Nvidia GTX295 Quad SLI
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configurations used in this review can be seen below:
CPU: Intel Nehalem i7 920 Skt1366 2.66GHz (@3.835 GHz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58 UD5
Memory: 3x1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 2000MHz @ 9-9-9-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 80GB
GPU: Zotac GTX295 / XFX GTX295
Graphics Drivers: GeForce 182.06
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w
You will most certainly need a powerful PSU to run two of these cards in SLI along with a high end base system. Luckily for us our test rig's PSU, a Gigabyte Odin 1200w was up to the job but Nvidia recommend a 1000W PSU for these cards with good cause as we show below.
Below right I took a shot of the SLI'd cards to highlight the Blue LED which is redundant in single card configuration. While not exactly ground breaking it is a useful add-on that reduces the trial and error when plugging in your primary monitor.
To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage
• Far Cry 2
• Call of Duty IV
• Unreal Tournament III
Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Because of this, the readings below are of the total system, not just the GPU. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of Crysis.
Temperatures were taken at the factory clocked speed during idle in Windows and after 10 minutes of running Furmark with settings maxed out (2560x1600 8xMSAA). Ambient temperatures were taken with a household thermometer. As we use an open test bench setup consideration should be given to the fact that the temperatures would likely increase further in a closed case environment.
Surprisingly, adding a second GTX295 did little to affect the temperatures of the cards. I should state however that the noise output of the cards, even at idle, was clearly audible. On full load the cards were noisy enough to become distracting but this is outside of a case environment so it is likely the cards noise would be subdued somewhat in an enclosed space. I would still recommend a good set of headphones or speakers to drown out the whooshing noise nonetheless.