Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed
With two GT200b chips the Geforce GTX 295 is supposed to win the performance crown back from AMD's dual GPU card HD 4870 X2. In this preview PC Games Hardware tests with five game benchmarks if this venture is successful.
PC Games Hardware is among the few testers who can already check the Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia's new dual GPU card, based on two 55 nm GT200b chips. Furthermore it is the first Nvidia gaming card that exceeds the limit of one TFLOPS - due to two GPUs each of which has access to 240 Shader ALUs, 80 texture units and 28 ROPS with a 448 Bit memory interface.
The Geforce 295 GTX is supposed to reclaim the title of the fastest single graphics card for Nvidia, after AMD had scored unexpected success with the HD 4800 series and was able to deliver the up to now fastest single graphics card in form of the dual GPU model HD 4870 X2. We can't tell when the GTX 295 will become officially available at the moment, but we suppose a date around mid-January 2009. A price between 449 to 479 Euros could be realistic for the Nvidia card, but the final price will probably depend on the exchange rate of the dollar.
Our preview of the Geforce GTX 295 is subject to similar terms as our review of the HD 4870 X2. This means among other things:
- The sample provided by Nvidia is a pre-production device running with Beta drivers. Therefore we won't record loudness or power consumption (Nvidia specifies a TDP of 289 watts).
- We check only up-to-date and poplar games like Fallout 3, Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2, Call of Duty 5: World at War and Valve's Left 4 Dead (dt.) in the usual manner.
With the Geforce GTX 295 Nvidia finally introduces the first 55 nanometer product to the Enthusiast sector. The two GT200b chips are already produced in the finer structure and thus can be run with lower energy consumption. Nvidia specified the TDP with 289 watts. That is 3 watts higher than the nominal requirement of the Radeon HD 4870 X2, but much less than two combined GTX 260 cards need. And compared to the later ones the GTX 295 offers additional features. All the important details are listed in the chart below.
As it has been the case with the Geforce 9800 GX2, Nvidia uses a so called sandwich design for the GTX 295 (without the GX2 tag) Two PCBs with the two GPUs between them are cooled by a single cooling solution. Nvidia says this design has thermal benefits compared to AMD's tandem design. In contrast to the 9800 GX2 Nvidia uses bigger areas on the slot cover and the upper side of the card to exhaust the heated air from between the two PCBs of the GTX 295. The noise of the radial fan is rather unobtrusive and could be described as hissing; we couldn't hear drumming noises. If you are afraid of getting deaf because of the cooling, we can give an all clear even for our pre-production sample. From a subjective point of view we already had much louder cards in our Test Lab. At full workload the card is not - as expected - the appropriate choice for silent PCs, but in idle it is surprisingly quiet.
|Comparison: theoretical specifications|
|Nvidia Geforce||AMD Radeon|
|9800 GTX+||8800 Ultra||GTX 260-216||GTX 280||GTX 295*||HD 4870 X2*||HD 4870|
|Core frequency (MHz)||738||612||576||602||576||750||750|
|Shader ALU frequency (MHz)||1,836||1,512||1,242||1,296||1,242||750||750|
|Memory frequency (MHz)||1,100||1,080||999||1,107||999||1,800||1,800|
|Memory bus (Bit)||256||384||448||512||2x448||2x256||256|
|MAD performance (GFLOP/s)||470||387,1||536,5||622,1||2x596,2||2x1,200||1,200|
|MAD+MUL/ADD performance (GFLOP/s)||705**||580.7**||804.8**||933.1**||2x894,2||2x1,200||1,200|
|Texture fillrate (MTex/s)||47,232||19,584||41,472||48,160||2x46,080||2x30,000||30,000|
|Memory bandwidth (MiByte/s)||70,400||103,680||111,888||141,696||2x111,888||2x115,200||115,200|
|Multi GPU||SLI, 3-W.-SLI||SLI||SLI||SLI, 3-W.-SLI||Q-SLI||Crossfire X||Crossfire X|
|PCI-E. power connector (6-Pin/8-Pin)||2x/0x||2x/0x||2x/0x||1x/1x||1x/1x||1x/1x||2x/0x|
Two NVIO chips are working in the PCB sandwich of the GTX 295. According to Nvidia one is feeding the two Dual-Link DVI ports, while the other one is supplying data to the additional HDMI port. So up to three displays can be connected to the card.
- 1Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Introduction
- 2Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Test system and Benchmark selection
- 3Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Benchmark Call of Duty World at War
- 4Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Benchmark Crysis Warhead
- 5Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Benchmark Fallout 3
- 6Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Benchmark Far Cry 2
- 7Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Benchmark Left 4 Dead (dt.)
- 8Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Benchmarks with extreme FSAA modes
- 9Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Core i7 benchmarks plus CPU scaling
- 10Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed: Conclusion
- 11Bildergalerie zu "Geforce GTX 295 - Nvidia dual GPU card previewed"
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