ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Graphics Card Launch Review

1. Introduction3. Test System and Methodology

ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Launch Review

The ASUS GeForce GTX 590

Our focus for this article is the ASUS branded GTX 590 and it arrives in a box which looks very similar to the rest of their GTX 500 series models. We get a little bit of information on the card on the box with the main focus being that this card supports their Smart Doctor software for voltage tweaking and enhanced overclocking potential. Inside we find a reasonable bundle with products documentation, software CD, power cable and dongles for VGA/HDMI.

The GTX 590 is shown above and it uses a centred single fan, dual slot design with the majority of the 11" 12 layer, 2oz copper PCB covered by a shroud. On the back of the card are two memory cooling plates and we can clearly see that a single SLI connector is present which tells us that we can connect two 590’s together for Quad SLI.

It is also easy to see from the fourth picture that NVIDIA and ASUS have created a surprisingly compact card; it is a little longer than a GTX 580 however significantly smaller… and sleeker than the Radeon 6990.

Underneath the GTX 590 cover is a card which has two GF110 (GTX 580) GPUs which sit at either side of a PCIe 16x switch. Also present on the card is a 10 phase digital power controller with the memory connected to two further dual phase controllers Each GPU is cooled by a vapour chamber cooler which features copper base and aluminium fins. As well as moving to a new fan for the GTX 590 NVIDIA have also taken time to think of the long term reliability of the card and have designed the heatsink cover to be easily removable so that the card can be cleaned of any dust which might accumulate.

For some time now one of the key advantages that AMD cards had over the competing model from NVIDIA was that the Radeon could power three displays for Eyefinity/Surround gaming… for NVIDIA we needed to buy two cards to enable this. With the display outputs used on the GTX 590 this is no longer an issue. Through the inclusion of three DVI’s we can connect three displays and not only that, 3D Vision surround is also fully supported. In addition to the DVIs NVIDIA also include a mini-DisplayPort which should satisfy the needs of most consumers (especially when combined with the bundled VGA and HDMI dongles).

For the power inputs, the GTX 590 has two 8-pin connectors which supply the card with its 375w of power on circuitry which features the same overload protection as the other 500 series cards.

In terms of the detailed specifications of the 40nm GPUs we have a card with 2×512 CUDA processors, 2×64 texture units, 2×48 ROPS and each GPU has access to 1.5GB of memory (384-bit bus) for a total of 4GB. The card fully supports PCIe 2.0, DirectX 11, CUDA, OPENCL and DirectCompute along with acceleration of high definition content. We can also output audio over HDMI if required and the option is available in the control panel to assign GPU to PhysX with the other handling 3D should the consumer prefer this option.

ASUS clock their GPUs at 613MHz which gives us 1225MHz shader and the GDDR5 sits at 855MHz (3.4GHz).

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