Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Throughout our entire suite of benchmarks, the new GeForce GTX 295 proved to be an excellent performer. In the vast majority of our tests, the GeForce GTX 295 was clearly the fastest card overall, sometimes besting the Radeon HD 4870 X2 by almost 18%. And in the few tests where the Radeon managed to pull ahead, its margin of victory was small at best. Power consumption was also good, relatively speaking, coming in well below of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 while running under the stress of a full 3D workload.
It took a few months, but NVIDIA was able to battle back and recapture the overall 3D performance crown from a resurgent AMD with the new GeForce GTX 295. As our tests have clearly shown, the GeForce GTX 295 is currently the fastest desktop graphics card on the planet.
And keep in mind, NVIDIA was able to do this with an existing GPU design, that was simply manufactured using a more advanced 55nm fabrication process. Somewhere deep inside NVIDIA, there is a new GPU architecture lurking that's likely to raise the performance bar even further at some point in the not too distant future. Of course, sticking with an existing design, means there aren't any new features to speak of being introduced with the GeForce GTX 295. Whereas AMD supports DX10.1, NVIDAI still does not. NVIDIA, however, has the added benefit of CUDA and PhysX support.
In response to the GeForce GTX 295, it seems AMD will be making some changes to the Radeon HD 4870 X2's pricing. The GeForce GTX is set to debut at $499, with immediate availability. That would put it right about on par with the 4870 X2 with yesterday's pricing. AMD has informed us that its board partners will likely be dropping the price of the X2 down to $449, with a few also offering a $50 mail in rebate--bringing the final price down to $399.
Regardless of pricing though, NVIDIA's new baby is impressive. The new GeForce GTX 295 was undoubtedly a very complex piece of hardware to design, but NVIDIA pulled it off and they have recaptured the 3D performance crown as a result. If you've got the coin and are looking for the ultimate in gaming performance, look no further.