At the beginning of this piece, we said that Nvidia set out to usurp AMD’s claim over the fastest single-card title. Almost universally, the GeForce GTX 295 does that, according to the scores gleaned from this early performance preview, using games which should reflect some of the hottest this holiday season.
According to Nvidia, the GeForce GTX 295 will launch at next year’s CES, just a couple of weeks away. It’ll be priced at $ 499—right where the Radeon HD 4870 X2 selling online—and will be available at e-tail on launch day. When we’re able to review retail hardware, rather than an early engineering sample, we’ll have a better idea as to the accuracy of those claims.
What we do know is that Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295 is fast. We know that the company’s move to 55 nm is translating to real power-savings—after all the GTX 295 ducked in under AMD’s Radeon HD 4870 X2 at idle and under load.
Part Of A Broader Ecosystem
There’s a bit more to the GeForce GTX 295—and indeed any of Nvidia’s forthcoming 55 nm GPUs—than just our preview numbers, though. We recently sat down with the company to talk about CUDA, PhysX, and its soon-to-be-released 3D stereo technology, which was already previewed at NVISION.
In our discussion, I was candid in that I hadn’t paid much attention to PhysX because the company’s title list was full of games that weren’t A-list. I hadn’t spent many words on CUDA because, short of Badaboom, there weren’t enough applications to sell a graphics card based on the technology. And while I was thoroughly impressed after listening to five or six developers talk about how CUDA was revolutionizing their enterprise-class niches through the Tesla family, it was an excitement difficult to translate to the desktop.
But things are slowly changing in that regard. A match-up to EA and a couple of notable PhysX-enabled games slated for an early 2009 release might see that feature become a real differentiator. And after sitting down and playing Left 4 Dead (remember, that’s not a TWIMTBP title) using Nvidia’s upcoming 3D glasses, the experience is a real game-changer. That’s a topic for another day (soon), though.