updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu March 24, 2011
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 launches to mixed benches
NVIDIA as it promised has launched the GeForce GTX 590 as its fastest-ever graphics hardware. The design mates two underclocked GTX 580 chips on one board and includes 1,024 visual processing cores, dual 384-bit memory buses and a total of 3GB of RAM spread across the two chips. It may also be as much as two times quieter than the Radeon HD 6990, since each chip now has its own vapor chamber cooling system and combined stop at 48dB of noise, even at full speed.
The hardware can still pair up in quad SLI mode by adding a second GTX 590. Display output is still lower than AMD's at a maximum of four screens versus six, but 3D Vision Surround does give the option of as many as three 1080p 3D displays at once.
Real-world benchmarks dispute NVIDIA claims that the GTX 590 is the fastest. While faster in some games, it still sometimes loses to the Radeon HD 6990, particularly in very demanding titles. AMD's design has an extra 1GB of video memory and is considerably more parallel at 3,072 processors, although its design doesn't work as efficiently as NVIDIA's.
The GTX 590 should be available immediately for about $699 from ASUS, EVGA, MSI, and other board makers. Computer builders are also likely to use white label or custom-made versions of the graphics in their own systems.