Package and Accessories
EVGA’s series of G200-based products comes in unified packaging that varies but slightly from model to model. The EVGA GeForce GTX 295+ arrives to shops in a standard black box of rather small dimensions, embellished with a bright stripe and sealed into plastic film.
There are but few differences from the packaging of the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked card we tested recently: the stripe crossing the box has become dark red and acquired a pattern made by EVGA logos. The letters are now silvery rather than gray, but the design has not lost the feel of restraint and sternness. Unfortunately, there are not one but two common mistakes on this box. Besides the wrong indication of the memory type (DDR3 instead of GDDR3), the amount of graphics memory is declared to be 1792 megabytes. However, 3D applications can access only half that amount, i.e. 896 megabytes, because data are duplicated for each GPU in modern multi-GPU solutions.
There is a window in the back of the box for you to see a part of the PCB with a serial number sticker that ensures your warranty and makes you eligible for the EVGA Step-Up program. The latter option looks odd here because the EVGA GeForce GTX 295+ is the highest-performance gaming card today. We don’t think EVGA will offer something better than the described card during the period of the Step-Up program, which is 90 days since the moment of the purchase. Well, EVGA may introduce a GeForce GTX 295 with even more overclocked frequencies, for example with the word Superclocked in its name, but our practice suggests that factory overclocking doesn’t produce such a tremendous performance breakthrough as to justify the replacement of your card with a pre-overclocked version of the same model.
The packaging has good protective properties. Instead of the plastic container used in the less expensive products from EVGA, there is a foam-rubber tray here with compartments for the card and its accessories. The accessories are rather scanty considering the recommended price of the product (about $500):
- DVI-I → D-Sub adapter
- 2x4-pin Molex → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter
- 2x6-pin PCIe → 1x8-pin PCIe adapter
- S/PDIF cable
- Brief installation instructions
- User’s manual
- EVGA logo sticker
- CD disk with drivers and utilities
This is just the minimum of things you need to install and get the card going in your gaming PC. But there are no extras like the free copy of Far Cry 2 we found included with the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked. The lack of a DVI-I → HDMI adapter may be explained by the fact that the card is equipped with a dedicated HDMI port, yet this adapter would come in handy due to the peculiarities of the support for multi-monitor configurations by Nvidia’s dual-GPU solutions as we will describe below.
Besides the driver and an electronic version of the user manual, the included disc contains two useful tools, Fraps and EVGA Precision. The latter is a program for overclocking the graphics cards and controlling the speed of its fan and its temperatures.
Summing it up, the EVGA GeForce GTX 295+ kit should be praised for the design and protective properties of its packaging, but the accessories do not match the high status of the graphics card. We guess a copy of a popular game would be appropriate here, especially as one of EVGA products we tested earlier came with a copy of Far Cry 2 despite its much lower price.