improves thermal emissivity over that of a plastic shroud.
You also asked us to bring GPU backplates back into service, and we have. The AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 has a full-length, solid metal backplate to stabilize the board, help prevent impact damage and aid heat discharge from the PCB of the product.
Finally, this wholly uncompromising king of the mountain will demand an unapologetic 500W from a power supply. Users should be ready with a PSU that provides at least 28 amps on two separate 12 volt rails. We are confident that enthusiasts considering the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 will already be prepared, and will be rewarded accordingly with outrageous performance.
GAMING WITH GREATNESS
Putting such an extreme GPU to work requires extreme resolutions. The hardware resources of the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 will not be fully utilized with any resolution lower than 3840x2160. And at this resolution, I’m confident in saying the numbers speak for themselves: the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 is not only perfectly playable, it’s the unquestioned leader.
Beyond pure performance, there are a host of state-of-the-art technologies that come with the Radeon R9 290X2. First and foremost, this is the fastest Mantle-enabled graphics card on the market. Mantle is currently the world’s only proven and available low-overhead API for PC gaming, and you can try it at breakneck speeds. You’ll be on the forefront of an API revolution that is overtaking the graphics industry! Want to know more? Take a peek at Mantle’s benefits and design goals in our blog on that.
If audio is your thing, the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 can do audio. It comes equipped with full hardware support for AMD TrueAudio technology to enable positional 3D audio, realistic audio environments and rich soundfields in compatible games. You can learn more about this awesome technology by reading our most recent blog on the game Thief™.
If GPU architectures are your obsession, there’s a lot to love in our award-winning Graphics Core Next architecture. The AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 features the latest and greatest iteration of that architecture to support new technologies like XDMA or the aforementioned AMD TrueAudio technology.
And display technologies? We have those in spades! Thanks to AMD Eyefinity technology, the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 natively supports up to five simultaneous displays without adapters.1 And if you throw in some DisplayPort™ 1.2 daisychaining or a DisplayPort™ hub, then you could have up to six displays at the same time! With the provided ports, you could even try your hand at some 12K gaming.
SPEAKING OF XDMA
AMD CrossFire™ Direct Memory Access (XDMA) is a new technology we unveiled with the AMD Radeon™ R9 290X GPUs to improve the communication between multiple GPUs. As the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 is a dual-GPU product, we can’t think of any better use for this technology! The below chart demonstrates the multi-GPU scaling factors we are achieving with this technology by comparing the performance of an AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 against the performance delta between one and two graphics cards.
HAIL TO THE KING
The AMD Radeon™ R9 295X2 is the confluence of virtually every major desktop GPU technology AMD has developed for modern graphics cards. We packed all of that into a well-appointed graphics card that screams through games and benchmarks at UltraHD resolutions. What more can a gamer ask for? Nothin’. And that’s why you should bring one home for yourself when they’re available on-shelf at the end of April.
Robert Hallock is PR Manager for Gaming & Desktop Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.
1. AMD Eyefinity technology supports up to six DisplayPort™ monitors on an enabled graphics card. Supported display quantity, type and resolution vary by model and board design; confirm specifications with manufacturer before purchase. To enable more than two displays, or multiple displays from a single output, additional hardware such as DisplayPort-ready monitors or DisplayPort 1.2 MST-enabled hubs may be required. Maximum two active adapters supported. See www.amd.com/eyefinityfaq for full details.