NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 3GB Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: March 23, 2011
Product Name: GeForce GTX 590
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A Closer Look at the NVIDIA GTX 590

After such a long time waiting for this card, we’re sure many people will be more than a bit surprised by its appearance. Instead of going with their usual dual PCB design, NVIDIA has taken a page out of AMD’s book and has used a single PCB setup with a centrally mounted fan. However, when taken in from afar, this doesn’t look like the dual GPU totting monster many thought it would be.

The real beauty of this design lies within its heatsink. Somehow NVIDIA has designed the GTX 590 in such a way that its 80mm fan is able to adequately cool off the two cores without resorting to an overly tall internal heatsink or an annoyingly high acoustical profile. You can see hints of the internal heatsinks peaking out here and there which show that the fan pushes air in both directions in order to offer equal cooling to both cores.

Flipping the card over reveals two black anodized aluminum heatsinks which cover and disperse heat from the GDDR5 memory modules. In addition they act as backplates for the two individual GPU heatsinks on the flip side of the GTX 590. Between these covers are two banks of secondary voltage regulation modules which are left open to the elements since they don’t generate much heat.

Since the GTX 590 has a TDP of 365W, a pair of 8-pin power connectors is needed, which means a suitably high end power supply will be essential for potential owners. We’ll get a bit further into the PSU requirements a bit later in this review, but NVIDIA states that an 800W unit is recommended. Below the power connectors is a GeForce logo that is backlit with an LED. The effect is pretty cool and should spice up any windowed case.

Meanwhile, a single SLI connector has been installed in order to pair this card up with another GTX 590. Unlike AMD, NVIDIA doesn’t allow for mixed card solutions so don’t expect to be using a GTX 580 alongside a GTX 590.

The GTX 590’s rear connector layout is interesting to say the least. Since there are two GPUs, this is NVIDIA’s first card that natively supports a Surround multi monitor setup through a trio of DVI connectors. Alongside these is a lone DisplayPort output that can be used for an additional accessory display if needed.

With a length of 11”, the GTX 590 is slightly longer than the GTX 580 but the real story here is how NVIDIA somehow designed the main fan shroud and the heatsinks it contains to be so slim. If it wasn’t for the backplate’s connectors, this card could have been kept under the height of a typical dual slot GPU.

When put up against the massive HD 6990, NVIDIA’s flagship product feels positively delicate by comparison. Not only is the GTX 590 a full inch shorter than Antilles but its slim appearance gives it a bit of a more refined look as well. In addition, the 11” length means it will be compatible with nearly every modern case on the market while the HD 6990 needs a much larger chassis design.

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