Size, Noise and HeatIt's first of all interesting to note that NVIDIA has managed to pack two GPUs into one 28 cm printed circuit board—that's barely 1 cm longer than the GeForce GTX 580 and, above all, it's over 2 cm shorter than the Radeon HD 6990.
As well as its impressive structure, this high-power graphics card isn't too noisy. When idle, although you can still certainly hear the internal fan, it's actually fairly discreet. When working in 3D, it's no more noisy than the GTX 580! OK, so at over 50 dB(A) it's not exactly quiet, but it's still comparable to graphics cards with just one GPU. Nice work NVIDIA!
Power ConsumptionYou have to expect a pretty high power consumption from cards with two GPUs. We measured 557 watts drawn by our test computer when gaming, which places this card between the Radeon HD 6990 in '375W' mode and the HD 6990 in '450W' mode. You'll therefore need a power source of over 600 watts to use it. When idle, our test computer consumed 133 watts, which confirms that the GTX 590 is certainly no energy-saving graphics card.
Gaming PerformanceThe graphics chips in this model have already been seen in the GTX 580 but with slightly lower clock speeds. It goes without saying, then, that performance levels are good enough to play pretty much any video game you like. Better still—the GTX 590 is a great choice for gamers who want to make the most of 3D or multi-monitor gaming.
However, these performances aren't quite good enough for this GeForce GTX 590 to be crowned the fastest graphics card we've tested to date, since the Radeon HD 6990 still does better. With the Radeon in '375W' mode, AMD's model is 3% more powerful and it's 5% more powerful with the '450W' BIOS.
So would we recommend the GTX 590? To be honest, it's difficult to say. It's more compact than a couple of GeForce GTX 570 cards in SLI mode, but it's no more powerful. It could appeal to the same kind of users though, namely 3D gamers or gamers looking to make use of several monitors. For anyone else, it's not really worth shelling out for and you'd probably be better off with a card with just one GPU.
|Graphics Cards: Performance Index Tables