Test Hardware And Benchmarks
As always, the hardware and benchmarks used in today’s review are important. However, methodology is also more relevant than ever, particularly in light of the dynamic clock rate behavior we described when AMD’s Radeon R9 290X first launched.
To that end, all of our testing happens in the aforementioned Rosewill Throne chassis. And rather than simply firing up benchmarks after an idle period, we heat up every card with several minutes of gameplay prior to recording results. If a configuration is prone to throttling, that gets documented. Really though, AMD effectively addressed variability on its reference Hawaii-based board through a driver, and most third-party solutions are better-cooled.
|Processors||Intel Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) 3.5 GHz Base Clock Rate, Overclocked to 4.2 GHz, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled|
|Motherboard||MSI X79A-GD45 Plus (LGA 2011) X79 Express Chipset, BIOS 17.8|
|Memory||G.Skill 32 GB (8 x 4 GB) DDR3-2133, F3-17000CL9Q-16GBXM x2 @ 9-11-10-28 and 1.65 V|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 840 Pro SSD 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon R9 295X2 8 GB|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||2 x AMD Radeon R9 290X 4 GB (CrossFire)|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||AMD Radeon HD 7990 6 GB|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB (SLI)|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB (SLI)|
|Row 9 - Cell 0||Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4 GB|
|Power Supply||Rosewill Lightning 1300 1300 W, Single +12 V rail, 108 A output|
|System Software And Drivers|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit|
|Graphics Driver||AMD Catalyst 14.4 Beta|
|Row 15 - Cell 0||Nvidia GeForce 337.50 Beta|
AMD claims that the Radeon R9 295X2 is designed for gaming at 3840x2160. However, we also ran benchmarks at 2560x1440, which is still a popular enthusiast-oriented resolution. All tests at QHD are run through our FCAT system; numbers are generated using video captured from a DVI display output. Testing at Ultra HD was conducted through a mix of technologies; the GeForce GTX 690 and Radeon HD 7990 wouldn’t cooperate with the dual-HDMI method of getting FCAT working at 4K. This shouldn’t be an issue when frame pacing is working properly, since there are no dropped or runt frames to report. Where it results in suspect data, however, we’ll call that out.
|Benchmarks And Settings|
|Battlefield 4||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Ultra Quality Preset, v-sync off, 100-second Tashgar playback. FCAT for 2560x1440; Fraps/FCAT for 3840x2160|
|Arma 3||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x FSAA, Anisotropic Filtering: Ultra, v-sync off, Infantry Showcase, 30-second playback, FCAT and Fraps|
|Metro: Last Light||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Very High Quality Preset, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, Normal Motion Blur, v-sync off, Built-In Benchmark, FCAT and Fraps|
|Assassin's Creed IV||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Maximum Quality options, 4x MSAA, 40-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT and Fraps|
|Grid 2||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Ultra Quality Preset, 120-second recording of built-in benchmark, FCAT and Fraps|
|Thief||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Very High Quality Preset, 70-second recording of built-in benchmark, FCAT and Fraps|
|Tomb Raider||2560x1440 and 3840x2160: Ultimate Quality Preset, FXAA, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, TressFX Hair, 45-second Custom Run-Through, FCAT and Fraps|
I would prefer a bit lower price, but this looks like a great card for the gamer that has everything!