Now that we have some hardware in our hands and NVIDIA has formally launched the GeForce GTX 295, we are very interested in putting it to the test. NVIDIA's bid to reclaim the halo is quite an interesting one. If you'll remember from our earlier article on the hardware, the GTX 295 is a dual GPU card that features two chips that combine aspects of the GTX 280 and the GTX 260. The expectation should be that this card will fall between GTX 280 SLI and GTX 260 core 216 SLI.

As for the GTX 295, the GPUs have the TPCs (shader hardware) of the GTX 280 with the memory and pixel power of the GTX 260. This hybrid design gives it lots of shader horsepower with less RAM and raw pixel pushing capability than GTX 280 SLI. This baby should perform better than GTX 260 SLI and slower than GTX 280 SLI. Here are the specs:

Our card looks the same as the one in the images provided by NVIDIA that we posted in December. It's notable that the GPUs are built at 55nm and are clocked at the speed of a GTX 260 despite having the shader power of the GTX 280 (x2).

We've also got another part coming down the pipe from NVIDIA. The GeForce GTX 285 is a 55nm part that amounts to an overclocked GTX 280. Although we don't have any in house yet, this new card was announced on the 8th and will be available for purchase on the 15th of January 2009.

There isn't much to say on the GeForce GTX 285: it is an overclocked 55nm GTX 280. The clock speeds compare as follows:

 

Core Clock Speed (MHz) Shader Clock Speed (MHz) Memory Data Rate (MHz)
GTX 280 602 1296 2214
GTX 285 648 1476 2484

 

We don't have performance data for the GTX 285 yet, but expect it (like the GTX 280 and GTX 295) to be necessary only with very large displays.

  GTX 295 GTX 285 GTX 280 GTX 260 Core 216 GTX 260 9800 GTX+
Stream Processors 2 x 240 240 240 216 192 128
Texture Address / Filtering 2 x 80 / 80 80 / 80 80 / 80 72/72 64 / 64 64 / 64
ROPs 28 32 32 28 28 16
Core Clock 576MHz 648MHz 602MHz 576MHz 576MHz 738MHz
Shader Clock 1242MHz 1476MHz 1296MHz 1242MHz 1242MHz 1836MHz
Memory Clock 999MHz 1242MHz 1107MHz 999MHz 999MHz 1100MHz
Memory Bus Width 2 x 448-bit 512-bit 512-bit 448-bit 448-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 2 x 896MB 1GB 1GB 896MB 896MB 512MB
Transistor Count 2 x 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 754M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $500 $??? $350 - $400 $250 - $300 $250 - $300 $150 - 200

For this article will focus heavily on the performance of the GeForce GTX 295, as we've already covered the basic architecture and specifications. We will recap them and cover the card itself on the next page, but for more detail see our initial article on the subject.

The Test

Test Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-965 3.2GHz
Motherboard ASUS Rampage II Extreme X58
Video Cards ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Video Drivers Catalyst 8.12 hotfix
ForceWare 181.20
Hard Drive Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
RAM 6 x 1GB DDR3-1066 7-7-7-20
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
PSU PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 1200W

Age of Conan Performance
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  • cactusdog - Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - link

    SiliconDoc, you sound like a tool. Reply
  • TheDoc9 - Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - link

    Actually while I don't agree with everything silcondoc says. I also read some very lite well hidden bias in this article. I simply called it indifference in one of my posts. Reply
  • zebrax2 - Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - link

    you know who really likes a certain team...
    plain bullshit. if they really wanted to favor the red team they would have rigged the test. you have no basis on accusing them and I'm sure that they have some reason for not adding it.

    if you don't like what they write just go to another site
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - link

    If you don't like what I wrote, follow your own advice and leave.
    How about it there fella - if that's your standard, take off.
    If not, make excuses.
    I think it's Derek, to be honest, and specific.
    That's fine, I think not noting it - and not being able to adjust for it, IS a problem.
    You cannot really expect someone that is into hardware and goes that deep into testing to wind up in the middle.
    So use your head.
    I used mine and pointed out what was disturbing, and if that helps a few think clearly on their purchases, no matter their decision, that's good by me.
    However, your comment was not helpful.
    Reply
  • Goty - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    Uses less power than... what?

    By bit-tech's numbers, the GTX295's power consumption is about 70W more than a single GTX280 and only about 40W less than a 4870X2 at full load.
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Saturday, January 17, 2009 - link

    Oh, let's not have any whining about where's the link
    http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-295...
    Not that you ever thought about doing that at all - although I'm sure others did.
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Saturday, January 17, 2009 - link

    lol- wrong comparison - again....

    " By bit-tech's numbers, the GTX295's power consumption is about 70W more than a single GTX280 and only about 40W less than a 4870X2 at full load. "

    Let's correct that.

    " By vr-zone's numbers, the GTX295's power consumption is about 60W LESS than a single 4870x2 at idle, and about 45W LESS than a 4870X2 at full load. THE GTX295 stomps the 4870x2 into the GROUND when it comes to power savings, and BETTER PERFORMANCE. "

    There we go , now the red ragers can cuss and call names again - because the truth hurts them, so, so bad.

    Reply
  • AdamK47 - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    It's interesting you got the game working with these drivers. The game crashes for most with these. Reply
  • Goty - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    Doesn't the documentation state that the 8.12 hotfix is only needed for 4850 crossfire systems? Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    A $500 video card that used 289watts of power. Just what every one wants.


    I was happy with AMDs new video cards. Not because they were at the top of all the charts. But that they offered a lot of power for a fair price and did not use to much power. Maybe some geek that wants to "brag" about spending $500 on a video card will get this. But for the other 99.9% of users this brings nothing to usefull table.
    Reply

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