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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

GeForce GTX 295 is based on two GPUs running at the same clock specs as GeForce GTX 260, but having more processing cores (240 against 216 or 192, depending on the version). Zotac’s model (ZT-295E3MA-FSP) runs with the default clocks set by NVIDIA. Let’s see what kind performance you can expect from this beast.

Before talking the technical details from GeForce GTX 295, let’s take a look at Zotac’s product. As you can see on Figures 1 and 2, it is based on NVIDIA’s reference design, which uses a black rubber cover. What is new on this design compared to the previous one used by GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 is the fan, which is now opened on both sides.

Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Figure 1: Zotac GeForce GTX 295, front view.

Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Figure 2: Zotac GeForce GTX 295, back view.

Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Figure 3: Fan.

In Figure 4, you can see the top from the reviewed card. It requires two auxiliary power cables, one with a 6-pin connector and one with an 8-pin connector.

Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Figure 4: Top view.

This video card comes with two DVI outputs and one HDMI output. You can have digital audio routed to this HDMI output if you connect the available SPDIF In connector to your motherboard SPDIF out connector, as described in our How to Use The SPDIF Connector Available on GeForce Video Cards tutorial.

 Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Figure 5: Connectors.

The reviewed card from Zotac comes one HDMI cable, one power adapter to convert the 6-pin auxiliary power plug into two standard peripheral power plugs, one power adapter to convert the 8-pin auxiliary power plug into two standard peripheral power plugs, the SPDIF cable, two DVI-to-VGA adapters and three discs, one with drivers, one with 3DMark Vantage and one with the game Racedriver: Grid.

Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Figure 6: Accessories.

Now let’s discuss the technical details regarding Zotac GeForce GTX 295.

[nextpage title=”More Details”]

To make the comparison between GeForce GTX 295 and the other video cards we included in this review easier, we compiled the table below comparing the main specs from these cards. If you want to compare the specs of the reviewed video card to any other video card not included in the table below, just take a look at our NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table and on our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table.

GPU Core Clock Shader Clock Processors Memory Clock Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Price
GeForce GTX 295 576 MHz 1,242 MHz 240 1,000 MHz 448-bit 112 GB/s 896 MB GDDR3 USD 500 – USD 510
GeForce GTX 285 648 MHz 1,476 MHz 240 1,242 MHz 512-bit 159 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 USD 350 – 395
GeForce GTX 280 602 MHz 1,296 MHz 240 1,107 MHz 512-bit 141.7 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 USD 315 – 325
GeForce GTX 260 (192 cores) 576 MHz 1,242 MHz 192 1,000 MHz 448-bit 112 GB/s 896 MB GDDR3 N/A
GeForce GTX 260 (216 cores) 576 MHz 1,242 MHz 216 1,000 MHz 448-bit 112 GB/s 896 MB GDDR3 USD 225 – 270
GeForce 9800 GX2 600 MHz 1,500 MHz 128 1,000 MHz 256-bit 64 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 N/A
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 738 MHz 1,836 MHz 128 1,100 MHz 256-bit 70.4 GB/s 512 MB GDDR3 USD 150 – 200
GeForce 9800 GTX 675 MHz 1,688 MHz 128 1,100 MHz 256-bit 70.4 GB/s 512 MB GDDR3 USD 130 – 225
GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB 600 MHz 1.5 GHz 112 900 MHz 256-bit 57.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 USD 145 – 155
Radeon HD 4870 X2 750 MHz 750 MHz 800 900 MHz 256-bit 115.2 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 USD 425 – 545
Radeon HD 4870 750 MHz 750 MHz 800 900 MHz 256-bit 115.2 GB/s 512 MB GDDR5 USD 185 – 245
Radeon HD 4850 X2 625 MHz 625 MHz 800 993 MHz 256-bit 63.5 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 USD 235
Radeon HD 4850 625 MHz 625 MHz 800 993 MHz 256-bit 63.5 GB/s 512 MB GDDR3 USD 145 – 190
Radeon HD 4830 575 MHz 575 MHz 640 900 MHz 256-bit 57.6 GB/s 512 MB GDDR3 USD 95 – 130
Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 X2 857 MHz 857 MHz 320 927 MHz 256-bit 59.3 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 N/A
Radeon HD 3870 776 MHz 776 MHz 320 1,125 MHz 256-bit 72 GB/s 512 MB GDDR4 USD 92 – 132

It is important to note that this table reflects the current prices for the listed video cards at Newegg.com, which are lower than the prices we published in other reviews, since prices tend to drop every day.

Some important observations regarding this table:

  • All NVIDIA chips are DirectX 10 (Shader 4.0), while all AMD/ATI chips are DirectX 10.1 (Shader 4.1).
  • The memory clocks listed are the real memory clock. Memory clocks are often advertised as double the figures presented, numbers known as “DDR clock.” Radeon HD 4870 and Radeon HD 4870 X2 use GDDR5 chips, which transfer four data per clock cycle and thus the “DDR clock” for these video cards is fo
    ur times the value presented on this table (i.e., 3.6 GHz).
  • GeForce GTX 295, GeForce 9800 GX2, Radeon HD 3870 X2, Radeon HD 4850 X2 and Radeon HD 4870 X2 have two GPU’s. The numbers on the table represent only one of the chips.
  • All video cards included on our review were running at the chip manufacturer default clock configuration (i.e., no overclocking), except Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 X2. The official core clock for Radeon HD 3870 X2 is 825 MHz, while the official memory clock is 900 MHz. So this card was a little bit overclocked. We couldn’t reduce these clocks to their reference values and since we hadn’t any other Radeon HD 3870 X2 available we included this video card anyway.
  • Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review. Prices marked as “N/A” (Not Available) means that this particular video card wasn’t found on this store for sale.
  • We couldn’t find Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 X2 for sale. This model will be more expensive than cards from other vendors based on the same GPU because it features water cooling. Just for you to have an idea, prices on the regular Radeon HD 3870 X2 are quoted between USD 285 and USD 450.

Before going to our tests let’s recap the main features from Zotac GeForce GTX 295.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Zotac GeForce GTX 295 main features are:

  • Graphics chip: GeForce GTX 295 (two GPUs running at 576 MHz each).
  • Memory: Two groups of 896 MB GDDR3 memory (448-bit interface) running at 1 GHz (“2 GHz”), one for each GPU.
  • Bus type: PCI Express x16 2.0.
  • Connectors: Two DVI and HDMI output.
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No.
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: HDMI cable.
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: Three.
  • Games that come with this board: Racedriver: Grid.
  • Programs that come with this board: 3DMark Vantage.
  • Minimum Required Power Supply: 680 W.
  • More information: https://www.zotac.com

Average price in the US:  We couldn’t find this product from Zotac being sold on the day we published this review. GeForce GTX 295 from other manufacturers can be found on the USD 500 range.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
  • Service Pack 1

Driver Versions

  • nForce driver version: 15.17
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.5
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.6 + hotfix (8.501.1.0, 6/21/2008) (Radeon HD 4850, HD 4870)
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: 8.520.0.0 (Radeon HD 4870 X2)
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.10 (Radeon HD 4830)
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: 8.542.0.0 (Radeon HD 4850 X2)
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.11 (FarCry 2, Fallout 3)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 175.16
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 177.34 (GeForce GTX 260, GTX 280)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 177.79 (GeForce 9800 GT, 9800 GTX+)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 178.24 (FarCry 2, Fallout 3)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 181.22 (GeForce GTX 285, GTX 295)

Used Software

Resolutions and Image Quality Settings

Since we were comparing very high-end video cards, we ran all our tests under three 16:10 widescreen high resolutions: 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600. We always tried to run the programs and games in two scenarios for each resolution, one with low image quality settings and then maxing out the image quality settings. The exact configuration we used will be described together with the results of each individual test.

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark06 Professional”]

3DMark06 measures Shader 3.0 (i.e., DirectX 9.0c) performance. We run this software under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, first with no image quality enhancements enabled – results we call “low” on the charts and tables below –, then setting 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. See the results below.

GeForce GTX 295
3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 – 1680×1050 – Low Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 17557 13.37%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 16729 8.02%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 16260 4.99%
GeForce 9800 GX2 15623 0.88%
GeForce GTX 295 15487  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 15472 0.10%
GeForce GTX 285 15374 0.74%
GeForce GTX 280 14904 3.91%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 14589 6.16%
Radeon HD 4870 14215 8.95%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 13701 13.04%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 13355 15.96%
GeForce 9800 GTX 12759 21.38%
Radeon HD 4850 11842 30.78%
GeForce 9800 GT 11471 35.01%
Radeon HD 4830 10898 42.11%
Radeon HD 3870 10694 44.82%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 – 1920×1200 – Low Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 17414 10.12%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 16294 3.04%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 15891 0.49%
GeForce GTX 295 15813  
GeForce 9800 GX2 15547 1.71%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 15489 2.09%
GeForce GTX 285 15365 2.92%
GeForce GTX 280 14215 11.24%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 13267 19.19%
Radeon HD 4870 13017 21.48%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 12668 24.83%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 12206 29.55%
GeForce 9800 GTX 11631 35.96%
Radeon HD 4850 10691 47.91%
GeForce 9800 GT 10253 54.23%
Radeon HD 4830 9787 61.57%
Radeon HD 3870 9454 67.26%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 – 2560×1600 – Low Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 15920 2.20%
GeForce GTX 295 15577  
Radeon HD 4850 X2 14140 10.16%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 13490 15.47%
GeForce 9800 GX2 13015 19.68%
GeForce GTX 285 12573 23.89%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 12315 26.49%
GeForce GTX 280 11766 32.39%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 10568 47.40%
Radeon HD 4870 10159 53.33%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 9894 57.44%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 9365 66.33%
GeForce 9800 GTX 8743 78.17%
Radeon HD 4850 8077 92.86%
GeForce 9800 GT 7679 102.85%
Radeon HD 4830 7308 113.15%
Radeon HD 3870 6823 128.30%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 – 1680×1050 – High Score Difference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 16260 5.64%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 16134 4.82%
GeForce GTX 295 15392  
Radeon HD 4850 X2 14997 2.63%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 13942 10.40%
GeForce 9800 GX2 13900 10.73%
GeForce GTX 285 13390 14.95%
GeForce GTX 280 12157 26.61%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 11088 38.82%
Radeon HD 4870 11063 39.13%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 10617 44.98%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 9391 63.90%
GeForce 9800 GTX 8981 71.38%
Radeon HD 4850 8881 73.31%
Radeon HD 4830 7943 93.78%
GeForce 9800 GT 7899 94.86%
Radeon HD 3870 6915 122.59%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 – 1920×1200 – High Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 15580  
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 15489 0.59%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 15313 1.74%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 13809 12.82%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 13231 17.75%
GeForce 9800 GX2 12213 27.57%
GeForce GTX 285 12018 29.64%
GeForce GTX 280 10991 41.75%
Radeon HD 4870 10014 55.58%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 9904 57.31%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 9450 64.87%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 8144 91.31%
Radeon HD 4850 7972 95.43%
GeForce 9800 GTX 7811 99.46%
Radeon HD 4830 7109 119.16%
GeForce 9800 GT 6826 128.24%
Radeon HD 3870 6114 154.82%
Zotac GeForce GTX 295 Video Card Review
3D
Mark06 Professional 1.1.0 – 2560×1600 – High
Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 13339  
Radeon HD 4870 X2 12479 6.89%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 12315 8.32%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 10854 22.89%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 10499 27.05%
GeForce 9800 GX2 9829 35.71%
GeForce GTX 285 9575 39.31%
GeForce GTX 280 8704 53.25%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 7707 73.08%
Radeon HD 4870 7550 76.68%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 7285 83.10%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 6065 119.93%
Radeon HD 4850 5896 126.24%
GeForce 9800 GTX 5774 131.02%
Radeon HD 4830 5213 155.88%
GeForce 9800 GT 5045 164.40%
Radeon HD 3870 4319 208.84%

[nextpage title=”3DMark Vantage Professional”]

3DMark Vantage is the latest addition to the 3DMark series, measuring Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supporting PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Notice that we didn’t upgrade the PhysX to the latest version, which would make the physics calculations for CPU Test 2 to be made by the GPU instead of the CPU on NVIDIA video cards (since we aren’t considering CPU or 3DMark scores this change wouldn’t produce any increase in our results anyway).

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600. First we used the “Performance” profile, and then we used the “Extreme” profile (basically enabling anti-aliasing at 4x, anisotropic filtering at 16x, and putting all detail settings at their maximum or “extreme” value. The combination of 2560×1600 resolution with extreme settings didn’t produce reliable results according to the program, so we aren’t going to add them here. The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

GeForce GTX 295
3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 – 1680×1050 – Performance Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 13992  
Radeon HD 4870 X2 11697 19.62%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 10420 34.28%
GeForce GTX 285 9391 48.99%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 8050 73.81%
GeForce GTX 280 7695 81.83%
GeForce 9800 GX2 6990 100.17%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 6467 116.36%
Radeon HD 4870 6193 125.93%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 5898 137.23%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 5651 147.60%
Radeon HD 4850 4797 191.68%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 4499 211.00%
Radeon HD 4830 4220 231.56%
GeForce 9800 GTX 3805 267.73%
GeForce 9800 GT 3691 279.08%
Radeon HD 3870 2977 370.00%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 – 1920×1200 – Performance Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 11317  
Radeon HD 4870 X2 9472 19.48%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 8292 36.48%
GeForce GTX 285 7384 53.26%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 6355 78.08%
GeForce GTX 280 6106 85.34%
GeForce 9800 GX2 5379 110.39%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 5084 122.60%
Radeon HD 4870 4880 131.91%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 4582 146.99%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 4336 161.00%
Radeon HD 4850 3725 203.81%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 3370 235.82%
Radeon HD 4830 3301 242.84%
GeForce 9800 GT 2951 283.50%
GeForce 9800 GTX 2891 291.46%
Radeon HD 3870 2269 398.77%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 – 2560×1600 – Performance Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 6474  
Radeon HD 4870 X2 5542 16.82%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 4756 36.12%
GeForce GTX 285 4259 52.01%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 4197 54.25%
GeForce GTX 280 3549 82.42%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 2927 121.18%
GeForce 9800 GX2 2910 122.47%
Radeon HD 4870 2728 137.32%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 2640 145.23%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 2382 171.79%
Radeon HD 4850 2050 215.80%
Radeon HD 4830 1837 252.42%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 1815 256.69%
GeForce 9800 GT 1638 295.24%
GeForce 9800 GTX 1557 315.80%
Radeon HD 3870 1244 420.42%
GeForce GTX 295

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 – 1680×1050 – Extreme Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 11091  
Radeon HD 4870 X2 8405 31.96%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 8093 37.04%
GeForce GTX 285 7253 52.92%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 6859 61.70%
GeForce GTX 280 6005 84.70%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 5055 119.41%
GeForce 9800 GX2 4858 128.30%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 4531 144.78%
Radeon HD 4870 4360 154.38%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 3567 210.93%
Radeon HD 4850 3445 221.94%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 3201 246.49%
Radeon HD 4830 2982 271.93%
GeForce 9800 GT 2741 304.63%
GeForce 9800 GTX 2703 310.32%
Radeon HD 3870 1855 497.90%
GeForce GTX 295
3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 – 1920×1200 – Extreme Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 8727  
Radeon HD 4870 X2 6916 26.19%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 6420 35.93%
GeForce GTX 285 5745 51.91%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 5554 57.13%
GeForce GTX 280 4732 84.43%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 3954 120.71%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 3576 144.04%
GeForce 9800 GX2 3508 148.77%
Radeon HD 4870 3490 150.06%
Radeon HD 4850 2753 217.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 2669 226.98%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 2399 263.78%
Radeon HD 4830 2349 271.52%
GeForce 9800 GT 2136 308.57%
GeForce 9800 GTX 2038 328.21%
Radeon HD 3870 1439 506.46%

[nextpage title=”Call of Duty 4″]

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will hapen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was put on the maximum values on the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the game internal benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo for downloading here if you want to run your own benchmarks. The game was updated to version 1.6. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

GeForce GTX 295
Call of Duty 4 – 1680×1050 – Maximum Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 149.9  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 136.3 9.98%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 134.6 11.37%
GeForce GTX 285 125.8 19.16%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 120.0 24.92%
GeForce 9800 GX2 106.2 41.15%
GeForce GTX 280 105.3 42.36%
Radeon HD 4870 93.4 60.49%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 91.8 63.29%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 91.0 64.73%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 75.7 98.02%
Radeon HD 4850 72.4 107.04%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 72.2 107.62%
GeForce 9800 GTX 69.1 116.93%
Radeon HD 4830 65.8 127.81%
GeForce 9800 GT 61.3 144.54%
Radeon HD 3870 43.0 248.60%
GeForce GTX 295
Call of Duty 4 – 1920×1200 – Maximum Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 147.9  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 121.3 21.93%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 120.6 22.64%
GeForce GTX 285 111.5 32.65%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 105.7 39.92%
GeForce 9800 GX2 94.5 56.51%
GeForce GTX 280 91.7 61.29%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 80.7 83.27%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 77.1 91.83%
Radeon HD 4870 76.4 93.59%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 61.3 141.27%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 59.5 148.57%
Radeon HD 4850 59.1 150.25%
GeForce 9800 GTX 57.7 156.33%
Radeon HD 4830 52.6 181.18%
GeForce 9800 GT 50.8 191.14%
Radeon HD 3870 35.4 317.80%
GeForce GTX 295
Call of Duty 4 – 2560×1600 – Maximum Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 117.2  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 86.7 35.18%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 83.8 39.86%
GeForce GTX 285 78.9 48.54%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 70.5 66.24%
GeForce 9800 GX2 64.8 80.86%
GeForce GTX 280 64.8 80.86%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 55.3 111.93%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 53.5 119.07%
Radeon HD 4870 48.1 143.66%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 40.6 188.67%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 39.7 195.21%
GeForce 9800 GTX 38.3 206.01%
Radeon HD 4850 36.7 219.35%
Radeon HD 4830 33.4 250.90%
GeForce 9800 GT 33.3 251.95%
Radeon HD 3870 22.4 423.21%

[nextpage title=”Crysis”]

Crysis is a very heavy DirectX 10 game. We updated this game to version 1.2.1 and used the HOC Crysis Benchmarking Utility to help us collecting data. Since we don’t think the default demo based on the island map stresses the video card the way we want, we used the HOC core demo available with the abovementioned utility. We ran this demo under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, first with image quality set to “low” and then with image quality set to “high.” Since all video cards achieved a number of frames per second below 10 at 2560×1600 with image details set to “high,” we are not including this test as the results aren’t reliable. We ran each test twice and discarded the first result, as usually the first run achieves a lower score compared to the subsequent runs since the game loses time loading files. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

GeForce GTX 295
Crysis 1.2.1 – 1680×1050 – Low Score Difference
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 134 20.72%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 125 12.61%
GeForce GTX 280 125 12.61%
GeForce GTX 285 124 11.71%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 120 8.11%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 115 3.60%
GeForce GTX 295 111  
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 107 3.74%
Radeon HD 4870 101 9.90%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 99 12.12%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 91 21.98%
GeForce 9800 GTX 84 32.14%
Radeon HD 4850 84 32.14%
GeForce 9800 GX2 75 48.00%
GeForce 9800 GT 75 48.00%
Radeon HD 4830 74 50.00%
Radeon HD 3870 71 56.34%
GeForce GTX 295
Crysis 1.2.1 – 1920×1200 – Low Score Difference
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 122 28.42%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 119 25.26%
GeForce GTX 280 115 21.05%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 115 21.05%
GeForce GTX 285 113 18.95%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 108 13.68%
GeForce GTX 295 95  
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 91 4.40%
Radeon HD 4870 84 13.10%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 83 14.46%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 76 25.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX 69 37.68%
Radeon HD 4850 67 41.79%
GeForce 9800 GX2 63 50.79%
GeForce 9800 GT 61 55.74%
Radeon HD 4830 61 55.74%
Radeon HD 3870 58 63.79%
GeForce GTX 295
Crysis 1.2.1 – 2560×1600 – Low Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 103 60.94%
GeForce GTX 280 95 48.44%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 86 34.38%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 85 32.81%
GeForce GTX 285 77 20.31%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 71 10.94%
GeForce GTX 295 64  
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 60 6.67%
Radeon HD 4870 53 20.75%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 52 23.08%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 49 30.61%
GeForce 9800 GTX 44 45.45%
Radeon HD 4850 43 48.84%
GeForce 9800 GX2 42 52.38%
GeForce 9800 GT 39 64.10%
Radeon HD 4830 38 68.42%
Radeon HD 3870 35 82.86%
GeForce GTX 295
Crysis 1.2.1 – 1680×1050 – High Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 57 39.02%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 55 34.15%
GeForce GTX 285 50 21.95%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 47 14.63%
GeForce GTX 280 42 2.44%
GeForce GTX 295 41  
Radeon HD 4870 37 10.81%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 37 10.81%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 32 28.13%
GeForce 9800 GTX 29 41.38%
Radeon HD 4850 29 41.38%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 29 41.38%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 26 57.69%
GeForce 9800 GX2 25 64.00%
GeForce 9800 GT 25 64.00%
Radeon HD 4830 25 64.00%
Radeon HD 3870 19 115.79%
GeForce GTX 295
Crysis 1.2.1 – 1920×1200 – High Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 47 38.24%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 45 32.35%
GeForce GTX 285 41 20.59%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 39 14.71%
GeForce GTX 280 34 0.00%
GeForce GTX 295 34  
Radeon HD 4870 30 13.33%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 30 13.33%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 26 30.77%
Radeon HD 4850 23 47.83%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 23 47.83%
GeForce 9800 GTX 22 54.55%
GeForce 9800 GX2 21 61.90%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 20 70.00%
GeForce 9800 GT 20 70.00%
Radeon HD 4830 20 70.00%
Radeon HD 3870 16 112.50%

[nextpage title=”Half-Life 2: Episode Two”]

Half-Life 2 is a popular franchise and we benchmark the video cards using Episode Two with the aid of HOC Half-Life 2 Episode Two benchmarking utility using the “HOC Demo 1” provided by this program. We ran the game in three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, with quality set to maximum, x16 anisotropic filtering and 16xQCS anti-aliasing. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

GeForce GTX 295
Half-Life 2: Episode Two – 1680×1050 – High Score Difference
Radeon HD 4850 X2 158.0 6.76%
Radeon HD 4870 X2 157.0 6.08%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 157.0 6.08%
GeForce GTX 285 152.0 2.70%
GeForce GTX 295 148.0  
Radeon HD 4870 144.0 2.78%
GeForce 9800 GTX 137.9 7.32%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 126.1 17.37%
GeForce 9800 GX2 125.4 18.02%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 125.0 18.40%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 121.0 22.31%
Radeon HD 4850 116.2 27.37%
Radeon HD 4830 101.0 46.53%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 94.0 57.45%
GeForce GTX 280 89.3 65.73%
GeForce 9800 GT 80.0 85.00%
Radeon HD 3870 68.3 116.69%
GeForce GTX 295
Half-Life 2: Episode Two – 1920×1200 – High Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 157.0 6.80%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 152.0 3.40%
GeForce GTX 295 147.0  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 144.0 2.08%
GeForce GTX 285 135.0 8.89%
Radeon HD 4870 124.0 18.55%
GeForce 9800 GTX 116.3 26.40%
GeForce 9800 GX2 111.1 32.31%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 106.5 38.03%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 105.0 40.00%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 101.0 45.54%
Radeon HD 4850 97.2 51.23%
Radeon HD 4830 85.0 72.94%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 74.0 98.65%
GeForce GTX 280 70.3 109.10%
GeForce 9800 GT 63.0 133.33%
Radeon HD 3870 56.8 158.80%
GeForce GTX 295
Half-Life 2: Episode Two – 2560×1600 – High Score Difference
Radeon HD 4870 X2 130.0 5.69%
GeForce GTX 295 123.0  
Radeon HD 4850 X2 108.0 13.89%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 95.0 29.47%
GeForce GTX 285 86.0 43.02%
Radeon HD 4870 75.0 64.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX 71.3 72.51%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 64.0 92.19%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 61.0 101.64%
Radeon HD 4850 58.4 110.62%
Radeon HD 4830 51.0 141.18%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2 50.6 143.08%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 39.0 215.38%
GeForce 9800 GX2 37.5 228.00%
GeForce 9800 GT 36.0 241.67%
GeForce GTX 280 35.5 246.48%
Radeon HD 3870 34.9 252.44%

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 2″]

Far Cry 2 is based on an entirely new game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10 when played under Windows Vista with a DirectX 10-compatible video card. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to “high,” no anti-aliasing and running the demo “Ranch Small” three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Unfortunately we had already returned to the manufacturer several of the video cards included in the previous comparisons and that is why you are seeing less video cards being included on this bechmarking.

GeForce GTX 295
FarCry 2 – 1680×1050 – High Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 85
.2
 
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 84.4 1.00%
GeForce GTX 285 80.7 5.61%
GeForce GTX 280 71.7 18.78%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 68.4 24.65%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 66.9 27.46%
Radeon HD 4870 63.1 34.95%
Radeon HD 4850 54.3 56.87%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 53.6 59.06%
GeForce GTX 295
FarCry 2 – 1920×1200 – High Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 85.5  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 80.3 6.44%
GeForce GTX 285 76.3 12.06%
GeForce GTX 280 68.8 24.27%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 62.8 36.16%
Radeon HD 4870 61.9 38.12%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 61.0 40.25%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 53.6 59.50%
Radeon HD 4850 51.1 67.44%
GeForce GTX 295
FarCry 2 – 2560×1600 – High Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 75.9  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 63.0 20.60%
GeForce GTX 285 57.2 32.68%
GeForce GTX 280 52.0 45.89%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 45.9 65.40%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 43.3 75.21%
Radeon HD 4870 40.4 87.97%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 38.1 99.16%
Radeon HD 4850 34.4 120.57%

[nextpage title=”Fallout 3″]

Fallout 3 is based on the same engine used by The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and it is a DirectX 9.0c (Shader 3.0) game. We configured the game with “ultra” image quality settings, 4x anti-aliasing and 15x anisotropic filtering. To measure performance, we used the FRAPS running an outdoor scene at God mode, running through enemy fire, triggering post processing effects, and ending with a big explosion in front of Dupont Circle.

Unfortunately we had already returned to the manufacturer several of the video cards included in the previous comparisons and that is why you are seeing less video cards being included on this bechmarking.

GeForce GTX 295
Fallout 3 – 1680×1050 – Ultra Score Difference
GeForce GTX 285 76.4 2.17%
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 76.3 2.10%
GeForce GTX 280 76.2 1.93%
GeForce GTX 295 74.8  
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 74.1 0.89%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 73.6 1.58%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 73.5 1.69%
Radeon HD 4870 69.5 7.51%
Radeon HD 4850 61.1 22.32%

GeForce GTX 295
Fallout 3 – 1920×1200 – Ultra Score Difference
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 77.0 2.30%
GeForce GTX 280 76.1 1.10%
GeForce GTX 285 75.6 0.46%
GeForce GTX 295 75.3  
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 73.3 2.69%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 72.4 3.98%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 71.7 4.95%
Radeon HD 4870 64.6 16.61%
Radeon HD 4850 53.0 42.02%
GeForce GTX 295
Fallout 3 – 2560×1600 – Ultra Score Difference
GeForce GTX 295 75.8  
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 FTW 73.2 3.53%
GeForce GTX 285 71.4 6.05%
GeForce GTX 280 68.1 11.23%
Radeon HD 4850 X2 61.6 23.03%
GeForce GTX 260 (216 Proc.) 61.1 23.98%
GeForce GTX 260 (192 Proc.) 60.9 24.49%
Radeon HD 4870 47.4 59.88%
Radeon HD 4850 35.6 112.72%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

On the previous pages you can see detailed comparisons between GeForce GTX 295 and other video cards.

The main problem with GeForce GTX 295 at this moment is its price, around USD 500 in the US. The most expensive video card based on an AMD/ATI chip, Radeon HD 4870 X2, can be found between USD 425 and USD 545.

In our tests GeForce GTX 295 outperformed Radeon HD 4870 X2 in some scenarios. On 3DMark Vantage it was between 17% and 19% faster with no image quality enhancements enabled, but when we cranked them up performance difference increased to between 26% and 32%. On Call of Duty 4, GTX 295 was between 11% and 40% faster than HD 4870 X2.

On Crysis, however, GeForce GTX 295 achieved a performance lower than GeForce GTX 285, most probably because Crysis couldn’t recognize the two GPUs, even though we manually enabled SLI mode.

On Half-Life 2: Episode Two Radeon HD 4870 X2 was between 6% and 7% faster. And on 3DMark06, which simulates older DirectX 9.0c games, Radeon HD 4870 X2 was between 10% and 13% faster at 1680×1050 and 1920×1200 with no image quality enhancements enabled, with both cards achieving the same performance on other configurations.

Unfortunately we have already shipped back the Radeon HD 4870 X2 to the manufacturer, so w
e couldn’t run Far Cry 2 or Fallout 3 with this card.

Compared to GeForce GTX 285, GTX 295 is a lot faster: around 50% faster on 3DMark Vantage, between 20% and 50% on Call of Duty 4 and up to 33% faster on FarCry 2. On Crysis GTX 285 was between 12% and 22% faster (probably because the game didn’t recognize the two GPUs from GTX 295, as mentioned before), and on Half-Life 2: Episode Two at 1680×1050 both achieved the same performance, but at 2560×1600 GTX 295 was 43% faster. On Fallout 3 they both achieved the same performance level, but at 2560×1600 GTX 295 was 6% faster.

GeForce GTX 295 is surely the fastest video card based on an NVIDIA solution (if your game can improve its performance under SLI mode), but at USD 500 we simply can’t recommend it for the average user: only rich high-end users can afford it. GeForce GTX 285, even though presenting a lower performance, comes with a far more accessible price, and we can buy one today for USD 350 and thus presenting a better cost/benefit ratio for users that want an NVIDIA-based high-end video card.