EVGA GTX 295 1792MB GDDR3 Video Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     January 9, 2009

EVGA GTX 295 1792MB GDDR3 Video Card Review

Price: Click here to compare prices
Model Number: 017-P3-1292-AR
TechWiki Info: EVGA GTX 295 Plus
Availability: Now
Warranty: Lifetime
Manufacturer's Product Page: EVGA | Products

I know that there are many of you are thinking right now: “what, another new graphics card from Nvidia?” yup, you got it guys, Nvidia is on a mission to recapture the performance crown from the HD 4870 X2 and they aren’t being subtle about it. Their latest stab at the ultra high end is called the GTX 295 and it is packing enough heat to put ATI’s frontrunner in its place. Yes, this may be a bit “been there, done that” for those of you who read our preview of the GTX 295 a few weeks ago but make no mistake about it; this is a review with a ton of games, higher IQ settings and yes, even those power consumption numbers we were asked to show after the preview. This is where the rubber meets the road folks since we are expecting a finished product here without the quirkiness found in the beta drivers used for the preview. In this vein we should mention right away that the drivers we are using for this review should be available at launch from the Nvidia website.

So, what is this card all about? Basically, it consists of a pair of 55nm GTX 260 cards joined by and SLI connector which have been massaged to provide a little extra performance through additional texture filter units and stream processors. These two cores are each paired up with 896MB of GDDR3 memory for a total of 1792MB which puts it slightly below the 2GB of lightning-fast GDDR5 found on the HD 4870 X2 but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue performance-wise. However, in the preview we saw the telltale signs of framebuffer limitation in some rare cases so it will be interesting to see if this becomes more pronounced as we bump up the AA and IQ settings in the later tests.

Pricing here in Canada seems to have been set and while the GTX 295 was supposed to retail for around the same price as the HD 4870 X2 and it has indeed hit that point squarely on the head. One thing is for sure: with Nvidia promising their new wunderkind will outperform ATI’s dual GPU monster, equal pricing is definitely a breath of fresh air. Trust me, I have seen companies quote a price for a preview only to see that price balloon as distributors and retailers inflate their cut of the cake. So, now that we have seen actual pricing here in Canada, Nvidia's original number have borne true.

In this particular review we will be looking at the EVGA GTX 295 which will be available at launch in good quantities throughout the country. Usually we get an overclocked version of their cards at launch but this time it is a stock clocker as we have been told that there won’t be any overclocked cards from any manufacturer at launch. This probably has something to do with the temperatures seen on the cores but more on that a bit later in the review. One way or another, as usual you should feel confident in looking at this EVGA card since they have some of the best customer service around, have a Lifetime Warranty on all of their cards and also offer their famous Step Up program. We should also mention that from personal experience we have usually found EVGA graphics cards to be among the least expensive at most retailers which is always something to remember in these tough times.

Speaking of tough times, it may seem odd that Nvidia is releasing a near-$600 ($500 for our friends south of the border) at a time when phrases like “credit crunch” and “slowing economy” are all the rage. I am sure Nvidia has their reasons but let’s be honest, laying claim to the top spot in the GPU power race has massive PR advantages even if the product doesn’t sell like hotcakes.

Anyways, enough rambling. On to the review!!!


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