Each PCB of the GeForce GTX 295 carries an independent four-phase GPU voltage regulator based on a Volterra VT1165MF PWM controller. The top PCB is powered only by an 8-pin PCI Express 2.0 plug (with a load capacity of 150W) whereas the bottom one receives some of its power from the power section of the PCI Express x16 slot. The APW7142 and AMS1117 chips seem to be responsible for powering the memory.
A 2-pin S/PDIF header is located next to the 6-pin power connector. The S/PDIF input is necessary to translate an external audio stream from the sound card into HDMI. This header is located on the bottom PCB because it also carries a HDMI interface. Interestingly, the installation of the dedicated HDMI port required a second NVIO chip, so the GeForce GTX 295 has two of them. However, you can only use the card’s three interfaces simultaneously when not in SLI mode. This doesn’t make much sense because the GeForce GTX 295 loses its main advantage then. We mean its high gaming performance. The support for dual-monitor configurations in SLI mode is implemented since version 180 of the GeForce driver, but this support is not as extensive as with ATI’s CrossFireX technology: the Slave monitor can be turned off if you launch a game in full-screen mode on the Master monitor.
An nForce 200 chip is employed as the bridge here. It can be found on some mainboards where it implements Nvidia’s SLI technology. This is an intellectual switch of the PCI Express 2.0 interface that can operate with 48 PCI Express lanes and supports direct data exchange between two GPUs.
Each of the card’s PCBs carries 14 GDDR3 memory chips from Hynix (H5RS5223CFR-N0C, 512Mb, 16Mb x 32, 2.05V, 1000 (2000) MHz). EVGA increased the memory frequency of its card relative to the reference sample: from 1000 (2000) MHz to 1026 (2052) MHz.
Of course, we would like to see the new flagship of the GeForce GTX 200 series equipped with two 1GB memory banks with 512-bit access, but this would make its design even more sophisticated. Therefore the developer endowed his product with two 896MB banks with 448-bit memory buses. Thus, the GeForce GTX 295 comes with a total of 1792 megabytes of memory whereas 3D applications can access half of the total amount. This should be enough even for 2560x1600, but a SLI configuration built out of two individual GeForce GTX 280 cards can theoretically be faster in some situations thanks to the larger amount of graphics memory. The peak performance of the memory subsystem of the new card is 224GBps, but the EVGA version has somewhat higher bandwidth, 229.8GBps, which is almost equal to that of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 (230.4GBps).
The GPUs are marked as G200-400-B3. Thus, they are a newer revision of the G200b chip than the G200-103-B2 revision which is installed on the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216. The GPUs were manufactured on the 49th week of 2008, i.e. from November 30 to December 6. The core configuration is untypical for G200-based solutions: although its 240 shader and 80 texture processors are all active, some of the raster back-ends are turned off because the memory controller configuration is strictly linked to them. Seven out of the eight rasterization sections are active in each core, which is equivalent to 28 raster back-ends per core. So, each “half” of the GeForce GTX 295 is something in-between the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 Core 216. The new card’s official clock rates correspond to the latter: 576MHz for the main domain and 1242MHz for the shader domain. EVGA’s version comes with pre-overclocked GPU frequencies: 594MHz and 1296MHz, respectively.
The card is equipped with three connectors for display devices: two DVI-I ports and one HDMI.
The former two are connected to the Master GPU and can be used simultaneously in SLI mode whereas the latter is connected to the Slave GPU and can only be used when not in SLI mode. This odd solution actually negates the value of the dedicated HDMI port. For comparison, this port of the GeForce 9800 GX2 was connected to the Master GPU together with one DVI-I.
There is a blue LED next to one DVI port, indicating that the port must be used for the main monitor. The other LED, near the HDMI connector, reports power related problems (it is shining green then). Besides, there is a single MIO port on the bottom PCB that allows to build a quad-SLI configuration out of two GeForce GTX 295 cards.