facebook rss twitter

Review: £250 - £400 to spend on a graphics card? Read this

by Tarinder Sandhu on 21 January 2009, 09:27 3.9

Tags: GeForce GTX 295, GeForce GTX 285 OCX, BFG Technologies, ZOTAC, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaqqr

Add to My Vault: x

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 295

The GeForce GTX 295 is the world's fastest graphics card, bar none, but you will pay around £400 for the privilege of owning one in January 2009.

Our in-depth review surmised that the card was, ostensibly, two 55nm GeForce GTX 260s, with some added GTX 280 sauce, sandwiched together, and enclosed in one package. Blazing-fast speeds were guaranteed if SLI profiles for the games were up to date.

Time to market and the extra cost involved in manufacturing custom-cooled SKUs mean that we won't be seeing any wild-and-wonderful GTX 295s in abundance anytime soon.

That's why the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 295 looks like the BFG, which looks like the Inno3D, ad infinitum. You get the picture.

What we can say is that the beast isn't quite a full Subway, measuring 10.5in long, and the robust cooling only takes the adjacent slot to the PCIe x16's.

Still, drawing well over 200W under full and prolonged load, you'll need a tasty PSU if running other similarly high-power components. The ZOTAC card, like all others, requires both eight-pin and six-pin power-connectors to be used concurrently.

Of course, go the whole nine yards by purchasing another, hook 'em up via the single SLI connector up top, and revel in Quad SLI - a snip at £800, plus a PSU upgrade, perhaps.

The fan's actually reasonably quiet when the twin GPUs are tasked with something a little more strenuous than Excel, and props to NVIDIA's engineering team for keeping the Big One relatively muted. Sure, it's louder than a GTX 285, but the noise isn't particularly annoying.

1,792MB's worth of GDDR3 RAM, split evenly between the GPUs, runs at an effective 2GHz. Knowing that the GTX 295's GPUs have a GTX 260 backend (confusing, I know), that's a potential, lovely 224GB/s of overall bandwidth.


HDMI is now standard on the GTX 295, which is nice, and the twin DVI outputs support 2,560x1,600px on a 30in monitor. You'll need one of those to get the best out of the card, too.


Clocked in at the reference 576MHz core, 1,242MHz shaders, and 1,998MHz memory, ZOTAC's card is just like a couple of GeForce GTX 260s with some sauce on top.