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
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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  • SiliconDoc - Saturday, January 17, 2009 - link

    Congratulations to ati for releasing the 4580 in August that gets beat by 2 year old standard and hopped up 8800 nvidia cores. I just love new technology, don't you ?
  • SiliconDoc - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    Of course you are, you all are, none of you have any driver issues on your red cards, you all say so.
    So no, I won't shutup - I will isten to your lies, and respond to them.
    It isn't reasonable at ALL to claim no driver issues on a 4870x2 - it';s a flat out lie from the word go.
  • Hxx - Friday, January 16, 2009 - link


    I said that a 4870x2 can be had for 400 after mir learn to read next time. Both companies have driver and crash issues with their cards, Nvidia is not an exception. That is especially if you run vista 64 bit so its unfair to judge ATI based on that. Second, Nvidia is known for overpricing their cards and the gtx295 is no exception. Third, the gtx 295 DOES NOT wipe the floor with 4870 x2, its slightly faster, like 5-10% in the majority of the games, not all of them. There isn't any game out there that will be playable on a gtx 295 but not on a 48700 x2, NONE, regardless of your display resolution. So why pay 100 extra? Especially since the life span of these videocards its so short that you would need a better card every year if you wanna keep maxing out ur games. So that's why i consider this card pointless. Because your paying extra for physics ( which is used by a handful of games) and is not noticeably faster than a 4870 x2. As for the power consumption, if you have the money to throw on either one, than you don't care about the difference in wattage.
  • kumquatsrus - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    great, all i have to do now is find me a 30 inch monitor to go along with this card, lol.
  • SiliconDoc - Saturday, January 17, 2009 - link

    How about overclocking did you say - strangely missing in the review for some unknown "reason". lol AMAZING.

    Let's use vr-zone, at least they included overclocking since the GTX295 DOES SO WELL, so much better than the already frying an egg or your fingers 4870x2 45 more watts used in 3d and 65 more watts used in idle powerhogggg - you know that card you couldn't wait to get for 6 months - before NVidia trounced it.

    " The GTX 295 lends itself fairly well to overclocking.
    Reference Speed
    Max. Overclocked
    Speed (Mhz)

    Core Clock

    Shader Clock

    Memory Clock

    Crysis Warhead fps: 30.91 standard 35.74 OVERCLOCKED

    A GOOD SOLID 15% GAIN , great overclock scaling !

    I guess they "forgot" here. Maybe I should read it all again, about expensive monitors, since I didn't see the usual overclocking drop down page tab... huh... it's strangely MISSING ENTIRELY.
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, January 12, 2009 - link

    That was never an argument for the 4870x2.
    I knew though the red blooded geekicans would make sure they pointed it out over and over in their latest GTX295 reviews , top front, and center.
    It's AMAZING.

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