XFX GTX295 PCIe Graphics Card

A closer look

As you would expect from our reviews at OC3D, we like to go that one step further into territory other sites fear to tread. Like any object of desire, it’s no good looking fine with your clothes on, it’s what you look like naked that counts. So then, screwdriver in hand we set about undressing the card which was like unclasping a womans bra for the first time, fiddly, time consuming and frustrating. After unscrewing what seemed to be hundreds of tiny screws we prised the two PCB’s away from the main cooler and here’s what we found:

cards apart cooler 1
The contact on the GPU was very good and the paste used was adequate without being excessive. Thermal pads were used on the memory sinks, SLI chip and bridging chips. All surfaces had good contact throughout and the copper base of the cooler in both the GPU and bridging chip areas.
cooler fan cooler back
The cooler ‘filling’ of the GPU sandwich has two aluminium plates with welded fins holding the two plates together. I was surprised at the weight of the PCB’s which were light as a feather without the massive cooler. Already there are some full cover waterblocks in production for the GTX295 which will no doubt cost a pretty penny, adding to the already lofty price.
cards memory
The same Hynix memory chips are used on the GTX295 as with the GTX285 we reviewed previously so it’s a sure sign that the memory should overclock well. Below right we see the two SLI bridge ports. These are fiddly at best and a sausage fingered reviewers nightmare at worst. We have some major issues getting the card back together without the SLI ribbons becoming detached. With time, patience and a lot of cramp later, we managed to get the card back together in preparation for our suite of benchmarks.
gpu sli bridge
Taking apart a £400 card is nothing to be sniffed at and will invalidate your warranty should you try it. I certainly would not advise anyone to do this as, even though the card was relatively easy to take apart, despite the numerous screws, it was very difficult to get back together thanks to the SLI ribbons. It is certainly worthwhile giving this a lot of thought should you get curious and decide to give it a go.

Well that’s it for the pretty pictures, now it’s time to see if the card can perform as we pitch it against ATI’s finest and the current king of GPU’s, the ATI 4870×2…