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Thursday, 24 March 2011 15:32

Today is Nvidia GTX 590 day

Written by Slobodan Simic

It all comes down to price
The long wait is finally over and Nvidia has finally lifted the NDA veil off its crown jewel, the dual-GPU GTX 590 card. In case you haven't been reading any news post recently, the GTX 590 is Nvidia's dual-GPU card based on two GF110 GPUs placed on a single PCB. The reviews have gone live, benchmarks are posted and we can now relax and take a look on how good, or bad the GTX 590 really is.

As noted, the Nvidia Geforce GTX 590 features two fully enabled GF110 GPUs packed on a single PCB and this sums up to a total of 1024 CUDA cores, or simply 512 per each GPU. The rest of the specs include 2x48 ROPs, 3GB of GDDR5 memory (2x1536MB) paired up with a dual 384-bit memory interface. Due to plain power limitations the card doesn't share the clocks the single GPU GF110 based GTX 580 as it was brought down to 607MHz for the GPU, 1214MHz for shaders and 3420MHz for those 3GB of memory.

The performance of the GTX 590 is pretty much on par with AMD's Radeon HD 6990, which is clearly something that Nvidia can't be proud of, as the Radeon HD 6990 showed up a bit earlier and we might even see a price drop coming from the red camp pretty soon. Of course, you can always say that one is faster than the other, but we are still talking about just a few FPS and those advantages are game dependant, as one wins in some games while other takes the lead in others.

The noise, temperatures and power consumption are just one of the key factors here. We are still talking about enthusiast class products, and most of the customers that usually go for such a card, simply aren't interested in power consumption, noise or even temperatures. Nevertheless, the noise is pretty much the same on both cards. Exception is the "full load/Furmark" where both cards are pushed to its limits and the fan kicks into highest possible gear, and where Nvidia's choice of big fan probably makes a difference.

The temps are pretty much the same as well, and both cards tend to stay below 90C or to be precise somewhere around 45C in idle and around 86C to 90C when pushed under load. Of course, this is very dependable on the test system configuration or simply how well cooled is your case and some other factors as well.

The power consumption issue is a bit complicated as both cards have a way of limiting the maximum power consumption. Nvidia's OCP does a pretty good job at it but AMD's Radeon cards were always better in idle consumption. The story goes its way with these two cards as well, as the GTX 590 uses over 10W more than the HD 6990 in idle and around 10W when you compare them in games. Under full load, Nvidia's card tends to take up to 356W while AMD is keeping its own at around 301W (these are taken from TechPowerup.com review).

So, since the cards are pretty much on par, it all comes down to the price. Despite the fact that some retailers/e-tailers will try to score more money on this card thanks to the hype, the suggested price that came from Nvidia is set at US $699/€649. It all makes sense if you take a look at Newegg.com site that sells the HD 6990 for US $709.99 but since the price of it should be US $699 we'll hold our Newegg.com judgment for later. Luckly, TigerDirect.com has both cards and is listing the GTX 590 for US $729.99 while the cheapest HD 6990 is selling for US $709.99.

Europe is a different story as the Radeon HD 6990 can be found for as low as €550. Just to be fair, we managed to find both cards at the same retailer/e-tailer shop in Germany, Ditech.de. It currently has three GTX 590 listed and the cheapest one comes from POV with a price tag set at €673,34. The same retailer/e-tailer is selling Sapphire's HD 6990 for €633,67. The UK is pretty much the same as Scan.co.uk has a couple of GTX 590 but the cheapest one is priced at £569.51 while Overclockers.co.uk has one priced at £614.99. The cheapest HD 6990 at Scan.co.uk is selling for £539.63 while the Overclockers.co.uk has HIS HD 6990 for as low as £514.98.

Most reviewers agree on the same thing, and just by looking at these prices in Europe we must say that HD 6990 looks like a better option. We might see more of those price wars pretty soon.

Here are some of the reviews that have gone live.

- Anandtech
- Techpowerup
- Benchmark Reviews
- OverClockersClub
- Neoseeker
- HotHardware


Last modified on Thursday, 24 March 2011 15:57
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+29 #1 63jax 2011-03-24 16:00
no surprise here really, the clocks are too low to beat 6990, but they on par...
+27 #2 Jermelescu 2011-03-24 16:14
I was right, the 6990 is cheaper.
Now it's all about the drivers, in 2 or 3 months I want to see some benchmarks.
+26 #3 hoohoo 2011-03-24 16:16
What? Where are all the videocard flame warrior posters?
+31 #4 majorpayne 2011-03-24 16:22
Just found this, hope this will not happen to anyone buying a GTX 590.

+19 #5 1d10t 2011-03-24 16:24
After talking to several other reviewers, this does not seem to be an isolated case, and many of them have killed their cards with similar testing, which is far from being an extreme test.

Card blew up during testing, power limiting system does not work reliably

ROFL :lol:
+17 #6 omglolwtf 2011-03-24 16:27
w1z blew it up lolQuoting hoohoo:
What? Where are all the videocard flame warrior posters?

Wait for him to post a review that favors 590.

W1z blew it up lol.
+19 #7 123s 2011-03-24 16:34
So from what I get the only positive thing is that its not as noisy but it can barely match a CHEAPER 6990 without even using oc mode ?
-85 #8 Warrior24_7 2011-03-24 16:58
The comparisons are too close for my taste, I wanted to see DOO DOO smeared all over the place and its not! It seems Nvidia for some inexplicable reason just didn't take full advantage of the $h!tty990! But my real question is answered. It is what it is.
+22 #9 Boomstick777 2011-03-24 16:58
HD 6990 faster even without OC bios mode :-D

Quote "The GTX 590 is not the "World's Fastest Single Card Solution" as stated on our page 1 slides; the Radeon HD 6990 is very much retaining that title. Hail to the King, baby! "

Source - http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/03/24/asus_geforce_gtx_590_video_card_review/9
+16 #10 Regenweald 2011-03-24 17:02
Quoting hoohoo:
What? Where are all the videocard flame warrior posters?

Huddled in a corner contemplating the meaning of life and how to go on ? ;-) There will only be a few thousand available, and they are already dying by way of review. Those are professionals, what happens when an 'amateur' purchases one ?

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