Alright, well it's no secret. I like the GeForce GTX 295 for sure. It's delivering top notch performance at a fair price. This is now the third GTX 295 we've tested and there's one thing I noticed over other cards; the noise level of the retail cards seems to have gotten a tad louder. Fan RPM apparently is now locking in at 40% in idle mode making the product more noisy than the previous reference and BFG cards we have tested. It's not gigantic, but is definitely a small drawback. If your GTX 295 has this as well, please grab Rivatuner and set your fan RPM to 30%, which is fine for desktop mode but nearly silent. It might be a driver issue though.
Anyway, that aside. ASUS has a beautiful product in their hands with the ASUS GeForce GTX 295 (ENGTX295). Fact is though, it's 100% reference clocked and I do hope to see some manufacturers out there bringing new SKUs to the market with higher clocked models. See, once we started to overclock this ASUS GeForce GTX 295 we yet again noticed so much tweaking headroom that for the AIBs it's just a missed opportunity. Sure, you already get grand performance with the GTX 295, but since you do not overclock one but two GPUs... the benefits you reap are two-fold.
What do you get for 499 USD / 449 EUR? Well, a product that offers excessive performance. No matter what type of game you throw at it, you flick on the highest image quality settings and go into the highest resolutions. The GTX 295 will get the job done, as long as the game is supported.
Did you have a peek at our Far Cry 2 benchmark test?, yeah remarkable performance isn't it? The same applies to other hot titles like Call of Duty World at War and all the others. You will not have to sacrifice on image quality settings and you can game at the highest resolutions. But that is of course expected. Also, and I do have to mention this, the GTX 295 will be a graphics card for users with a high resolution monitor. The overall performance really starts to kick in after roughly 1920x1200, a resolution where more and more pixels need to be rendered and where GPU limitation normally kicks in pretty fast... So keep in mind that cards like these really start to show off at the higher resolutions. With so many shader (stream) processors onboard the GTX 295, PhysX is a breeze to compute as well... so all these extras accumulated deliver a powerful gaming experience with a lot of punch.
ASUS will cover your ass with a three year warranty on the product which is very decent. Overall, we just really like the GTX 295 from ASUS. We do feel though that the software bundle is a little sober. Other AIBs include a full game in their bundles or heck, even throw an HDMI cable into the box. but you do purchase a product from a majestic name in the industry and that says something just as well. In the end your call and your choice, the boards are reference based and really all the same. So be on the lookout for bundle, preferred brand and things like warranty if you are in the market for a GTX 295. Much like any other GeForce GTX 295 out there, we can recommend the ASUS GeForce GTX 295 (ENGTX295) very much. It's a grand product at an acceptable price.
Thanks go out to ASUS Benelux for sending out their board. Now then COD5... where was I...
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