NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Video Card Preview

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     December 18, 2008

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Video Card Preview

People like excess. It doesnít matter if the economy is in a tailspin or our savings are collapsing; there will always be a guy running around town in a red Ferrari with a blond in the passenger seat and another waiting on his yacht in the Mediterranean. Wanting the best of the best is only natural which is why companies are more than willing to release high-end products which the working class can drool over and only the privileged few can actually afford. These are items for niche markets ranging from high performance cars for the ultra-rich to computer graphics cards that can net you the jealousy of everyone at the next LAN party. Well folks, you are about to get the next lesson in excess brought to you courtesy of Nvidia.

Following in the footsteps of such cards as the Rage Fury Maxx, 9800 GX2, HD 3870 X2 and HD 4870 X2 comes the dual GPU behemoth called the GTX 295. Letís be honest for a second here; the HD 4870 X2 was a slap in the face for Nvidia since it outperformed Team Greenís GTX 280 in the majority of benchmarks which made it the fastest graphics card on the block. Some of you may be snickering over there on the sidelines since you remember the ridicule Nvidia threw ATIís way when it took the performance crown with a dual GPU card and are now releasing one of their own. In the end, if it performs up to expectations, who are we to question the dual chippery found on the GTX 295? Nvidia believes they have a winning combination on their hands with their current (and near-future) lineup being supplemented by this new card and that should be enough to justify just about anything. Right?

Naysayers have long said that the GTX 200-series would never be compatible with a dual GPU, single card solution due to the immense power requirements and heat output of the 65nm G200 core. Well, enter a die shrink to 55nm and Nvidia has made into reality what many thought was impossible. We should also mention that pricing isÖ.are you sitting down?...pegged at around $500 USD which puts it into direct competition with the HD 4870 X2. Actually, that is a tad LOWER than the SRP for the HD 4870 X2.

Talking big about a product is all fine and dandy but putting the rubber to the road so-to-speak is something else altogether. Naturally, with this being a mere preview, we are limited in exactly what we can show you and considering reviewers have had the card in their possession for a few short days (or a few hours in my case), you canít expect miracles. With all of this said, you should be aware that the full review with complete benchmark numbers (including some expanded testing with extreme IQ settings) coupled with actual availability of the GTX 295 will be coming in the next few weeks. Something else to remember is that we are working off of early drivers as well as pre-production hardware so expect performance to change somewhat once the final production samples are ready for release.

The GTX 295 could prove to be a boon to Nvidia since it is a proof-of concept for their new 55nm G200b cores and it could also wrest the performance crown off ATIís head. Letís get this preview underway!


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