NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590: Dual GF110s, One PCB

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Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The new GeForce GTX 590 was a strong performer throughout our entire battery of tests. In comparison to the fastest single-GPU powered cards on the market, namely the GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon HD 6970, the GeForce GTX 590 offers significantly higher performance in every game or application we tested. In comparison to its chief rival, however, the dual-GPU powered Radeon HD 6990, the GeForce GTX 590 ultimately comes up a bit short in terms of framerates. While both cards are exceptional performers, the Radeon HD 6990 offers higher framerates more often than not. The cards were evenly matched in FarCry 2 and Just Cause 2, the GTX 590 came out on top in the Unigine Heaven benchmark, and in Lost Planet 2, but the Radeon HD 6990 led in 3DMark11, AvP, Metro 2033, and in F1 2010.

The GeForce GTX 590 Reference Card

The GeForce GTX 590 should be hitting your favorite etailers almost immediately at a price of about $699. Factory overclocked cards will obviously be a few dollars more. That puts the GeForce GTX 590 and Radeon HD 6990 on equal footing in terms of price. Since the Radeon HD 6990 typically offers better overall performance than the GTX 590, that price may raise a few eyebrows, but we see where NVIDIA is coming from with this one. First, the GeForce GTX 590 is noticeably quieter than the Radeon HD 6990, that’s going to be a big plus for many users. The GeForce GTX 590 also allows for triple-monitor surround gaming from a single card, somewhat negating the Radeon’s more flexible Eyefinity capabilities, although AMD still has an edge here for the very small group of ultra-enthusiasts that may want to run more than three monitors. And the GTX 590 also offers support for PhysX and a wide range of CUDA apps that the Radeon can’t. This has historically been the case for GeForce cards, but now with the dual-GPU powered GTX 590 there is more flexibility and obviously more performance to enable all of these things without too adversely affecting framerates. Two of the games we feature in our benchmark suite, for example, Metro 2033 and Just Cause 2, arguably looks more realistic on the GeForce due to its support for PhysX and some other CUDA related features. And NVIDIA is hoping these capabilities add some value. If all you care about is framerates, you’ve probably already made up your mind as to which dual-GPU powered card is better, but there are certainly some other factors to consider.

We’re sufficiently impressed by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 and its rival the Radeon HD 6990. These graphics cards offer performance that’s simply on another level versus even the fastest single-GPU powered cards. Now let’s hope game developers get as excited over this kind of horsepower as we are and release some games that truly take advantage of their capabilities.

  • Extreme Performance
  • Relatively Quiet
  • PhysX and CUDA Support
  • Surround Gaming From One Card

  • Not As Fast As The 6990
  • Hefty Power Requirements
  • Pricey


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