AMD's Radeon R9 295X2 Goes On Sale, Joined By Catalyst 14.4 RC

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅22.04.2014 13:41:07

After a week-long grace period following reviews AMD's new flagship GFX card, the Radeon R9 295X2, is now available from retailers worldwide. The card features two full-fat 28nm Hawaii cores in Crossfire configuration clocked at up to 1018MHz and is backed by 8GB GDDR5 memory, making it the fastest card currently on the market and perhaps the only single card to be suitable for 4K gaming. Currently only reference versions of the card - complete with hybrid cooling system - are for sale and it's unknown if non-reference designs are planned; at the very least water cooling blocks should pop up for sale soon enough.

A healthy MSRP of $1499 is translating to a price of around £1099-1199 in the UK and €1499 in the Eurozone. Low initial availability (single figure amounts) from some retailers may stymie any hopes you have of picking one up in the short term, but currently demand for the card is unproven. Those who pick one up will obviously want to ensure that their chassis can accommodate it, as well as invest in a monitor which will do this new pixel pusher justice.

Coinciding with the official release of the R9 295X2 is a new Catalyst release candidate, specifically Catalyst 14.4 RC. The WHQL-certified version should come in the next couple of weeks all things being equal, but for now those who have opted for the new dual-GPU card will be well advised to use these drivers.

Given the timing it's unsurprising that the new driver set features mainly Crossfire and Mantle improvements as its headline features. That said, enhancements for OpenGL 4.4 may be of interest to those sporting a Linux gaming rig.

Feature Highlights of The AMD Catalyst™ 14.4 Release Candidate Driver for Windows

Support for the AMD Radeon™ R9 295X

CrossFire™ fixes enhancements:
- Crysis 3 – frame pacing improvements
- Far Cry 3 – 3 and 4 GPU performance improvements at high quality settings, high resolution settings
- Anno 2070 – Improved CrossFire scaling up to 34%
- Titanfall – Resolved in game flickering with CrossFire enabled
- Metro Last Light – Improved Crossfire scaling up to 10%
- Eyefinity 3x1 (with three 4K panels) no longer cuts off portions of the application
- Stuttering has been improved in certain applications when selecting mid-Eyefinity resolutions with V-sync Enabled

Full support for OpenGL 4.4

OpenGL 4.4 supports the following extensions:
- ARB_buffer_storage
- ARB_enhanced_layouts
- ARB_query_buffer_object
- ARB_clear_texture
- ARB_texture_mirror_clamp_to_edge
- ARB_texture_stencil8
- ARB_vertex_type_10f_11f_11f_rev
- ARB_multi_bind
- ARB_bindless_texture
- ARB_spare_texture
- ARB_seamless_cubemap_per_texture
- ARB_indirect_parameters
- ARB_compute_variable_group_size
- ARB_shader_draw_parameters
- ARB_shader_group_vote

Mantle beta driver improvements:
- BattleField 4: Performance slowdown is no longer seen when performing a task switch/Alt-tab
- BattleField 4: Fuzzy images when playing in rotated SLS resolution with an A10 Kaveri system

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