NVIDIAs dual GPU GTX 295 video card said to launch at CES 2009
Unless ATI has something serious to pull out of its sleeve at CES 2009, the crown will go back to NVIDIA it seems. Its been rumored for a while now that NVIDIA will launch a new video card with dual GTX 200 GPUs at CES 2009 in a few weeks. Today those rumors become fact when NVIDIA allowed a few publications to publish an early preview of the GTX 295.
We now know that the GTX 295 will use dual 55nm GTX 200 GPUs and according to Guru 3D, the specs of the beastie are odd. The 295 has the same memory and core frequencies of a pair of GTX 260 GPUs, but the GPUs enjoy the same shader power of a pair of GTX 280 GPUs.
Total memory for the card is 1792MB, each GPU has 240 shaders, core frequency is 576MHz and shader frequency is 1242MHz. With that, much performance on tap power consumption might be a concern. Guru3D couldn’t provide any specific numbers on power consumption, but did say that it can peak at around 289 watts under load. Power consumption is said to be under the ATI X2 cards.
Visually, the card looks like any other NVIDIA reference design with black and silver coloring. In addition to the pair of DVI ports on the card, the reference design also offers a HDMI out. I would assume the addition of the HDMI out or DisplayPort for that matter will be up to the card partner. We will probably see many of the cards with DVI out only.
Performance is really what gamers want to know when a new video card is released. Guru3D ran the card at 2560 x 1600 on Far Cry 2 and the game was set at HQ DX10 mode, 4xAA and 16x AF for testing. The review found that the GTX 295 provided 54 FPS compared to the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2s 49 fps at the same settings. However, when the AA was jumped up to 8x, the performance lead was in the Radeon 4870 X2s favor with 31 FPS compared to 24 FPS for the GTX 295.
But what about Crysis you ask? NVIDIA won’t like to hear that at 2560 x 1600, DX10, 2x MSAA and Gamer quality mode the GTX 295 turned in 19 FPS compared to the 4870 X2s 25 FPS. However, when you bump the resolution back to 1920 x 1200 at the same settings the performance gain is again markedly in the GTX 295s favor at 49 FPS compared to 36 FPS for the 4870 X2. Dead Space was the clear winner for the GTX 295 where at 2560 x 1600 it turned in 149 FPS compared to the 4870 X2s 80 FPS at the same settings.
The GTX 295 is set to launch on January 8 at a price of roughly $499. Save your Christmas money boys and girls.
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