NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 - the 1024 Core Riposte

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 3GB GDDR5

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 3GB GDDR5

The new GeForce GTX 590 is a large graphics card, and it has to be, given that it has two GPUs on a single PCB. Fortunately, NVIDIA has thoughtfully kept its length to 11 inches. It’s still a long card but at least it's slightly smaller than comparable cards from AMD, which typically measure around 12 inches long. This one-inch difference in length also means that the GeForce GTX 590 will be able to fit into a wider variety of casings. When faced with a cramped casing, every inch and even millimeter counts!

If you’ve read our review of the Radeon HD 6990, you would find the design and concept of the cooler on the GeForce GTX 590 to be very similar. Like the Radeon HD 6990, the GeForce GTX 590 also has a centrally-located fan that sits between the two GPUs. Cool, fresh air is sucked in through the fan and then blown onto the two separately-contained copper vapor chamber coolers.

Due to this design, NVIDIA, like AMD, recommends leaving an expansion slot free if you wish to have two GeForce GTX 590 in an SLI configuration. To help users, they have thoughtfully complied a list of GeForce GTX 590 Quad SLI certified motherboards:

  • ASUS Maximus III Extreme
  • ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer
  • ASUS P8P67 Deluxe
  • ASUS P8P67 Pro
  • ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
  • ASUS Rampage III Extreme
  • ASUS Rampage III Formula
  • ASUS Sabertooth P67
  • DFI LanParty_DK_P55_T3EH9
  • EVGA P55 E658
  • EVGA X58 FTW3
  • Gigabyte GA EX58 Extreme
  • Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5
  • Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5
  • Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD7
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7
  • Gigabyte GA-X58-UD9
  • MSI Big Bang Trinergy
  • MSI P67A-GD65
  • MSI X58 PRO-E

Beyond the newly designed cooler, an aluminum baseplate is secured to the top of the board to cool the PCB and two other backplates are used to cool the graphics memory.

Here’s a look at the GeForce GTX 590.

The new GeForce GTX 590 is markedly shorter than the Radeon HD 6990, which is good news for those with cramped casings.

The GeForce GTX 590 is the first Fermi card capable of driving three monitors simultaneously. It can also support 3D Vision Surround by itself.

Like the Radeon HD 6990, the GeForce GTX 590 gets its power via two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. For optimal performance, NVIDIA recommends a PSU rated for at least 700W.

A casing with adequate ventilation is necessarily because hot air is vented out of the card through these rear exhaust and back into the casing.

Removing the cooler cover, we can clearly see the two copper vapor chamber coolers.

The two GF110 GPUs are surrounded by memory chips, whereas the NVIDIA NF200 SLI bridge chip in the middle ensures that the two chips are working in tandem.

The Good
Blazing performance, though not as fast as its rival
3D Vision Surround on a single card
Effective cooler, pretty quiet
The Bad
Cooler vents hot air back to casing
Troublesome to SLI