nVidia’s last dual-GPU graphics card was the GeForce GTX 295 released back in early 2009 and today it has finally unveiled a successor, in the shape of the GeForce GTX 590.
The GeForce GTX 590 is comprised of two GF110 GPUs which have clock speeds of 607MHz, even though on their own each GPU has been shown capable of hitting 770MHz in the right conditions. It is obviously a trade off between power, heat and performance which has led nVidia to reduce the clock speed in the GTX 590. It has 3GB of GDDR5 RAM on board running at 3.4GHz. Power-wise the GTX 590 is rated for a TDP of 365W. nVidia is pricing the GeForce GTX 590 at $699 which is the same price as AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 which went on sale two weeks ago and is seen as the direct competitor to the GTX 590.
With its release this morning there has been a lot of testing done between AMD's title contender and nVidia’s challenger with the results showing that the Radeon HD 6990 coming out on top – but only just. Anandtech claims that if you took the average performance lead/loss for all games at 2560 resolution, the GTX 590 is within 1 percent of the 6990. It also points out that the performance of the GTX 590 varies wildly depending on the type of games tested and suggests consumers buy the graphics card depending on what type of game they are planning on playing. This of course is a little tough considering we don’t know what type of game down the line may tickle our fancy.
The other thing to consider is the noise these graphical beast throws out. The AMD unit seems to be a lot louder than the GTX 590, though as both are dual-GPU cards neither is exactly whisper quiet. At the end of the day these cards are aimed at the high-end of the market and those thinking of buying them will most likely know what they want – be that more grunt despite the noise or a little less grunt for a more peaceful gaming experience.