For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Clear Sky and Left 4 Dead at 1920×1280 resolutions with high image quality in both games.
Power Consumption Results: The first game that we tested was Left 4 Dead and the power consumption numbers were what we expected to see from the EVGA GeForce GTX 295 graphics card. The GeForce GTX 295 is manufactured using on the 55nm process and it seems like the GT200 GPUs seem to do well when it comes to power consumption as it is lower than the Radeon HD 4870 X2. When playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky we found that the room that you start the game in put a huge power load on the NVIDIA graphics card in Quad SLI, so we included that to show the highest load on it we saw during all the games we tested it on.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
The EVGA GeForce GTX 295 graphics card has solid performance numbers and was hands down the faster card after the benchmark numbers were averaged out and the wins added up. If that wasn’t enough the GeForce GTX 295 is also more energy efficient! Since the GeForce GTX 295 takes up the same number of slots, performs better and uses less power doing it there isn’t really anything negative to say about the card. It comes into the market as the flagship card from NVIDIA and successfully took away the performance crown from ATI without a big fuss. NVIDIA finally gets the top performance back, but how long will that last?
Just before the holidays AMD passed along driver version 8.561.3 to us to use for this article and it greatly improved the performance of AMD’s Radeon HD 4870 X2, but it wasn’t enough to compete with the GeForce GTX 295 in many of the benchmarks. This update introduces driver multithreading under certain DirectX10 applications, allowing the driver workload to be more effectively distributed across multi-core CPU’s. With the graphics processing power behind a solution such as ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 this can provide some notable performance improvements. The improvements were there and seen, but how much more performance can ATI get out of the drivers?
When it comes to pricing the EVGA GeForce GTX 295 will be coming out at $499, with immediate availability. That would put it right about on par with the original ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 pricing, but AMD has lowered prices and started doing rebates. AMD informed just before launch that many of their board partners may be choosing to lower the price of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 down to $449, with a one or two companies offering a $50 mail-in-rebate on top of that! That brings the final price of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 down to $399, which is $100 less than the suggested retail price on the GeForce GTX 295.
Legit Bottom Line: The EVGA GeForce GTX 295 brings back the performance crown in both performance and energy eficiency to NVIDIA.