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Review: BFG's NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 - the champ is back!

by Parm Mann on 8 January 2009, 14:00 4.05

Tags: GeForce GTX 295, BFG GeForce GTX 295 (186.18), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), BFG Technologies, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaqlb

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Final thoughts and rating

NVIDIA set out to win back the single-card performance crown and has undoubtedly succeeded. Despite openly admitting that "many enthusiasts would appreciate the ability to purchase a powerful single-GPU card", it appears the only way for NVIDIA to topple AMD's 4870 X2 is with a tag-team card of its own.

The cynics - and, admittedly, myself included - will argue that stitching two powerful cards together via internal SLI isn't the most graceful means of achieving performance supremecy. But, who cares? When the goal is framerate domination - and the internal SLI jiggery pokery goes unnoticed - it needn't matter how the huge amount of performace is delivered.

As expected, it's now AMD's turn to attempt to scupper NVIDIA's product launch and it's doing so by conveniantly lowering the asking price of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 - it's now available in Europe at a cost of €369 (approximately £330). At around £70 less than NVIDIA's offering, it's still a very tasty prospect, and for the consumer, a price war at the ultra-high-end can only be a good thing.

Irrespective of AMD pricecuts, and to NVIDIA's credit, the GeForce GTX 295's architectural efficiency manages to beat out the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in two of the other key non-performance areas - the card is significantly cooler, whilst keeping relatively quiet, too.

There's also a small matter of parrel compute power. Armed with a total 480 stream processors, this is a card that's tailored to make the best of PhysX and CUDA technologies. NVIDIA claims "2009 will be a remarkable year for PhysX gaming", and highlighting the fact that pixel rendering isn't the be-all-end-all, it promises to work with major game developers to deliver "great SLI scaling on all major titles before or on the day of launch".

At present, CUDA and PhysX remain nonessential technologies, but considering that the GeForce GTX 295 offers the fastest single-card performance of today and the GPGPU promise of tomorrow, it's quite the prospect for the user who demands the best.

Nonetheless, the GeForce GTX 295's target market is a small one, and the enthusiast looking to pick one up is likely to find £400 a small price to pay for what is the fastest single-card graphics solution available on the market today.

For those who prefer to stick with single-GPU solutions, there's the GeForce GTX 285...

The good

The fastest single graphics card in the world
Architectural efficiency results in decent temperatures and lower-than-expected power draw
Comes complete with framerate bragging rights

The not so good

Premium price, the world's fastest never comes cheap, this one costs more than a PlayStation 3
Bundle doesn't include any games

HEXUS Rating

HEXUS.net scores products out of 100%, taking into account technology, implementation, stability, performance, value, customer care and desirability. A score for an average-rated product is a meaningful ‘50%’, and not ‘90%’, which is common practice for a great many other publications.

We consider any product score above '50%' as a safe buy. The higher the score, the higher the recommendation from HEXUS to buy. Simple, straightforward buying advice.

81%

NVIDIA (BFG) GeForce GTX 295

 

HEXUS Awards

NVIDIA set out to win back the crown of "fastest single graphics card in the world", and it has. They don't come any quicker than this.


NVIDIA (BFG) GeForce GTX 295

HEXUS Where2Buy

The BFG GeForce GTX 295 1,792MB can be purchased from Scan.co.uk at a cost of £435.03.

As always, UK-based HEXUS.community discussion forum members will benefit from the SCAN2HEXUS Free Shipping initiative, which will save you a further few pounds plus also top-notch, priority customer service and technical support backed up by the SCANcare@HEXUS forum.

HEXUS Right2Reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



HEXUS Forums :: 43 Comments

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Man that card is ugly!
Not bad results though.
Nvidea take the crown back now we just need to wait for ATI to respond this really is a great time for video cards :)

Oh just one thing, any idea how much performance boost the 4850X2 2GB has over the 1GB version? if its not a lot (which I doubt it is) then they can be found for £255 take the bang for buck aggregate score for the 4850X2 and you get 1.20 which puts it head and shoulders above the rest.

Oh talking about bang for buck normalised points you have the wrong value for the 4850X2 (335.34, the same as for the 4870X2) I backwards calculated it to be ~307 (0.99*310 = 306.9) for my above 1GB calcs assuming the bang for buck value was correct and the other value was entered incorrectly.
Not really much different to the other cards in the range though really - and to keep it that cool and quiet I think they've done a great job on packaging.

Good review, Hexus.

I saw the actual effect of the overclock was, well, nothing in terms of performance - was that suggesting a bottleneck elsewhere do you think?
At 1,213g surely it could cause damage to the chassis!:rolleyes:
Hmm.. bang for buck should be worse given the actual price is somewhat higher than Hexus' estimate :(

http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=934336

£460, not £400