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Old 10th Aug 2009, 12:10   #1
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Gainward Single PCB GTX 295 Review

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/gra...x-295-review/1

Nvidia has redesigned the GeForce GTX 295, squeezing both GT200b GPUs onto a single PCB and completely replacing the card's cooler. We find out if the the GTX 295 directors cut is any faster or cooler than it's dual PCB predecessor, and whether it's more worthy of it's top end price tag.

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Old 10th Aug 2009, 12:17   #2
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The Heat(load) graph seems to have the wrong card names on it.

The first thing I did when I saw the heatsink arrangement though was to wish we could get cards like this in a cheaper bare-bones format with no cooling system included, for those of us who would rather use after-market cooling on our cards.

Imagine how much cheaper the cards could be if supplied without the HSF.

Anyway, good review as usual, thanks
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 12:24   #3
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Glad to see nVidia finally adopting the much more elegant approach of single PCB.

Shame that none of the places listing HD4870X2's at around the £230 mark have any stock.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 12:48   #4
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Do be advised though that absolutely any tinkering with the card will void the warranty, as some of the frankly epic photos on Gainward’s website demonstrate.
I'm looking at some of those, and thinking that a fair few of those could happen without any attempt at modification of the card. If a capacitor is going to blow, a capacitor is going to blow. It does, however, give Gainward a very neat way of avoiding providing warranty support if they have a supply of components that are somehow sub-standard. Let's hope they haven't cheaped out on the capacitor supplier.

...

Typo on page 10: "speeding up the fan to keep the GPU withib safe temperature limits." I'm guessing that should be 'within'.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 13:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter View Post
I'm looking at some of those, and thinking that a fair few of those could happen without any attempt at modification of the card. If a capacitor is going to blow, a capacitor is going to blow. It does, however, give Gainward a very neat way of avoiding providing warranty support if they have a supply of components that are somehow sub-standard. Let's hope they haven't cheaped out on the capacitor supplier.
I agree - in addition to this, surely the gold fingers on the PCB could get burned like that due to excessive current being pulled by a defective IC on the board, rather than customer abuse / mis-fitting? I understand that they need to protect themselves from paying out for cards that have been blatantly hacked, but their warranty is starting to look rather like those health insurance schemes that always find a reason not to pay out when things go wrong.

That aside it's still a nice card, and I'd definitely prefer one over the previous '2 PCB' design, given the better cooling performance on offer.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 14:04   #6
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Someone please remind me, 2x GTX 260-216's = 295 or is it 2x 275's?
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 14:17   #7
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2x275
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 14:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ending Credits
2x275
It's more towards 2x216 I'm afraid. Each core runs at the exact same speeds as a default GTX 260 (576MHz, 1242MHz, 999MHz (1998MHz effective)

2 GTX 275 in SLI would be noticeably faster.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 14:51   #9
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Clock speeds might differ (which makes deciding exactly what it's supposed to be difficult) but the 275 has 240 shaders like the 295 chips, rather than the 192 or 216 of the GTX260...

However, the clock speeds muddy the water a lot.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 17:00   #10
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well all I can say is it is about time nVidia.... sheesh a bit late but hopefully all future models of dual gpu cards will be a single pcb board
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 17:01   #11
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A nice proof of concept for the dual GT 300 card, I can see the folders starting to drool, ewh.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 17:25   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
well all I can say is it is about time nVidia.... sheesh a bit late but hopefully all future models of dual gpu cards will be a single pcb board
The feedback we had from board partners was that the GTX 295 dual PCB was killing them on margin - it was so expensive to produce, but still had to compete with the HD 4870X2, which at one point was only £250! Hopefully this single PCB version should make everyone happy.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 17:51   #13
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I assume this is an error at the end of page 10: "...isn't what you'd call discrete."

On the contrary, I'd say it's the epitome of a discrete graphics card. It's certainly not discreet, though...
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 18:56   #14
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You say theres' a bottleneck in the test setup, how can that be? Fallout tests all stop at 80 something fps but the fps-cap is removed. I don't see any weaknesses in the system, other than vista.... I dare say it might be the graphicscards themself, if they for instance run out of something that game only requires...
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 19:04   #15
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3x 2GB Corsair TR3X6G1333C9 memory modules (operating in dual channel at DDR3 1,349.4MHz 9-9-9-24-1T);
You're running triple channel modules in dual channel? Or am I just stupid?

£350? I'm in the market for a new mainboard [775] and a new graphics card but my total budget is far lower than that. I just don't see the point without a 24" FullHD-all-bells-and-whistles monitor.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 19:21   #16
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Quote:
It's more towards 2x216 I'm afraid. Each core runs at the exact same speeds as a default GTX 260 (576MHz, 1242MHz, 999MHz (1998MHz effective)

2 GTX 275 in SLI would be noticeably faster.
OK, sorry; my bad.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 19:22   #17
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Hmmm... no HDMI socket (unless it's a very bad image) built in = Fail.

To be honest, I'm not really that desperate for a single PCB variant.. not enough to lose the built in HDMI socket. The backplate also still takes up 2 openings, so what exactly is gained here? Plus, the fans now blow half of the exhausted air inside the case, rather than out of it.

As for overclocking, my crappy old 2 PCB version (with HDMI socket) can run happily at 740MHz. Any overclock test here is relative to whatever benchmark card you're testing against rather than a definitive test of overclocking ability.

As it's not massively cheaper than the "old" version.... I just fail to see the point in this product.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 21:27   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
Hmmm... no HDMI socket (unless it's a very bad image) built in = Fail.

To be honest, I'm not really that desperate for a single PCB variant.. not enough to lose the built in HDMI socket. The backplate also still takes up 2 openings, so what exactly is gained here? Plus, the fans now blow half of the exhausted air inside the case, rather than out of it.

As for overclocking, my crappy old 2 PCB version (with HDMI socket) can run happily at 740MHz. Any overclock test here is relative to whatever benchmark card you're testing against rather than a definitive test of overclocking ability.

As it's not massively cheaper than the "old" version.... I just fail to see the point in this product.
As I said in the article, one of the big points of this card was to cut production costs, the overall price of the card, and improve on cooling, all of which the card does. Calling it pointless is a little short sighted - in the long run this means better, cheaper dual GPU cards from Nvidia.
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 21:33   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead View Post

As it's not massively cheaper than the "old" version.... I just fail to see the point in this product.
It was designed to increase Nvidia's profit margins, and provide an engineering solution for their dual DX 11 cards. Not to mention gaining some headlines for their flagship GPU, at a time when the 4870 X2 significantly undercuts the big N.

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Old 10th Aug 2009, 22:31   #20
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Something seems off about this review, usually the RV770 GPUs perform extremely well when it comes to adding AA, so why is there suddenly such a large drop in performance in this review? In earlier reviews the 4870X2 appared to not even take a hit when enabling AA in some games.

Surely there's something up with this?
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