Having a look at the GTX 295 against the HD 4870 X2 in a more one on one environment, our view of the card doesn't change. It really does truly kick butt and is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
As far as the GIGABYTE offering goes, it's exactly what you would expect; there isn't anything that moves away from the reference design and the package is a bit on the light side. There's no denying, though, that come time to purchase your GTX 295, you're going to be less worried about a game you don't want to play and more focused on getting that new card in your system.
It's worth noting a few things when comparing the card to the HD 4870 X2; not every benchmark is a win. Under Left 4 Dead we can see that both cards perform quite similar; with the high FPS this doesn't really matter, but the game is part of NVIDIAs hot holiday titles so we don't doubt that they're going to try and push out a couple more FPS to make sure they can get the win.
Clear Sky performance on the GTX 295 is also terrible; this performance is seen on other NVIDIA cards, though. Hopefully this is something that NVIDIA choose to address, but for the moment under this game the HD 4870 X2 is the better card. With that said, though, it really is the only game out of the ones we test where it's better.
Lastly, there's the Far Cry 2 performance under XP; we can see that HD 4870 X2 manages to pull out a win here, but we're sure that NVIDIA are going to fix this very soon. We know it has the ability to beat the HD 4870 X2 due to the performance numbers we see under Vista. Really, though, who turns around and buys a GTX 295 and doesn't take advantage of the DirectX 10 capabilities under Vista?
The GTX 295 from GIGABYTE manages to impress and we're looking forward to seeing what the company does with the card and if they also choose to do something with the clock speeds in the near future.