Big and brash but very very expensive, the Zotac GeForce GTX 295 is currently the ultimate power-trip for the well financed gamer.
Unfortunately, the issue of that price does tend to take the shine off the Zotac GeForce GTX 295 - otherwise a most emphatic product.
Not that there's anything revolutionary about the Zotac GeForce GTX 295. In a market that seems painfully short of truly radical twists and ideas, the 295 does enough to place itself at the head of the market - but no more.
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You won't exactly have seen the technology before. But, in reality, much of it has already been tasted by the gaming community. Like the Radeon HD 4870 X2, the Zotac GeForce GTX 295 in essence takes two chips and uses them in tandem. But while the 4870 X2 consists of little other than a pair of 4870s, the GTX 295's chips of choice are, well, harder to name.
They're a mid-way point between the 260 and the 280/285, in essence, although a quick comparison between this and the other GTX cards shows that the Zotac GeForce GTX 295 has far more in common with the 260 then it does the 280/285. The core and memory clock speeds are awfully similar, as is the memory interface - except that the 295 has two lots of the latter.
The memory consists of two banks of 896MB, making for a rather bizarre total of 1792MB - a short way down on the 4870 X2's 2GB. And since the memory type is only GDDR3 rather than (in the case of the 4870 X2) GDDR5, the Zotac GeForce GTX 295's memory bandwidth figure is actually slightly down on that of the 4870 X2.
But despite a few technological concessions to the 4870 X2, the Zotac GeForce GTX 295 is clearly the best of the two cards. It doesn't outdistance the top-line Radeon by much, but it does generally clear its rival by 10% or more. It is, though, a noisier card, and our system hit the 55db mark during our game testing. And, of course, it's a more expensive deal, costing over £100 more.