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Gainward Single PCB GTX 295 Review

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Zurechial 10th August 2009, 13:17 Quote
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 :)
Skiddywinks 10th August 2009, 13:24 Quote
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.
Paradigm Shifter 10th August 2009, 13:48 Quote
Quote:
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'. :)
The Bodger 10th August 2009, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
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.
Aracos 10th August 2009, 15:04 Quote
Someone please remind me, 2x GTX 260-216's = 295 or is it 2x 275's?
Ending Credits 10th August 2009, 15:17 Quote
2x275
Baz 10th August 2009, 15:32 Quote
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.
Paradigm Shifter 10th August 2009, 15:51 Quote
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. :(
HourBeforeDawn 10th August 2009, 18:00 Quote
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
Turbotab 10th August 2009, 18:01 Quote
A nice proof of concept for the dual GT 300 card, I can see the folders starting to drool, ewh.
Baz 10th August 2009, 18:25 Quote
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.
dcuccia 10th August 2009, 18:51 Quote
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... :)
stoff3r 10th August 2009, 19:56 Quote
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...
perplekks45 10th August 2009, 20:04 Quote
On page 2:
Quote:
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.
Ending Credits 10th August 2009, 20:21 Quote
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.
Pookeyhead 10th August 2009, 20:22 Quote
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.
Baz 10th August 2009, 22:27 Quote
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.
Turbotab 10th August 2009, 22:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead


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.

Ninja reply - Baz:)
kylew 10th August 2009, 23:31 Quote
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?
HourBeforeDawn 11th August 2009, 00:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbotab
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.

Ninja reply - Baz:)

True this is a lets test the waters with a single pcb instead of waste a lot of research funds on a newer chip trying to achieve the same thing but then have to recall our new flagship from issues arising, if an issue happens on this card no biggie its already been out on the market for awhile so when they come out with the new dual single pcb gpu card it will look better from a marketing stand point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylew
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?

Could be driver related but ya that big of a hit does seem a bit odd/.
Elton 11th August 2009, 00:16 Quote
Cool stuff, but i still can't see myself buying this, hell I can't even see myself buying another HD4850.
Skill3d 11th August 2009, 10:07 Quote
I like the matte black of the card....
Baz 11th August 2009, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skill3d
I like the matte black of the card....

That's just the early sample we received for review. The retail cards will come with board partner stickers as usual. Sorry if we got your hopes up!
Baz 11th August 2009, 11:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylew
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?

Not sure which huge performance hit you're referring too - the HD 4870 X2 seems to take around a 10% performance hit when enabling 4xAA in Crysis or pretty much any other game.
Elton 12th August 2009, 06:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
That's just the early sample we received for review. The retail cards will come with board partner stickers as usual. Sorry if we got your hopes up!

Nothing a hairdryer can't fix.
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