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Get 11.5 teraflops of PC graphics power for under 500

AMD slashes prices on the ultra-powerful Radeon R9 295x2.

Would you like to own PC graphics hardware with 6.25x the power of PlayStation 4's GPU? Today, AMD revealed that the price of the most powerful dual-chip GPU in the world has been reduced, with MSI versions of the Radeon R9 295x2 available for as little as £490.

We reviewed this card back in April, when it originally launched with prices in the region of £1200. It's an ultra-niche product, effectively comprising of two Radeon R9 290Xs in parallel, combined onto one board. The Hawaii chip is notoriously power-hungry and hot, so AMD made the product viable by incorporating a custom liquid cooling solution with attached radiator and fan, limiting temperatures to around 75 degrees Celsius. That's a far cry from the 95 degrees the reference version of the 290X runs at.

Put in simple terms, the end result is explosive performance. If you're looking to max any game at 2560x1440 resolution, the R9 295x2 delivers. It's also one of the few products able to sustain 4K gameplay at high frame-rates on an array of challenging titles. We were able to run Battlefield 4 at something approaching a locked 60fps on a 4K display with only minor reductions to quality settings, but on the flipside, our attempt to hit 4K60 with Crysis 3 proved somewhat less successful.

See it. Believe it. Battlefield 4 runs at 60fps at 4K resolution on high settings with ultra quality textures. Ramping up everything - bar anti-aliasing - to ultra can see substantial frame-rate dips, even with 11.5 teraflops of power. We'd prefer minor quality compromises vs sudden drops to frame-rate.

Additional Analysis:

While AMD continues to dominate the entry level and mid-range sectors of the GPU market, it's fair to say that its high-end products have struggled since the arrival of Nvidia's GTX 980 and GTX 970. Prior to the Nvidia onslaught, the R9 295x2 dropped in price to £700, but with two of Nvidia's latest offerings in SLI providing competitive performance, producing less heat and consuming less power, AMD's top-end card looked too expensive, despite its frame-rate advantages at 4K. Today's price reduction for the R9 295x2 redresses the balance somewhat, and could prove compelling to owners of 4K displays looking to run the latest games at high frame-rates.

AMD tells us that selected R9 295x2 models are available at £500 or below from suppliers including Overclockers, Scan, PC Specialist, NXPower and WiBox. We notice that Ebuyer is selling an MSI R9 295x2 for just £490.

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry  |  digitalfoundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

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