GeForce GTX 295 Performance: Previewed

An Early Look Into Next Year

Bear a couple of things in mind regarding the preceding benchmarks. To begin, this is meant to serve as a performance preview, not as a review. Our official review will follow early next year when the GeForce GTX 295 is finalized and boxed up for retail distribution.

We’ve presented the results from six games. Five of them were mandated by Nvidia as a sample of the most-anticipated titles for the 2008 holiday season. Four of those five are part of Nvidia’s The Way It’s Meant to Be Played program. Two are already staples of our own benchmark suite. And we picked one game, Crysis, to add to the mix. This is still engineering-sample hardware and, according to Nvidia, the final fan speeds haven’t yet been set.

What makes something like this okay? All of the titles chosen are, in fact, popular games and we can understand the frustration of seeing the same three-year old apps tested over and over again simply because they’re recognized performance metrics. Even still, we want to stay transparent to our readers. In fact, it was a breath of fresh air to see some new software instead of the same Supreme Commander savegame or the World in Conflict fly-through.

Further, TWIMTBP is nothing more than one of Nvidia’s competitive advantages. A developer relations program that seeks to optimize the performance of independently-written software on proprietary hardware is logical, so long as it doesn’t simultaneously seek to handicap competition. And given the number of times we’ve seen AMD’s cards beat Nvidia’s in the last year, the program doesn’t seem to be pursuing such malicious avenues. In fact, Nvidia recently gave us a breakdown of what TWIMTBP meant to the development of Far Cry 2. From on-site consultation to performance testing to regular driver updates, Nvidia added its efforts up to three cumulative man-months of cooperation. As a result, GeForce GTX cards didn’t encounter nearly as much trouble as Radeon boards did (these issues were well-documented as the game launched in my own exploration of Core i7 gaming performance with up to four-way CrossFire and three-way SLI).

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • titdoctor
    wait until ATI updates their drivers again. 4870x2 FTW
  • Tindytim
    Why do I get the feeling AMD is already working on something to bust Nvidia again?
  • cangelini
    8.12 was definitely a nice update!
  • NarwhaleAu
    Your conclusion was, at best, poor.

    Nvidia's "fastest single card" is two 280s on a single PCB, selling at the price point that ATI is selling their 4870x2 at right now?

    It is a lot cheaper to produce the 4870 GPU, so I am sure you will see ATI cut their price down by at least $50, and maybe $100. Nvidia will then have the same problem - a monolithic GPU that is expensive to produce and not really any faster than the 4870.
  • xsane
    I totally agree with him on the Physx and CUDA comment. It would be really nice to have a game like Tiger Woods support Physx.

    I have 2 x 4850 in crossfire, it kicks ass.
  • trainreks
    good to see that nvidia whipped back into submission. Their prices were ridiculous when they were on the top for a long time.
  • malveaux

    You clearly need to re-read this article.
    And cutting prices $50? $100? Yea, born yesterday? Not happening.


    Thanks for the preview! I've been looking out for the GTX295 to surface. Two GTX260's should perform right on par with the thing, and I was wondering what the price would turn out to be. You can get GTX260's for $219 from the Egg right now (or $440 for two). If the GTX295 is only a single card at $499 (likely to be 20 less at the Egg), it's right on the same price area as buying two 260's separately. And in that situation, I'd rather have a single card with the same power. As would most folk I wager. So looks like the 295 is gonna be a real winner in the enthusiast market.

    Very best,
    Thanks for being open and honest, and mentioning nVidias mandate. It looks as expected, and is a shame we dont have a larger picture of full performance, since nVidia hamstringed you guys. Good to see some competition at the highend
  • sparky2010
    The problem with ATI is that they release good products but give them incomplete/unoptimized drivers.. to see games where the difference between the 4870 and the X2 is almost nil, but the GTX 295 is doing well in it, well, that's no excuse for ATI.. it's too bad though.. i really hope they could just give us good drivers from the beginning, instead of giving us "performance upgrade packages"..

    I hope that their next driver will see more optimization, and then a showdown! CROSSFIRE X vs. QUAD SLI!!!! MUAHAHAHA!

    Bets down please?
  • drysocks
    I'll be impressed if it costs less than the Radeon HD 4870 X2. ~470 atm