iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295

2 x 240sp, 2 x 896MB, 2 x 448-bit.

February 27, 2009

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Now let's examine the card.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 2x896MB
  • GPU: 2 x GeForce GTX 280 (GT200)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 575/1240 MHz (nominal)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1000 (2000) MHz (nominal)
  • Memory bus width: 2 x 448bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 2 x 240
  • Texture processors: 2 x 96 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 2 x 32
  • Dimensions: 270x100x33mm (the last value is the maximum thickness).
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: on a separate NVIO chip.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), HDMI, TV-out.
  • VIVO: n/a
  • TV-out: n/a
  • Multi-GPU: hardware SLI, supports Quad SLI

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 2x896MB
The graphics card has 2 x 896MB of GDDR3 SDRAM in 14 Hynix memory chips (7 per PCB). These memory chips are designed for the maximum frequency of 1200 (2400) MHz.

Comparison with the reference design, front view
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 2x896MB Reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 896MB

Comparison with the reference design, back view
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 2x896MB Reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 896MB

It's a dual-GPU graphics card. NVIDIA traditionally designs such cards with two PCBs. That is we actually get a sandwich consisting of two cards, each of which carries its own GPU and its own memory. These PCBs are connected with a SLI bridge.

Each PCB has a 448-bit layout, but is not big. We can say that engineers had tried to compress PCBs, which apparently made them expensive. On the whole, we can even call it a single-card design, because it's a graphics card with a single PCI-E connector, it just takes up two slots on a motherboard. However, it's intrinsically a dual-PCB device, as two cards are combined into one.

This card uses GTX 280 GPU (but it's manufactured using the 55nm process technology). However, even if it's designed for a 512bit bus, in this case it does not use the entire bus width, because this PCB is designed for a 448-bit one. Besides, memory volume per GPU has been decreased from 1024MB to 896MB.

I'll stress the important point once again: the card is 270mm long, just like the 8800 GTX/Ultra. So a PC case should be large enough to accommodate this device. Besides, the card width doesn't vary from one end to another, so a motherboard has to have 30mm a wide area behind PCI-E x16 slots, free of ports or high capacitors.

Graphics cards of this series feature soundcard connectors for transmitting audio stream to HDMI (via a DVI-to-HDMI adapter). That is, the graphics card does not have an audio codec, but it receives audio signal from an external sound card. So, if this feature is important to you, make sure the bundle contains a special audio cable.

Also note that this graphics card uses two power connectors: 6-pin and 8-pin.

An analog monitor with a D-Sub (VGA) interface can be connected by means of a special DVI-to-D-Sub adapter. The bundle also includes a DVI-to-HDMI adapter (these graphics cards support video/audio output to HDMI receivers), so there should be no problems with such a monitor.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz maximum refresh rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit @ 85Hz Max - analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max - digital interface (all Dual-Link DVIs)

As for HDTV, a review is available here.

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