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nVidia GeForce GTX 295 - Counter-Strike: Source

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


What can we say about Counter-Strike: Source that hasn't already been said before? It is quite simply the benchmark for team-based online shooters and, four years after its release, it's still one of the most popular games in its genre. In complete contrast to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, it focuses on small environments and incredibly intensive small-scale battles with one-shot kills the order of the day. If you want to test all elements of your first person shooter skills in one go, this is the game to do it.

We test using the 32-bit version of the game using a custom timedemo taken during a game against bots on the cs_militia map. This has a large amount of foliage, so transparency antialiasing has a significant impact on image quality and performance, and is generally one of the most graphically intensive maps available. We find a frame rate of at least 60fps is required for serious gaming as this game relies massively on quick, accurate reactions that simply can't be compromised by dropped frames.

All in-game settings are set to their maximum and we test with 0xAA 0xAF, 2xAA 4xAF, and 4xAA 8xAA. Transparency anti-aliasing is also manually turned on through the driver, though this is obviously only enabled when normal AA is being used in-game.

Counter-Strike: Source has always tended to favour ATI's cards and here this is highlighted quite starkly. By all accounts the GTX 295 should at the very least be level with the HD 4870 X2, but it consistently falls behind. However, this is such an old game now that, as with CoD4, the relative performance is a bit irrelevant because they all do so well.


January 9, 2009, 7:10 pm

Superb performance from the new nVidia card, its taken them a while but finally they have a cards beating ATI's best with ease. The price however is a complete JOKE, 𧹺...how on earth do they justify that price it's ridiculous. 5/6 months ago i managed to buy a 4870x2 for 𧸂 a week after release, in the that time the economy has only been in freefall and at the moment not looking as if it is going to improve for a while atleast. So nVidia bringing a card to the market at that price just doesn't make sense, why not be competetive and release it around the same price of the 48070x2 when that came out, at the bare minimum. I hope they get a bashing for this.


January 9, 2009, 7:20 pm

In fairness azza21, the HD 4870 X2 has gone up in price since launch and now can't be had for less than 𧸖 and most seem to be around the 𧸴 mark. Certainly the GTX 295 is over priced but it's not quite as bad as it seems at first. Then again, maybe AMD will drop the price of the HD 4870 X2, in which case nVidia will have to respond.


January 9, 2009, 7:53 pm

Wow, this card is more than twice as expensive as my current home machine!


January 9, 2009, 8:03 pm

how much of a say do ati and nvidia have on prices? wouldn't it be down to each manufacturer to determine the price?


January 9, 2009, 8:21 pm

Also, this card can be had for 𧹀 on ebuyer for anyone lucky enough to have the cash to splash.



January 9, 2009, 8:28 pm

ATI and nVidia have the massive majority of say in how much a card will eventually cost. The chips are by far the most expensive part of each card and the margins for board partners are tiny. If ATI drops the price of each R700 chip by $10, the cumulative reduction in the cost of an HD 4870 X2 could be as much as $50. All a board partner can do is maybe use a cheaper cooler or remove not absolutely necessary circuitry (audio pass through, output options, power regulation, etc.) which will save them pennies and pass on a reduction of maybe $10 in the shops. The fact of the matter is that ATI and nVidia will be gouging as much money as possible out of consumers at this end of the market because they know some people will pay it. That's why it's so important for these companies to have the fastest product - it's money for nothing. It's not just graphics manufacturers. Every company does it when it can. Just look at the prices of Intel's top end Core i7 CPUs.


January 9, 2009, 8:30 pm

Wow, that's a big difference in price. Thanks smc8788.


January 9, 2009, 8:43 pm

Predictably, ATI has also cut the price of their rival card 4870X2 by $100 to $449 (in the US at least).


Oh, and CoD 4 was released in 2007, not last year as stated in the review!


January 9, 2009, 9:01 pm

It's all kicking off now! I think a reassessment may be in order in a few weeks time.

I've corrected the CoD4 mistake, thanks smc8788.


January 9, 2009, 9:29 pm

The table on page one has erroneous information on the memory on the GTX 295, it should read:

Standard Memory Config: 1792 MB GDDR3 ( 896MB per GPU )

Memory Interface Width: 896-bit ( 448-bit per GPU )

Also, the GTX 260 does not have a 512bit Interface.....amongst other errors in this table. nvidias website has the correct specifications. Where did this data come from?

The reduced memory bandwith, as you state in the article may well be a factor leading to the poor FPS result at high resolutions in Crysis.


January 9, 2009, 9:39 pm

Regarding the bit about power requirements. My PSU just has 4 pci-e 6 pin power ports. Its a big hefty 850 watt, does this card come with an adapter to use two 6 pins to power the 8 pin socket? If it does am I right in thinking my current PSU could then handle this card?


January 9, 2009, 9:39 pm

Sorry, rushed copying and pasting. Will correct.


January 9, 2009, 9:50 pm

@Ed - "In fairness azza21, the HD 4870 X2 has gone up in price since launch and now can't be had for less than 𧸖"

In fairness Ed i beg to differ. The card is on sale on at ebuyer for 𧸋.99. I stand by what i said the new card by nVidia is priced to high. To be fair a lot of review sites have stated that the price is to high, including this site. The card is impressive and i'm sure there will be plenty of buyer but the price will have an impact on their sales for this card. I have read similar views on many forums today stating the same thing about the price.


January 9, 2009, 10:59 pm

Well like Ed said, azza21, some people just have to to have the latest and greatest piece of equipment, so to them the price simply doesn't matter. Price is irrelevant at the top end of the market, only performance is relevant. As long they produce the fastest card that is commercially available on the market, they can charge what they want for it (within reason) because there is no alternative for the consumer. If ATI produced a card as quick as the GTX295, then the prices of both cards would drop by a large amount in the ensuing price war, as the cheapest card would almost always sell more (personal preferences aside). At this end of the market the vast majority of end consumers are going to be pretty serious gamers, and for them the GPU is the most important component in the whole system, and many are willing to pay a premium for greater performance, even if it unjustified. I do agree with you though, we're not all made of money and can't be spending 𧹈 (minus the income from selling the old one) on a new graphics card every 6 months as soon as the old one is obsolete.


January 10, 2009, 2:12 am

The question that any gamer needs to ask is, is it worth it compared to 2x GTX 280's in SLI or even GTX260's...

2x GTX260's are certainly cheaper...

2x GTX280's more expensive...

What we need here is an SLI test to see the benchmarks!

Get cracking TR guys!! We really do need to have the 295 up against 2x 260 (inc 216core version) and 2x 280's.

Good review on the whole :)


January 10, 2009, 2:41 am

I think it would be pointless comparing it to two GTX 280s in SLI as its obviously going to be slower due to the reduced clock speeds and bandwidth restrictions with it only being in one slot.

Could be interesting to see it compared to the new 260s though.

john 17

January 11, 2009, 1:49 pm

its obvious that the 4870x2 is the clear winner hear.

at 2560.1600 with 2xAA it simply trashes the GTX295 with an awesome and very playable avg FPS and thats been said i think the 4870x2 is the card to get for 500$.

4870x2 is simply the master in crysis which is the most graphically demanding game on the market.


January 11, 2009, 7:53 pm

@ john.

I wouldn't read anything into that, it's simply bad driver support. Not many people have 30" (and therefore 2560x1600 resolution) screens for gaming and so driver support at that resolution is notoriously poor. nVidia will release new drivers for the card soon, and at the present time generally perform better than the ATi drivers. Besides the GTX295 beats the 4870X2 at 2560x1600 with no AA and almost every other benchmark, and other reviews I have read confirm this. When better drivers come out I'm sure the the performance gap will be even greater (until ATi gets some decent drivers out).


January 13, 2009, 1:49 am

What are you on about smc8788? Both companies have very accomplished drivers. What untapped performance do you expect from these mysterious upcoming drivers. I wouldn't rely on anything significant happening either way.


January 17, 2009, 11:27 pm

in respect of the price, thats supply and demand in action. i dont think its a bad thing. i personally would not buy it at that price. my msi 7800 cost me 𧷤 when it came out, and its still doing everything i need it to. my ford focus cost me 㾷,000, and goes 120mph. if i wanted to go the fastest, id need a veron at a cool ٟ mil.


January 20, 2009, 10:58 am

Why have the GTX 295's specifications not been fixed yet on page 1?

ROP's : 64 - This is wrong the GTX 295 only has 56 ROP's (2x28)

Memory Interface : 2 x 512bit - This is alos wrong the GTX 295 has 2 x 448bit Memory Interface

The GTX 295 GPU is a cross between a 280/260, its got the stream processors/texture units of the 280 but its for the Memory Interface / ROP's of the 260.

Also just want to remark on how horrible this site is to visit when your not using a browser with AdBlock, dont feel too bad its been a while since i have done this and i just visited Tom's Hardware also which is just as bad it seems.

Guess my eyeballs were just a bit over-loaded after getting used to the AdBlock plus browsing experience.


January 28, 2009, 2:34 pm

No sympathy with regards adblock. Yes there are plenty of adverts - and sometimes they can make the site a little slow - but they are no more intrusive than most sites and we need them to pay for what we do. That said, the site is due a redesign and advert placement will be a primary consideration when this is done - there's talk of having fewer but more optimally placed.

I'll fix the table now.


April 25, 2009, 1:05 am

The price has come down to around 381 now!!!

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