A load of GeForce GTX 295 performance previews has hit the web today. This card features two 55nm GT200 GPUs. The cores are clocked at 576MHz, shaders at 1242MHz and memory at 2000MHz. Each GPU has 240 shaders, 896MB of GDDR3 memory and a 448-bit memory bus. The peak power consumption of this dual-PCB card is 289W and the official release is set for January 8th, 2009 at CES.
Pricing is said to be less than $500, and this card will be the fastest single-card graphics card in the world. It will be faster than the Radeon HD 4870 X2 and we heard it will use less power as well.
The first real previews can be found at Guru3D, HardwareCanucks, Bit Tech and OverclockersClub. However, keep in mind that these reviews were done under strict terms set by NVIDIA. Reviewers who wanted access to an exclusive review sample were only allowed to test the card in NVIDIA's Top 5 games along with one other title of their choosing. Other benchmarks, acoustic measurements, power measurements and PhysX benchmarks weren't allowed yet. According to NVIDIA, the reason for this is because the GeForce GTX 295 samples that were send to hardware sites were early engineering samples with beta drivers. The performance and power consumption of the retail cards should be better, and therefore reviewers weren't allowed to publish indepth performance reviews yet.
Here's a snip from Bit Tech's reviews
We've only had a short time with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 295, but it looks set to take the performance crown from the Radeon HD 4870 X2. However, that performance crown won't be held in a dominant manner like we witnessed back in August when AMD launched its dual-GPU monster.
There are some early driver issues we've seen here though and, from the conversations we've had with Nvidia, there is still some work to be done on the driver side before they're ready for the January 8th launch.
Our biggest disappointment in the testing we've done so far though is how the card performs at higher resolutions with AA enabled - there are scenarios like the one we've shown you here in Fallout 3 where the card just runs out of steam at 2,560 x 1.600 with 8xAA.
And here's what Guru3D has to say about the new dual-GPU monster from NVIDIA:
Compared with the Radeon HD 4870 X2: what ATI released was and still is an incredible product. NVIDIA will finally be able to introduce a very proper answer to that card. Admittedly, ATI was able to squeeze a good amount more performance out of the X2 with their December Catalyst driver. As a result both cards were pretty close to each other in certain games. Fallout 3 was such an example where the Catalyst 8.12 driver made a good step forward in performance and Crossfire compatibility.
The winner today of course is the GeForce GTX 295 and considering we were using an early engineering sample card with a very beta driver, things are looking real good for NVIDIA.
Also despite the fact we were limited to testing a handful of games, we internally of course did run the majority of benchmarks with other games already. And the performance widespread is consistent and the card worked with any game we threw at it.