We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Graphics cards Reviews
15,670 Reviews

nVidia GTX 295 review

£404.52 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Nvidia

PC graphics hardware manufacturers nVidia and ATI have been locked in a graphics card cold war for ages. The latest salvo gets delivered in the form of a 480-core, 1.79-teraflop bombshell: the nVidia GTX 295 graphics platform.

PC graphics hardware manufacturers nVidia and ATI have been locked in a graphics card cold war for ages. The latest salvo gets delivered in the form of a 480-core, 1.79-teraflop bombshell: the nVidia GTX 295 graphics platform.

For the nVidia GTX 295 platform, nVidia has released its reference board, upon which graphics card manufacturers will design new cards; it is basically two GTX 290 boards sandwiched together, but it has the potential to provide a ludicrous degree of power, especially if you span two of these cards together into SLI mode.

And that's saying nothing of recent developments with incorporating PhysX calculations onto the GPU and CUDA (nongaming) applications built to run off the GPU. Obviously, this monstrosity is targeted at hard-core enthusiasts, but is it worth its £460 inc VAT asking price?

nVidia GTX 295: the specs

Created using a 55nm fabrication process, the nVidia GTX 295 boasts a 576MHz core clock, 1.79GB of memory, and a PCI-E 2.0 interface.

Translation: you'll have plenty of horsepower pumping under the hood. But the nVidia GTX 295 is big and power-hungry. While it technically requires only a single PCI Express slot, it is still two cards in a double-decker, 10.5in-long sandwich, which in effect takes up two slots, anyway. Also bear in mind that it'll require a good deal of juice (680 watts) from an eight-pin and six-pin supplementary power connector.

nVidia GTX 295: cold, hard facts

What the final numbers show in PC WorldBench 6 tests is that the nVidia GTX 295 scores incrementally better than ATI's current high-end product, the Radeon HD 4780 X2. One example: the GTX 295 managed to run Crysis at 42 frames per second on High settings with 4xAA at 1920 by 1200 resolution, which is pretty impressive considering how demanding that game can be. For comparison's sake, the Diamond Multimedia ATI 4870 X2 that we have in-house managed an equally respectable 32fps at the same settings.

Here's where it starts getting weird: older graphics cards ran faster at different resolutions. When ratcheting the resolution to 2560 by 1600, the new nVidia GTX 295 sputtered out. It scored just 15 fps on our Crysis tests; heck, our GTX 280 reference board ran 2 fps faster while the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 kept a steady pace at 29. It was the same story in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, with the GTX 295 falling below what we'd expect. Our best guess is that these problems reflect early driver issues that can hopefully be ironed out.

In everything else (games ranging from Far Cry 2 to Supreme Commander), the nVidia GTX 295 was faster across the board - sometimes by a few frames, and other times by as much as 10 percent, depending on the settings used. Also, a peek at the numbers shows that the 295 is faster than the card that preceded it, the GTX 280; but again, the difference is marginal.

Still, it's pretty obvious that the nVidia GTX 295 is one of the most powerful cards you can get right now - even if some driver hiccups hold it back at the moment. Just bear in mind that the gulf between it and its closest competitors isn't that great.

It did prove itself to be blisteringly fast, though, and it will pretty much run every game that's available right now at most resolutions and settings, especially if you can afford to run two in SLI mode; it's also fairly future-proof, as it'll be good to go for the next crop of must-have PC games.

NEXT PAGE: but is it worth it?

Get free games downloads. Visit PC Advisor's dedicated Games website to download hundreds of the latest titles, to read gaming news and reviews and to pick up tips and discuss your favourite games in the popular PC Advisor Games forum

nVidia GTX 295 Expert Verdict »
480 (240 per GPU) processor cores
576MHz graphics clock
processor clock: 1242MHz
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec): 92.2
Memory Clock (MHz): 999MHz
Standard Memory Config 1792 MB GDDR3 ( 896MB per GPU )
Memory Interface Width: 896-bit (448-bit per GPU)
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 223.8
quad SLI ready
GeForce 3D Vision Ready
DirectX 10.0
OpenGL 2.1
PCI-E 2.0 x16
Maximum Digital Resolution: 2560x1600
Maximum VGA Resolution: 2048x1536
Two Dual Link DVI, HDMI
dual-slot width

Despite some quirky test results, the nVidia GTX 295 is about as high class as a high-end graphics card can be. Gamers who want the ultimate, future proofed gaming rig should look no further: but be prepared to dig deep to get it.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • XFX GeForce GTX 295 review

    XFX GeForce GTX 295

    The title of fastest single GPU in the world is important to nVidia. Hence this beast of a card based on nVidia's GeForce GTX 295 chipset: the XFX GeForce GTX 295.

  • PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285 review

    PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285

    By cramming the GTX 280 architecture into a smaller package, the less expensive PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285 can be run at higher speeds without overheating.

  • nVidia GeForce GTX 580 review

    nVidia GeForce GTX 580

    The nVidia GeForce GTX 580 takes the crown of “World’s Fastest Graphics Card", sliding ahead of tough competition.

  • Zotac nVidia GeForce GTX 590 review

    Zotac nVidia GeForce GTX 590

    In the battle for gaming graphics supremacy, nVidia is playing its dual-GPU card to create the nVidia GeForce GTX 590, the fastest nVidia gaming card now available. But how does it stack up against AMD's competing ATI Radeon HD 6990?

  • MSI nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC review

    MSI nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC

    nVidia has just launched its brand-new GTX 285 chip – a slight improvement on the older 280. It’s therefore a little odd to find MSI coming out with a new 280 GTX card. Odd, but good.


IDG UK Sites

5 reasons not to wait for the Apple Watch: Why you shouldn't buy the iWatch

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How Emotional Debt is damaging digital design

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room