ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card

We have a look at the GTX 295 from ASUS and see how the card is comparing to the GTX 285 these days.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Mar 16 2009 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:04 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card



The GTX 295 has been out for over two months now and the best the red side has come up with is some whispers when it comes to beating the GTX 295. Over the past few months we've seen new drivers come out along with the price drop a little, too.

Today we're going to take the time to look at the ASUS version and while the card itself might not carry anything that we haven't already seen, we will see how the card is performing with a driver refreshment while also putting it up against its little brother, the single GPU GTX 285.

Before we get stuck into all that, though, we first need to see what ASUS has done to the package and bundle and see if it can stand out from the pack that way. From there we will have a closer look at the card itself before we get stuck into our testbed and have a look at just what kind of numbers the GTX 295 is dishing out.

The Package




The first thing we look at is the box and as you can clearly see, ASUS hasn't done anything new with the package. Across the top of the box we have the ASUS logo and motto; below that we have mention of an exclusive offer while to the right we have a picture that takes up a good chunk of the package.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


Moving down towards the bottom, we have some of the main features like 1792MB of GDDR3 memory being included, PhysX support, HDMI and more. Across the very bottom we have the model mentioned, in this case the ENGTX295.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we have some details on the product features, system requirements and some setup information. A large portion of the box is taken up with an explanation on some of the exclusive software that ASUS bundle, which includes programs like GamerOSD, Smart Doctor and more.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


Going inside the box, we have a speed setup guide, S/PDIF cable, instruction booklet and a leaflet with a code that entitles you to 10% off on up to five games or CUDA applications. In the disc department we have a driver CD which includes some of the ASUS exclusive software we just mentioned, along with another CD which has a multi-language manual on it.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


In the cable department we have a S/PDIF loopback cable, dual molex to 6-pin PCI-E connector, dual 6-pin PCI-E to 8-pin PCI-E connector and a single DVI to VGA connector.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


As far as added bonuses go, ASUS has gone back to including the CD wallet that we haven't seen for a while. To most people this is going to be more useful than the mouse pad that has been seen in some of the recent bundles.

The Card




When it comes to pulling the card out, we don't see anything that would surprise here, as like most companies ASUS has chosen to stick with the reference design. For the most part we can see the massive shroud that covers the entire card.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


As far as ASUS' special touch has gone, we can see a sticker that has a picture similar to the front of the box along with the ASUS logo to the right. To the right of the card we can see where the fan draws the cool air in.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


Looking around the card, we continue to see nothing unusual. At the top of the card and towards the back we have three connectors; one 6-pin PCI-E power connector, one 8-pin PCI-E power connector and another connector that is used in conjunction with the S/PDIF loopback cable that is included in the package. We can also see here that ASUS has added another sticker to the card. In the event you have a window in your PC, people will be able to clearly see the brand.

ASUS GTX 295 Graphics Card


Up towards the front of the card we have a single SLI connector. Of course, only the one is present due to the fact that you can only have a maximum of two of these cards running together, which in essence gives you a grand total of four GPUs.

Having a look at the front of the card, we can see a number of holes that help let the hot air escape. Also present here are two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single HDMI connector.


Specifications

ASUS hasn't done anything with the clocks which means we find the core comes in at the stock 576MHz and the shader and memory following with 1242MHz and 1998MHz DDR respectively.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit
Drivers: ForceWare 182.06


As we mentioned in our intro, we will be having a look how the GTX 295 compares against its younger sibling, the GTX 285. Is the GTX 295 still worth taking over the GTX 285 considering the $150 odd price difference?

Well, today we'll have a look how the two cards compare in a number of synthetic and real world benchmarks under both Windows XP and Vista to get some answers.


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


It doesn't come as much of a surprise that under Vantage the dual GPU GTX 295 absolutely flies along.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Under PT Boats we can see that up to 1920 x 1200 there is very little difference between the two cards. Moving to 2560 x 1600, however, and we see the GTX 295 really fly.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


With CINEBENCH not making use of SLI, we can see that both cards perform quite similar here.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


We can see at all resolutions the GTX 295 comes out ahead. At the lower resolution, though, you can see we hit a bit of a CPU limitation. But when moving to 2560 x 1600 that is removed.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


We can see Warhead really makes excellent use of the GTX 295; at 2560 x 1600 we can see that the game is playable thanks to the 30 FPS minimum meet.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Far Cry 2 sees some serious gains with the GTX 295. While the GTX 285 offers a playable setup at 2560 x 1600, the GTX 295 offers simply fantastic performance.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


We can see Clear Sky makes some use of the SLI functionality on offer, but the extra performance seen from the GTX 295 isn't huge.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here




Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Under L4D it isn't until we move to 1920 x 1200 that we can see the GTX 295 pull ahead. As we climb higher in the resolution we can see the gains become bigger.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


The extra power on offer from the GTX 295 takes us well and truly past that 30 FPS minimum, making the game very playable at these settings.


World In Conflict

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


We can see that both cards offer us that 30 FPS minimum we like to see, but the GTX 295 gives us a nice little jump that equates to almost 20%.


Left 4 Dead

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Under L4D we can see some good gains with the GTX 295 thanks to the intensive settings used here.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Under XP we can see that both cards perform very similar; the only time we see the GTX 295 really shine is in the 2560 x 1600 average.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Across the board the GTX 295 offers good performance compared to the GTX 285; we continue to see that the best gains are seen at the intensive 2560 x 1600 resolution.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


Under Clear Sky we again see the GTX 295 pull out a win. The performance difference isn't great, though. With that said, Clear Sky has never been a favorite for NVIDIA cards.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


The GTX 295 runs a little warmer than the GTX 285 and that is understandably so.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


The noise levels on the GTX 295 are also a bit higher than the GTX 285; nothing to really worry about, though.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


ASUS GeForce ENGTX295 Graphics Card


It's no surprise that the GTX 295 uses more power than the less powerful GTX 285.

Final Thoughts




The GTX 295 continues to be a dominant card. The main thing to remember, though, is unless you've got the right equipment, this is one card that you're really not going to be able to make use of.

There are two key pieces of equipment that are needed to really make this card shine. First of all, you want a monitor that does at least 1920 x 1200, but preferably a 30" monitor that can output 2560 x 1600.

The other item you want is a CPU that has some serious MHz on offer. The good news is that you can achieve this by overclocking a i7 920; there really is no need to go out and buy an i7 965 at over three times the price. Even at 3.2GHz you're going to see a CPU limitation.

As far as the ASUS version of the GTX 295 goes, there aren't any real surprises here. The added bonuses as far as extra software and the CD wallet go are nice, though not necessary for a lot of people. At around $500 the card isn't cheap and is even more expensive than some of the other GTX 295s on offer. If you can justify the increase in price, though, with the bundle and after sale support ASUS offers it shouldn't be too hard to decide.

The GTX 295 continues to be a very fast card and if you find yourself with deep pockets you're not going to be disappointed with the card. If you have the necessary equipment to let the card really shine, your games are going to be better than ever before. If you don't, however, a GTX 285 could well be a better option.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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