Preliminary Thoughts

With a board power of 289W, this thing isn't going to be cheap to run. Plugging two in a system is going to push the envelope, but 3-way GTX 280 will still consume more power. It is likely that NVIDIA made the changes to memory bandwidth in order to save on a couple hundred megs of RAM that would draw too much more power. Making such a move is definitely sensible, but it is at the highest end (2560x1600 with tons of blur (I mean AA, sorry)) where tons of RAM are needed to push performance.

Of course, with two cards (especially if a game is capable of alternate frame rendering (AFR)), memory limited performance issues will be mitigated quite a bit, and opening up the shader power of two GTX 280 cards in a single slot is big for games that use a lot of compute. The way future games tackle the balance of compute and memory has yet to be seen, but NVIDIA has been saying for years that the future continues to be increasing the compute ratio.

We like hard launches. This isn't one. While that's disappointing, we do really want to get our hands on this hardware. The GTX 295 definitely looks like it will best the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in terms of raw power. Beyond that, it is clear that AMD hasn't taken driver development seriously enough and CrossFire just isn't as robust as SLI. Relying on a CrossFire based solution for their highest end part means it is necessary to provide reliable performance and stability across all games, new and old, and on all platforms. Making user defined profiles that allow the forcing of different CrossFire modes on certain games would go a long way to helping, but the real relief will come when AMD decides to fix their broken driver development model.

As it stands, SLI is a better solution than CrossFire and the GPUs on the GTX 295 will really put the screws to RV770. We will very likely see NVIDIA take back the crown in terms single card performance.

That said, how sad is it that NVIDIA had to go and push this press info out there 3 weeks before availability just to try and slow AMD's momentum during the holiday season.

A Quick Look Under The Hood


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  • nyran125 - Friday, January 09, 2009 - link

    I dont understand why people even bother buying any of these cards when an 8800 GTS ultra or GTS 512mb which are alot cheaper than any of these cards are running the latest games right now with AA on and as we speak on Maximum graphics. No games out right now are even close to Crysis technology graphically and an 8800gts or ultra runs it smooth as. Why waste your money on these cards? When its going to be awhile before we even get any games looking better than Crysis. Reply
  • smlforever - Friday, December 26, 2008 - link

    hey !!! i cant't enter chinese this website why? Reply
  • smlforever - Friday, December 26, 2008 - link

  • falko2904 - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    I just found the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 SSC at for $211.99 with free shipping, with an instant coupon good through 01/04/09 for $30 off, bringing the cost to $181.99, with a PayPal purchase you get $15 cash back from PayPal (not instant, though), bringing the cost to 176.99, with a $10 MIR from EVGA it brings the price to 166.99.


    Here is the link:">

    The instant coupon is not evident, but appears when you add it to the cart. I was considering a EVGA 9800GTX until I found this. Bought it.
  • falko2904 - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - link

    I see that I failed math, the discounted prices should be $166.99 after PayPal, and $156.99 after MIR.

    And I see people talking smack about the 192/216/240 core products. When a company markets a product, initially there are production problems and errors that will cause the yield of the product to be affected. One way to overcome this is with the ability to disable the failed or questionable sections of the chip. This increases per wafer yield and reduces waste and lost income, and reduces the cost of all bin levels of the product to be reduced to acceptable levels. You can hack and re-enable features, taking the chance that you got a product that was misbinned or manages to barely pass the tests. Further along in production the company is forced to misbin product to meet the demand of the lower binned products. These can usually be up-featured with a hack with reasonable assurance it will work reliably. These companies are in the business of profit, but do not for the most part gouge their customers. It is the reality of a business that requires multibillion dollar investments every time the have to setup a production line for a product that uses a new process.

    Another way to look at this is that you are paying for a given set of features, if you do not agree with the price for that set of features, then don't buy it. When you buy Windows Vista Home Premium, that DVD contains all Windows Vista versions, but you only get to enable the features you paid for.
  • SiliconDoc - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    You're another one that has bought the idiot's line. I guess you assume that just the correct amount of shaders are magically errored on the 192 for instance, so they disabled them and released the card as such. I'm sorry you're that stupid.
  • Razorbladehaze - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    OK so i will start out saying that the performance numbers from 5 of my usual daily online tech mags, look similar. That's Good. The performance of the GT295 looks to be the tops after release (as long as this soft release isn't a facade for retail performance, which i don't think will be the case). I'm impressed.

    Personally im my experince and my friends' experiences i will have to agree with what some on here have mentioned that CrossfireX is more stable, and usually performs better across a range of uses. But this continues to be a mostly subjective (as opposed to objective = evidence based)topic.

    But what really had me want to write this posting is this...

    The only objective nVidia had in this release was to take back the performance crown. This product was never in a release schedule, and was reactionary. Usually this results in a sloppy product, but let's hope that's not the case. It is obvious that they tested the idea of two GT260s/GT260-216 (Im guessing the 280's failed as well especially with power/performance ratio)and neither configuration bested the 4870x2. So once again they tweaked their GPU's and crammed this into a new process (making me nervous), to make this card competitive.

    So this is really not bad, but what is... is that Nvidia is not really pushing their own agenda. This speaks really poorly for Nvidia's state of affairs and for what company stands.

    Nivida has been renaming previous products to give a fresh look (something ATI also did with 9550/X1050 and to a lesser degree with 2600/2400/3400/3600 hardware) and some slight tweaking to deceive and take advantage of the consumer.

    Nvidia is also guilty of fraudulent behavior and will not own up to it(rambus), and has really bad recent quality control problems (8600/8800's/8600m/chipsets both pc & macbooks) in their manufacturing processes.

    Being on top is a Great thing, but it's also how you got there.

    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
    - Aristotle

    I wish i could send this to Nvidia's top people and counsel them on what it means and how they should apply it to their company.
  • SiliconDoc - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    In other words, sir, the proper DISSING is this:
    The GTX260 192 is just a crippled GTX260 216 (or one would say because of order - the 260/216 is an uncripppled 260 192)
    We KNOW they told us - and now we see they have taken the 260 and enabled all 240 shaders...
    So what they DO - do - is cripple cards, when not crippling them won't cost a dime more.
    See, they whack their own product to make more "products" so they can get hype and tiers and dollars and bean counters and enthusiasts going gaga over it all.
    Both videocard companies do it, and that's what should make us al sick, because they are spending a LOT OF MONEY doing it - and it would be MUCH CHEAPER to just make a MUCH CHEAPER line of higher end cards without all the whack daddy crippling and finagling they do.
    Can you even imagine how many bean counting guru's and cheeseheads it takes to devise all the various flavors with chops and slices to the exact parts of the cores and the bios or the pcb design or whatever, they need to whack to get it done ?
    See, that's what they are doing.
    Just like long after Intel had multiple public fits over overclocking - the decided the gigantic "unlocked EE" overclocking mega $$$$ product was "cool" - and went insane selling it.
    So that's what they are doing - hacking around - and only letting out the "good stuff" at a very high price, even though - it doesn't cost to let more out the door with much higher performance - but chopping and hacking makes for busy bee work...
    ( we've seen the bios hacks that unlock crippled features - and there's a whole lot more crippling going on )
  • Razorbladehaze - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    Okay so the ignorance is clear in that this poster missed the whole message in what I posted. Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Thursday, December 25, 2008 - link

    " Things are starting out pretty well for the new GeForce GTX 295 card - it is able to thwomp the AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 card in all resolutions tested! At 16x12 the GTX 295 has a 28% performance edge, at 20x15 it has a 23% lead and at 25x16 the new GTX 295 wins by 25% on average frame rate. Just as importantly, the minimum frame rates are also much much higher with the NVIDIA solutions, even the GTX 260+ is ahead of the HD 4870 X2 in this regard."


    Notice the last line ?
    " even the GTX 260+ is ahead of the HD 4870 X2 in this regard "

    YES, someone tells the truth.


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