Something that AMD have been falling behind on lately is the WHQL drivers, well drivers in general. Beta drivers are released every few months, but a certified WHQL driver has taken over 200 days to reach us. Let’s not dwell on the past, we have one here, we’ve tested it and it works perfectly fine. However, it seems AMD has returned to form and opened up cross generation Crossfire again. Over at VideoCardz.com, Crossfire has been tested between the new R9 390X and an R9 290X.
The cards used weren’t matching, so the R9 390X 8GB was the only available variation, but it was tested with an R9 290X 4GB. This then limits the R9 390X to use just 4GB as Crossfire utilises the lowest VRAM quantity. Scores are around where we previously tested 2x R9 290X 8GB cards, so there is little a performance penalty for using the previous generation.
We will be confirming this new feature for ourselves by testing the R9 390 with an R9 290 and an R9 380 with an R9 285. If it works across most of the new generation, it could prove a nice upgrade to those who already own the 200 series equivalent.
With the Crossfire options opened up, would you be willing to purchase one of the newer cards to Crossfire or even buying an older card to bridge the gap until a 300 series card becomes cheaper? Let us know in the comments.
Here at eTeknix, we strive to give the consumer the best possible advice in every aspect of technology. Today is no different, as we have a pair of Sapphire’s amazing R9 290x 8GB Tri-x edition graphics cards to combine together for some CrossFireX action. The dedicated review for this graphics card can be found here. When striving for the best results, it is favourable to test 2 of the same models to allow for no variation in any clock speeds or variations in any integrated components, so today we should see some excellent results.
In the dedicated review, this graphics card has more than enough power to play most games at 4K resolution at 60FPS, faltering slightly in the more demanding Metro Last Light.
We inserted both graphics cards onto our Core i7 5820K and X99-based test system, ensuring adequate spacing for optimum cooling and that both have access to sufficient PCI-e bandwidth for CrossFire operation.
The typical ‘hot spot’ when arranging a CrossFire or SLI configuration is the closest graphics card to the processor, due to both of these cards being equipped with the Tri-x cooler, positioning isn’t an issue.
As these graphics cards have been subject to Sapphires treatment, they have slightly higher clock speeds than a reference model, but as these are both the same cards, there should be little to no variation in clock speeds; this will result in maximum gains during testing.
The battle of performance is one key area for buying a high-end graphics card like the AMD Radeon 295X2 or Titan/Titan Black/Titan-Z from Nvidia, but for those with a sensible head on their shoulders, you have to factor in pricing, though as an impulse buy, you may not want to. It’s always been a tight margin between AMD and Nvidia on the extreme segment market, as they both know that a premium can be requested from the consumer, and those wanting the best of the best will quite happily delve into their pockets to have it, and will most likely get it in the ear from their partners shortly after.
AMD have been quite generous with their Radeon 295X2 mammoth, water-cooled, uber, dual GPU monster as of late with price cuts left, right and center. While MSI and other brands have taken some money off to give the consumer a better deal, we’re finding one brand who has taken price cuts to the extreme. Sapphire are a market leader and for a very good reason, and with the 295X2 selling at a staggeringly low £599 including VAT at Overclockers UK, we want to see exactly how much performance you get for this amazing price.
We’re not going to talk too much about the cards aesthetics or cooling performance, as we’ve done all of that around 9 months ago, and if you fancy a brush up, you can check out our fully fledged review of the card on its own here. For now, we’re going to jump straight into how two of these Goliath cards operate in CrossFire and if they really can offer extreme unrivalled performance for an amazing price.