Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card

Galaxy is the first company we've seen move to the single PCB GTX 295 design - but what else have they done, though?

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Sep 9 2009 10:19 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 89%Manufacturer: Galaxy

Introduction




Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 29 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES


What's not to love about the GeForce GTX 295?

We understand that you don't have to like the price, but you have to love the power that the NVIDIA GPU offers. What tends to happen though with these high-end video card models from NVIDIA is that very few companies mix it up. Even though the video card has clearly been around the block a few times, it continues to be the fastest video card on the market and Galaxy decided to mix it up even more to get our, err...performance buds tingling even more.

We saw the press release about the GTX 295 OC model from Galaxy a while ago and for a long time we didn't hear heaps from Galaxy, then all of a sudden, we find the company pushing out some seriously high quality products that pack a big punch.

When we discovered that the GTX 295 was going to get the Galaxy treatment, it was hard to not get excited. Considering the tough economic times as well, we're finding that most companies are concentrating on mid-range models that offer better bang for buck.

Galaxy though today have chosen to throw the rule book out the window and give our favorite most powerful graphics card a bit of a makeover and even more power.

Let's have a look at the package before checking out the video card itself along with what clocks are on offer and see how this translates into real-world performance. Go!

The Package




Looking at the box, there isn't anything that we haven't really seen before from Galaxy. We've got a pretty black design that has a picture of a spider and its web taking up one corner of the box and just next to this picture, we can see that there's an overclocked sticker.

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On the other side of the box, we have the Galaxy logo sitting at the top and below that we have the model, in this case it's the GTX 295. Below that we can see mention that the video card comes with 1792MB of GDDR3 memory on an 896-bit (dual 448-bit) memory bus. It's a bit disappointing to not know what the clocks are, so often we see companies bump up the memory 50MHz DDR and the core 10MHz and slap on an overclocked sticker. We have faith that Galaxy hasn't done this to us, though.

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Turning the box over, we have a bit more detail on what exactly the GTX 200 series of video cards can offer us. We also have a run down on what's needed for TRI-SLI - of course that isn't an option with this product, it seems that Galaxy uses a pretty standard box backing for its GTX 200 series of cards.

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As far as box contents go there isn't a whole lot to get excited about, in the paperwork department we have a user manual and quick start guide, alongside these we also have a driver CD.

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The cable department isn't much more exciting with a dual molex to 6-pin connector, SPIDF loopback cable, DVI to VGA connector and DVI to HDMI connector all being included.

The Card




Having a look at the card for the first time you can see that it's clearly more different than the older GTX 295s we're use to seeing. You can mainly thank Galaxy for the decision to use the new single PCB design which now gives us the ability to have a fan smack bang in the middle of the card and cool both cores directly.

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In the middle of the fan we have the Galaxy logo, while to the left of the cooler we have the model; in this case it's of course the GTX 295. The right side of the unit doesn't have much going on except for an extension of the pattern that is seen on the left side.

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Having a look at the power connectors is where we can see a slight change. While we still see the same single 8-pin and 6-pin setup, both are now on the one side due to there now only being a single PCB.

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When it comes to the SLI connector though nothing has changed, we've still only got the single connector that gives us the ability to run up to two of these cards at a single time, this in turn though does give four GPUs though, which is more than any TRI-SLI setup.

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In the I/O department one of the first features we see missing is the HDMI port that was native on the older GTX 295 design. While a bit disappointing, it's not the end of the world as Galaxy has chosen to include a convertor in the package. And we still have the two Dual-Link DVI connectors present.


Specifications

If moving to the single PCB design wasn't enough to excite you, we're sure what Galaxy has chosen to do with the clock speeds will. While the standard GeForce GTX 295 core comes in at 576MHz, Galaxy has chosen to ramp this way up to a much more impressive 650MHz. This has in turn bumped the shader clock from 1242MHz to 1401MHz.

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If bumping the core wasn't enough for you either, Galaxy has also decided to increase the clocks on the two lots of 896MBs of GDDR3 memory, moving from the default 1998MHz DDR setup we can see that Galaxy have given us a nice bump to 2200MHz DDR. These increases should result in some nice performance gains!

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 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 and Windows Vista SP1 64-bit
Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38


Today we'll be having a look at how the Galaxy GTX 295 OC video card competes against a number of other high-end video cards.

These include the stock clocked and dual PCB GTX 295 from MSI we looked at not long ago. We'll also see how it compared to the ASUS GTX 285 Matrix card while also throwing in the 2GB HD 4890 Vapor-X from Sapphire for good measure.

This should be fun!


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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 01 | TweakTown.com


Straight away we can see some big numbers from the GTX 295 OC Galaxy video card, with the X preset we can see it's able to break a score of 10k, which is double that of the HD 4890.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 02 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 03 | TweakTown.com


Across the board we can see we hit a bit of a CPU limitation up to 1920 x 1200 with the NVIDIA video cards in the minimum department.

In the average department though we see the Galaxy offers some serious power at the higher resolution when compared to the other video cards here.

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 performance 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).

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 04 | TweakTown.com


There isn't a huge difference in CINEBENCH numbers between all the cards, but we do have to make note that the ATI HD 4890 does come out ahead here. This is mainly due to the fact that CINEBENCH isn't able to make use of the multiple GPU power on offer.

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).

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 05 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 06 | TweakTown.com


The Galaxy GTX 295 OC continues to offer some serious power when compared to the other video cards.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 07 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 08 | TweakTown.com


We can see that the GTX 295 OC is able to put out some decent number under Warhead - at 2560 x 1600, the older model struggles getting just that 30 FPS minimum, fortunately the Galaxy model flies past that 30 FPS minimum and gives us a nicer sounding 37 FPS.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 09 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 10 | TweakTown.com


At the lower resolutions we see that the GTX 295 from Galaxy falls back slightly. However, when it comes to the real power resolution, we can see that the Galaxy video card is giving us a 10% increase on performance in the minimum department.

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.

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Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 12 | TweakTown.com


For the most part we can see a bump in performance for the Galaxy GTX 295 OC at all resolutions.

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.

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At all resolutions we can see a serious boost in performance for the GTX 295 OC from Galaxy when compared to the other video cards.

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

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Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 15 | TweakTown.com


Here we don't see too much of a difference between the two GTX 295 video cards in both the minimum and average departments.


World In Conflict

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 16 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 17 | TweakTown.com


In the minimum department we see a small bump while in the average we see a more significant increase.


Left 4 Dead

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We see a serious boost in performance under Left 4 Dead.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 19 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 20 | TweakTown.com


In the minimum department we don't see much of a difference, in the average section though we see more of a boost.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 21 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 22 | TweakTown.com


Across the board we can see a serious boost in performance from the Galaxy GTX 295 OC.

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.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 23 | TweakTown.com


Galaxy GeForce GTX 295 Single PCB Overclocked Graphics Card 24 | TweakTown.com


We again see the GTX 295 OC from Galaxy sees a jump in performance at all resolutions.

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.

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The new design does a good job of keeping core temperatures down - great stuff!


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).

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At the same time noise levels are also impressive giving us the best numbers of all the video cards here - very impressive!

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.

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Power draw at load is up when compared to the stock GTX 295, but we knew that would be the case.

Anyone buying this kind of video card though should already have or be buying a decent quality and very large capacity power supply, that's going to be able to handle this monster VGA setup with no problems.

Final Thoughts




There's almost nothing that you cannot love about this amazing video card. Let's get the elephant in the room taken care of though - it's going to set you back in excess of $500 USD. There's no nice way of looking at the price, the bottom line is it isn't cheap. With that said though, if you want power, you're going to have to pay for it.

Galaxy has done a good job with its GTX 295 OC video. It's good to see that the company has done more than just re-released the GeForce GTX 295 in its new single PCB design. They've decided to ramp up the core, shader and memory clocks. The good news is that they haven't just decided to give a small bump that isn't really all that significant; they've really given us a good bump in clocks that result in real and tangible performance gains.

Sure the bundle is a bit lacking considering the price, but once you have the GTX 295 OC from Galaxy in your system with the drivers installed, you're not even going to be thinking about what the bundle did or didn't come with when you are busy fragging in quality frames.

The only other problem with the GTX 295 is the availability. At the moment most companies are reporting that there is a shortage, this isn't a fault of Galaxy or any other manufacturer, it more so has to do with NVIDIA. If you really want one you shouldn't have any real drama tracking one down, just make sure that if you do decide to buy a GTX 295 now it's one of the new single PCB types and not the older dual PCB versions.

Not everything about the Galaxy GTX 295 OC product is perfect; it's not all that uncommon either when you talk about spending this kind of money on a product. For the price, you expect to have a big impressive bundle. But the bottom line is once you have the video card in your system, and you are playing those games at 1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600 at some ultra smooth FPS, you're going to love every dollar you spent and you'll see where the money went.

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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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