Performance in Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark06 is not very informative when it comes to benchmarking premium-class graphics products. This benchmarking suite defaults to 1280x1024 without antialiasing and thus does not use all of a modern card’s resources. Therefore it is difficult to predict how the various factors will affect the final result. For example, we can’t explain the performance of the 3-way Radeon HD 4870 CrossFireX subsystem, but it was indeed slower than the single Radeon HD 4870 X2. As for the GeForce GTX 295, it is about as fast as the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SLI subsystem in this benchmark, which agrees with the results of the gaming tests.
Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
We minimize the CPU’s influence by using the Extreme profile (1920x1200, 4x FSAA and anisotropic filtering). We also publish the results of the individual tests across all display resolutions to provide a full picture.
As expected, the GeForce GTX 295 does not have a record-breaking overall score. Although it is far ahead of the Radeon HD 4870 X2, the SLI configuration with two GeForce GTX 280 cards is faster still (this gap disappears when the new card works at the pre-overclocked frequencies, though).
When clocked at the official frequencies, the GeForce GTX 295 is considerably faster than the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SLI configuration but somewhat slower than the GeForce GTX 280 SLI at every resolution save for 2560x1600. There is no this gap at 2560x1600 and when the card works at the pre-overclocked frequencies, it takes second place behind the 3-way Radeon HD 4870 configuration which has far more impressive computing capabilities.
The mentioned solution from ATI is in the lead in the second test, but not in all of the display modes. Moreover, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 gets closer to its opponent here. The special effects created by the ray trace method seem to require tremendous computing power and ATI still has an advantage in this respect. The GeForce GTX 295 is still in between the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SLI and the GeForce GTX 280 SLI. The gap is small in the latter case and can be easily closed by means of overclocking.