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AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX

We throw a HIS Radeon R9 290X 4GB in with the new R9 295X2 8GB and see what kind of magic we can make happen. Let's take a look at the gaming numbers now!

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Apr 21 2014 9:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT

Introduction

Introduction of the AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB in CrossFireX

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 24 IMAGES

The other day, we got a chance to check out the brand new AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB, and found ourselves extremely impressed with what the company was offering us.

If you've got the money, want the power, and don't have an issue with dual-GPU setups, then the new R9 295X2 8GB is a video card that you're going to want. If the $1,500 setup wasn't enough for you, the $2,000 setup we've got on hand today might be just what you're after.

With our trusty AMD R9 295X2 8GB on hand, we've teamed it up with the much-loved HIS R9 290X 4GB to create a very mean and very expensive CrossFireX setup that should push out some serious performance. Due to the fact that we've already looked at both cards in a great amount of detail, we won't be covering the cards individually today.

Instead, we'll simply be moving on to our Test System Setup where we cover the cards in our graphs today alongside our test system equipment. More importantly, though, we'll also be taking a moment to look at GPU-Z to make sure everything is up and running as it should be.

Test System Setup & FPS Numbers Explained

Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

With the CrossFire X setup we've got on hand today being so high-end, it comes as no surprise that our graphs here today are full of a number of high-end setups. From the single GPU side of things, we've got the AMD R9 290X 4GB in "Uber Mode" and the MSI R9 290X 4GB Lightning OC running at 1185MHz on the core.

On the dual-GPU side of things, we've got the MSI R9 280X 2GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC in Crossfire, Sapphire R9 290 4GB in CrossFire, HIS R9 290X 4GB in CrossFire, and of course, the R9 295X2 8GB by itself. As for the NVIDIA side of things, we've got the MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB running at 1020MHz on the core alongside the NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti 3GB to round things off.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 01 | TweakTown.com

Looking above, you can see the numbers on the R9 295X2 8GB continue to be a little all over the place. The main piece of information we want to take away from here, though, is that CrossFire is indeed enabled and is enabled with 3 GPUs. This can, of course, be seen across the bottom GPU-Z screenshot.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer, more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 20 | TweakTown.com

Starting with 3DMark 11, you can see some strong performance gains. The better gains are, of course, seen in the Extreme preset where the setup is under more pressure. On a whole, though, you can see we're really a mile ahead of all the other setups here.

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 21 | TweakTown.com

Looking above at Fire Strike, you can see the Standard preset sees some excellent performance. Moving to the Extreme one, though, we found ourselves unable to complete a run. Whenever we got to the combined test, Fire Strike would crash. Here's hoping this issue is fixed sooner rather than later.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven & Phantasy Star Online 2

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 22 | TweakTown.com

Heaven performance is massive at both resolutions. Looking above, you can see that both resolutions perform quite close to each other, which makes us think we may be hitting a bit of a wall here. Without testing other high-end setups, though, it's a little difficult to confirm 100 percent.

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 23 | TweakTown.com

PSO 2 really doesn't benefit from the CrossFire setup, and for that reason, you can see a lot of our high-end setups sit quite close to each other. The good news is that the 19,000+ score is extremely strong, though, and playing this game wouldn't be an issue.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2 & Just Cause 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 24 | TweakTown.com

Lost Planet 2 numbers are huge, and you can see at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 we seem to be hitting a bit of an FPS wall at around the 300 FPS mark. At the highest resolution, you can see we're over 50 FPS higher than the next closest setup.

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 25 | TweakTown.com

Just Cause 2 performance is mammoth across the board, and you can see the 260ish FPS wall is being hit at almost all resolutions. 2560 x 1600 sees a massive 254 FPS average.

Benchmarks - F1 2012 & Metro Last Light

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 26 | TweakTown.com

F1 2012 really goes weird as soon as CrossFire is thrown into the mix, and you can see above that the numbers plummet with this CrossFireX setup to the point where they are no longer playable.

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 27 | TweakTown.com

Throwing the third GPU into the mix doesn't seem to impact Metro Last Light performance at all. You can see above that our CrossFireX setup here performs pretty much identically to the dual-GPU R9 295X2 8GB.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown & Nexuiz

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 28 | TweakTown.com

Checking out Dirt Showdown, you can see that we're pretty much hitting an FPS wall at around the 180 FPS mark at all resolutions.

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 29 | TweakTown.com

Nexuiz has some trouble with CrossFire setups, and you can see here that the third GPU does nothing for performance as it lines up with the single R9 295X2 8GB. The problem is that the R9 295X2 8GB doesn't run nearly as well as it should and falls behind other lower-end setups.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2 & Sleeping Dogs

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 30 | TweakTown.com

Sniper Elite V2 sees massive performance at all resolutions and excellent gains at every point. We really can't wait to test higher resolutions in the coming weeks.

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 31 | TweakTown.com

You can see that Sleeping Dogs doesn't see much in the way of extra performance due to the fact that we're pretty much hitting an FPS wall at around the 180 FPS mark. There's no denying that you want to kick the resolution up a notch or move well into the AA and AF area.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution & Tomb Raider

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 32 | TweakTown.com

Hitman Absolution sees no change in performance as we're hitting an FPS wall on a number of setups here. A bit like Fire Strike, though, when we move to the higher resolution, the benchmark would constantly crash out. It's clear that the driver isn't quite perfect yet.

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 33 | TweakTown.com

Tomb Raider sees fantastic gains across the board and, more importantly, just fantastic FPS at all resolutions. At the highest resolution, you can see we've got a massive 95 FPS minimum, which is truly awesome.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite & Battlefield 4

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 34 | TweakTown.com

Firing up BioShock Infinite, we found ourselves not being able to complete a run at any resolution. After rebooting and reinstalling the driver, we continued to have the same issue. Let's hope that this issue is fixed as soon as possible.

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 35 | TweakTown.com

Just like when we ran the R9 295X2 8GB by itself, we continued to run into problems with Battlefield 4 running. After a few seconds in, Battlefield 4 would consistently crash out.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF Testing

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 36 | TweakTown.com

Just like Metro Last Light with AA and AF off, you can see that the third GPU adds nothing to the mix with performance being almost identical with the R9 295X2 8GB by itself.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 37 | TweakTown.com

Just Cause 2 performance looks strong at both resolutions, and you can see excellent gains at the higher resolution with a massive 222 FPS average being seen.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 38 | TweakTown.com

Looking at Sleeping Dogs with AA and AF on, you can see some fantastic performance at 1920 x 1200. Unfortunately, like a couple of our other tests, when it came to benching at 2560 x 1600, we found the game would crash during a run, which was disappointing.

Temperature & Sound Testing

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run of 3DMark Vantage at the Performance preset.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 50 | TweakTown.com

When it comes to temperature, the hottest core comes in at 91c, which is the R9 290X 4GB, which has always run in the 90c range.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter, we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that, we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 51 | TweakTown.com

Noise levels aren't too bad. While we're sitting in the top half of the graph, it's a small tradeoff for the amount of power this setup puts out.

Power Consumption Testing

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01--or "Power Thingy" as it has quickly become known as to our readers--we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated video cards installed. Keep in mind that it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember, though. While our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10 percent more. We test at the exact same stage every time, so tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum--only an SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items will result in a higher draw.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8GB and R9 290X 4GB Video Cards in CrossFireX 52 | TweakTown.com

Power draw numbers, as you'd expect, sit very high up, coming in only behind the 4-Way CrossFireX setup. We'd recommend a power supply in the 1200-watt range for a setup like this.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

CrossFireX continues to not be a perfect technology, and the setup today seems to run into a few more problems than we normally encounter as a number of our benchmarks had issues in one way or another. For the most part, though, the biggest issue with this $2,000 setup isn't the drivers or the cards, but the monitor and games.

With a native resolutions of 2560 x 1600, the 30-inch Dell monitor continues to be nothing for a setup like this when everything is working perfectly. The only time that the FPS aren't where they're meant to be is when we run into some kind of computability issue. We're now at the point where a 4K monitor can be made use of, and because of that, we intend to retire our much-loved 30-inch Dell monitor in the coming weeks.

Just like the R9 295X2 8GB, the CrossFireX setup we're looking at today isn't going to be for everyone. If you're someone who finds themselves with an R9 290X 4GB already, though, and feels that a whole lot of extra power would come in handy, the addition of a card like this is awesome. We can't deny the cost associated with the move, though.

Outside of all that, though, the big issue is going to be stock. It comes as little surprise that stock is an issue on the new R9 295X2. While the card is indeed expensive, you can't deny that there continues to be plenty of people who have the ability to afford such an expensive video card. Combined with the fact that stock on the model was always going to be tight, it comes with little shock that getting ahold of an R9 295X2 isn't easy.

Outside of 4K testing, the next thing we want to do is take the time to test two R9 295X2 8GB cards in CrossFireX. We're hoping that we won't run into the same problems that we ran into today. Unfortunately, only time will tell. If you've got the money, though, and you're after serious performance, we can't deny the appeal of this setup. Just like the R9 295X2 8GB, this isn't a setup for everyone, and it's clear that the drivers need a little bit of work. We're off to a fantastic start, though.

PRICING: You can find the R9 290X for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The GIGABYTE R9 290X retails for $579.99 at Amazon.

Canada: The PowerColor R9 290X retails for CDN$700.00 at Amazon Canada.

New Zealand: The Sapphire R9 290X retails for $829.99 NZD at Mighty Ape NZ.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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