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Saturday, 16 April 2011 06:01

GTX 590 Quad SLI tested - 3. Testing and results

Written by Sanjin Rados

Top Performance, High Price


So, let’s move onto some GTX 590 Quad SLI goodness. We used two different GTX 590 cards – a reference and a factory OCed one. Mixing up different partners’ GTX 590 cards is possible, but not that Quad SLI will run at the slower card’s clocks.



Of course, consumption is an important piece of the puzzle if you’re looking to set up a 590 Quad SLI, since you’ll need a 1100W PSU or even higher. After all, you don’t want to risk a €1200 setup.

Our test rig occasionally drew up to 1099W, which is quite a lot despite the fact that it’s a high end machine. Due to this, we opted on using Sapphire’s Pure 1250W PSU. To be fair though, EVGA’s 4xSLI motherboard also contributed to high consumption as it consumes more than most other Quad SLI ready boards.


Next thing you need to address is the heat and two GTX 590 cards can definitely make some. You’ll need a large case with good airflow and a side panel fan wouldn’t hurt either to blow between the two GTX 590 cards. We used CoolerMaster’s HAF-X case.

It was relatively cold outside during our testing, 15°C, while our room temperature was at 25°C. However, we had to ventilate the entire room quite often, because it quickly became stuffy. And that’s not all – a really unpleasant smell was emanating from brand new graphics cards as well as the PSU, which was also new and suddenly running full power.

We suppose that the smell should go away after a few days of usage, but we unfortunately didn’t have that much time. Namely, partners want their cards back since Nvidia didn’t provide enough.





Using more than two displays on one graphics card has been AMD’s significant advantage, but the GTX 590 can finally allow Nvidia to offer a card with 3D Vision by default. The card as you remember comes with three dual-link DVIs and one mini-DisplayPort. With some VGA and HDMI converters, a GTX 590 user has all the video options at his disposal.

In Quad SLI mode, DVI #1 and #2 on each card must be used – the DisplayPort and DVI #3 outputs are not supported in this rendering mode ( Which means that Quad SLI also allows for maximum of four displays).



Aliens vs Predator, Unigine Heaven tessellation and Tess Mark testing went without a hitch but 3DMark 2011 refused to finish testing at Extreme settings several times. Then, we had some trouble in Metro 2033. We’ve seen that our colleagues from Tom’s Hardware managed to finish Metro 2033 at 2560x1600 4xAA and 16AF, but we couldn’t even start the benchmark. However, a single GTX 590 ran just fine.

We did not forget the HD 6990, we simply did not have two of them.

Aliens vs Predator

Metro 2033



3DMark 2011


Unigine Heaven


(Page 3 of 4)
Last modified on Saturday, 16 April 2011 17:38
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+5 #1 Shadow187 2011-04-16 10:18
nVidia has some driver issues in Metro it seems..why would one GTX590 be able to use AA while two can't?

nVidia's better at lower resolutions with their top-tier cards than AMD is. Not sure if that's a good thing.. (http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1139/pg5/zotac-nvidia-geforce-gtx-590-quad-sli-review-bulletstorm.html)

Needs more games other than an AMD-sided game and an nVidia-sided game WITH tessellation.
+11 #2 Nerdmaster 2011-04-16 11:04
They dont know how to make a quad sli review. Tests at 1920x1080? That is possible with 570 / 6970. It is retarded to use that settings with 2 590. I would say 2560x1600 should be the minimum resolution and that 3 monitor tests are necessary. When you use 3 monitors scalling of quad sli becomes much better. Also there was no comparsion with 3 580 or 3 6970 that would be faster.
+16 #3 Boomstick777 2011-04-16 13:31
2 x GTX 590
Cost over £1100
Lower performance than HD 6990
Might explode

2 x HD 6990
Under 900Watt
Costs under £925
Best performance
Doesn't explode

Nvidia need 28nm badly, AMD already in production of 28nm cards, rumoured release in July. The next round of cards will be amazing, the GTX 590 really isn't worth its price tag. Either HD 6990 or if want Nvidia wait until Nvidia hit 28nm..
+11 #4 Boomstick777 2011-04-16 13:35
Quote "we did not have the results scored by two HD 6990 cards"

How convenient, meh
+12 #5 Wolfdale 2011-04-16 13:36
in a direct head 2 head 6990 vs 590, ati scores on allmost every test..

real shame you couldnt buckle up 2x6990 in this comparison, it would basically all come down to driver tweaking to decide who holds the quad-scaling crown

either way.. i think testing with 3x2 monitor would be in place with those speeds... if you want true results and scaling up to like 7680×3200 resolutions
+7 #6 deadspeedv 2011-04-16 14:20
2x HD6990 still wins

-1 #7 yourma2000 2011-04-16 14:22
Quoting Boomstick777:
Nvidia need 28nm badly, AMD already in production of 28nm cards, rumoured release in July. The next round of cards will be amazing, the GTX 590 really isn't worth its price tag. Either HD 6990 or if want Nvidia wait until Nvidia hit 28nm..

It'll probably be just mobile series which were rumoured to be released first, makes sense since we're constantly trying to increase the mobile marketshare, we won't see the desktop HD 7xxx until Q4 2011
+4 #8 Xyllian 2011-04-16 14:55
Didn't them explode? It's must be magic :)
+8 #9 Warhead 2011-04-16 16:51
Review: Top Performance, High Price

If Fuad wa writting this article it would read:

Top Performance, Affordable price :lol:
+3 #10 hoohoo 2011-04-16 18:18
1099 Watts is pretty extreme for almost any purpose.

All the eye candy does not make an FPS player shoot better...

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