After weeks of teasing, AMD has finally revealed the Radeon R9 295X2, the first dual-processor graphics card that actually doubles the performance of a single-processor card. It's got tubes. Tubes are cool.
Well, tubes are cooling at least. Along with a single center fan that doesn't seem like it would do much for a card that generates 11.5 teraflops of computing power and runs at a greedy 500 watts, AMD has built an asetek liquid cooling solution into the card, complete with integrated pump and a 120mm radiator and fan.
AMD's "Two is Better Than One" campaign leading up to the reveal of the Radeon 295X2 refers to the fact that, up until now, no dual-core graphics card has managed to actually double the performance of its single-core counterpart — two cards running in either AMD's Crossfire or Nvidia's SLI configuration have always yielded better results. At 11.5 teraflops to the R9 290X's 5.6, the 295X2 changes that. With 8GB of GDDR5 memory and a dual 512-bit memory bus, it changes it quickly.
Speaking of two being better than one, the gaming PC masters at Maingear are already selling a special version of their Rush system containing one or two of the R9 295X2 cards. The Rush Vesuvius Edition with a pair of these liquid-cooled monsters in it starts around $US6500, and comes with a 1600W power supply to make sure the cards will run.
The AMD R9 295X2 by itself will run $US1,499, with availability beginning the week of April 21. That's half the price of Nvidia's recently-announced GeForce GTX Titan Z, with 11.5 teraflops of computing power to the Titan Z's 8. Is it me, or has AMD been kicking arse lately?
AMD R9 295X2 is card aimed at the next generation of multi-monitor and 4K HD gaming. It's thirst for power is a bit scary, but the results it delivers in return should far outshine its consumption. The moment I found out about it I started looking for spots in my enclosure to mount a 120mm radiator. It's the kind of graphics card you build a system around, and until the next "world's fastest video card" shows up in a month or so, it's at the front of the pack.