GeForce GTX 295 Performance: Previewed


At the beginning of this piece, we said that Nvidiaset out to usurp AMD’s claim over the fastest single-card title. Almostuniversally, the GeForce GTX 295 does that, according to the scores gleanedfrom this early performance preview, using games which should reflect some ofthe hottest this holiday season.

According to Nvidia, the GeForce GTX 295 willlaunch 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 ate-tail on launch day. When we’re able to review retail hardware, rather than anearly engineering sample, we’ll have a better idea as to the accuracy of thoseclaims.

What we do know is that Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295is fast. We know that the company’s move to 55 nm is translating to realpower-savings—after all the GTX 295 ducked in under AMD’s Radeon HD 4870 X2 atidle and under load.

Part Of ABroader Ecosystem

There’s a bit more to the GeForce GTX 295—and indeedany of Nvidia’s forthcoming 55 nm GPUs—than just our preview numbers, though. Werecently sat down with the company to talk about CUDA, PhysX, and itssoon-to-be-released 3D stereo technology, which was already previewed atNVISION.

In our discussion, I was candid in that I hadn’tpaid much attention to PhysX because the company’s title list was full of gamesthat weren’t A-list. I hadn’t spent many words on CUDA because, short ofBadaboom, there weren’t enough applications to sell a graphics card based onthe technology. And while I was thoroughly impressed after listening to five orsix developers talk about how CUDA was revolutionizing their enterprise-classniches through the Tesla family, it was an excitement difficult to translate tothe desktop.

But things are slowly changing in that regard. Amatch-up to EA and a couple of notable PhysX-enabled games slated for an early2009 release might see that feature become a real differentiator. And aftersitting 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’sa topic for another day (soon), though.

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