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PowerColor Radeon R9 295X2 Review

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PowerColor Radeon R9 295X2 Testing:

Testing of PowerColor's R9 295X2 will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. The NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 334.69 drivers, while AMD-based cards will be using the Catalyst 14.6 beta drivers. The results generated in my testing were reached by utilizing the latest FCAT tools to illustrate the true picture of the gaming experience. To do so will require a second PC set up to capture the data stream generated by the compared video cards.


Testing Setup:

FCAT Capture Setup:


Comparison Video Cards:

  • AMD R9 290X CrossFireX




  • PowerColor Radeon R9 295X2: Core 1115MHz, Memory 1500MHz


Overclocking the Hawaii core is a delicate balancing act on many cards. Go too high on the clock speed or power setting and you will be greeted with lock-ups, texture issues, and degradation of performance due to clock speed throttling. Much of it is due to heat buildup with a poor cooling reference solution. PowerColor's R9 295X2 features two of these beastly cores and AMD decided that a liquid cooling solution would do well to keep the thermals and noise levels in check. The custom Asetek cooling solution keeps the thermals under 70 °C on both cores during full load tests. This helps keep at least one core from throttling under a sustained load while overclocking.

In my testing, I saw the second GPU consistently throttle at as low as 1030MHz. Dropping the clock speed back to 1018MHz, I saw no throttling of the core clock speed. The maximum stable clock speed for the cores was 1115MHz until throttling kicked in on one core about two minutes into the load test. Even with the throttling, the clock speed is above 1080MHz, providing a boost in performance over the as-delivered maximum clock speeds. The 120mm radiator almost does the trick here.





Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.



  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  3. Bioshock Infinite
  4. Crysis 3
  5. Far Cry 3
  6. Battlefield 4
  7. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  8. Batman: Arkham Origins
  9. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  10. 3DMark


  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption

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