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VisionTek CryoVenom R9 295X2: Two GPUs In One Slot

Capable Cooling Hardware Tames The Beast

[Oct 13/2014 addendum: Visiontek has lowered pricing across its liquid-cooled graphics card line in response to feedback from this article, and the CryoVenom R9 295X2 kits have dropped a whopping $300. We have reflected this change in our writeup below. You can check the Visiontek website for specific details.]

Liquid cooling is popular because of its two main benefits: superb thermal performance and quiet operation. As the results on the previous page demonstrate, VisionTek's CryoVenom R9 295X2 embodies both goals while achieving much lower temperatures than AMD's reference Radeon R9 295X2.

If you're serious about buying a Radeon R9 295X2, and you're not particularly impressed with the closed-loop reference cooler and its ineffective treatment of the card's very hot VRMs, VisionTek's CryoVenom R9 295X2 is an attractive solution. If you want to link two Radeon R9 295X2 cards in four-way CrossFire, this product is more promising than AMD's factory implementation (though our initial impressions of four Hawaii GPUs working together weren't particularly positive).

And if you're looking for an all-in-one product that provides expandable open-loop liquid cooling combined with high-end graphics, this kit should be on your short list. VisionTek also has you covered if you want an open-loop liquid-cooled 295X2, but are afraid of sacrificing the warranty.

There is a price to be paid for the convenience and security that the CryoVenom R9 295X2 offers, however. Enthusiasts able to live with the reference cooler can pick up VisionTek's standard Radeon R9 295X2 for $1000 on Newegg, although AMD says this might be a short-term sale price. Compare that with the CryoVenom R9 295X2's base price of $1450 without a bundled cooling system. Include the open-loop kit with all of its trimmings, and you're looking at $1700. That's 1.7x what a base-model Radeon R9 295X2 costs.

To be fair, the included EKWB cooling hardware is top-of-the-line, and the price of its cooling kit alone would set you back a significant amount of money. Add to that an expensive 295X2 water block (at about $275) and the price difference is less of a surprise. If you buy the parts separately, though, your $1000 Radeon R9 295X2's warranty will likely be void once you install them.

What about alternatives? Asus offers the ROG Ares III-8GD5, a Radeon R9 295X2 on a custom PCB with beefed-up power circuitry and an EKWB single-slot cooler for $1500. But that doesn't come with the required open-loop cooling system, and Asus offers no option to bundle one.

Value can be a relative term. For a serious enthusiast who demands high-end liquid cooling and is concerned with more than paying the lowest possible price to get it, I think VisionTek's CryoVenom R9 295X2 can be a compelling option. Of course, a budget-conscious consumer can always opt for an $800 pair of Radeon R9 290X cards in CrossFire, resulting in similar 3D performance. Only, the acoustic output and resulting heat won't be in the same ballpark. There are certain benefits that only an open-loop liquid cooling system can introduce, and from that perspective, VisionTek's CryoVenom R9 295X2 does not disappoint.

  • youcanDUit
    YOU GOT ZOMBIE BLOOD ON YOUR LEG. YOU'RE INFECTED!

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x87h9y_28-days-later-28-days-later-blood-i_shortfilms
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    I'm impressed with how cool that card runs, and damn is it sexy as well- apart from the price...
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    I would *NOT* mind two of these in my computer!!! However, how much are 4x 980s? :-(

    Although the inner geek in me STILL wants two of these cards! :-)
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    14367051 said:
    I would *NOT* mind two of these in my computer!!! However, how much are 4x 980s? :-(

    Although the inner geek in me STILL wants two of these cards! :-)

    4 gtx 980's will be less than two of these
    Reply
  • ta152h
    With the 390 coming out in a few months, and being moved to 20nm, this is heading towards severe obsolescence in the near future. The magnitude of the change is pretty large, since it's the first shrink in years, and is purported to be an extensive redesign as well.

    It's hard to justify tossing away $1000 away with this in mind. $2000 is even more difficult.

    Yes, new technology is always around the corner, but these days it's often relatively minor, compared to what the 390 will be. We don't get shrinks that often anymore. I'd wait for it, unless you have enough money you can get both with no difficulty. Then, why not?
    Reply
  • B4vB5
    This card is pretty irrelevant for normal people unless they want it out of spite.

    For computation farms and HPC, it's kinda interesting as you can now stuff 6-7 of these cards on the same motherboard and use 14 GPU's for OpenCL programming before you have to pay the overhead of another node in the farm(mb, cpu,ram,psu,cooling components).
    The question is though if the high price tag and the high power consumption will pay off this cost saving in the long run, or 7x 290x is the better choice?

    Nvidia is irrelevant for HPC/compute farms or at least use to be as they are much slower than AMDs cards.

    If physical space matters and cost not so much, this could be a grand choice for now, simply for being able to stuff 14 GPU on one motherboard. SLI/Xfire dont matter and PCI 3.0 1x is usually enough although WS mb's from Asus with PLX onboard can handle PCI 3.0 8x/16x(well 84 total lanes) for high interaction/communication capability, though this is usually not the case in my experience with HPC via gfx.

    Of cause you could also pick 7x normal 295x2s with extenders to PCI-e ports but then space and adequate cooling becomes a major issue(compute farms are suppose to run the cards at 80-100% most of the time to justify their existance).

    I can see a slim market for this card though. And maybe for 5K gaming for extremist rich people in 3-4x Xfire if that even works and doesn't just falter in actual gaming performance like Linus latest video on the subject showed with 3-4x SLI.
    Reply
  • WilliamChan4
    What happened to Eyefinity 6? Some time ago, having 6 mini-displayports in a single slot was supposed to be "the way of the future". Surely, if people still have legacy hardware, a simple converter cable would be a much better option than less display bandwidth.
    Reply
  • Haravikk
    $2000 for a graphics card that will probably still be lagging behind in a few years? No thanks! Hell, I'm not sure I'd even spend $2000 in total to make a strong gaming rig, this just seems like one of these things that is only suited to people who feel a crushing burden from having too much money in their bank account, as anyone with any sense can build an extremely good system with $600-700 worth of GPU(s), and even that's still a bit overkill.
    Reply
  • SessouXFX
    Not worth it. Just get 2 970's or 980's and be happy with the outcome.
    Reply
  • kamhagh
    i want one of thooosee :(
    Reply