Like most graphics cards currently, the card is really the reference Nvidia card, but with different stickers. I myself like the minimalistic look of the whole card as the top is covered with a dark gray finish which makes the card look like it was stolen from some military site. Like the 9800gx2, the 295GTX is built with the same sandwich-principle. The card consists of two PCBs, one for each GPU-core and a heatsink that fits in between the two.
This card being one of the most expensive ones on the market, I really would've liked to see some more attention to detail. This cards stickers are both stuck on completely crooked. Really seems like either their machines or the guy sticking them on really wasn't having their day when putting this one together.
The top of the card has the power plugs and the necessary spdif-connector. As you can see the card needs one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector to work. This really isn't that bad when you remember that the 280GTX needed those to operate, and its only a single GPU-card. The difference in the cores that are used is clear this way.
Design and Cooling
Moving a little bit to the other end of the card, we can take a peek at the heatsink that keeps the card cool. Instead of the normal setup, where the hot air is completely routed out of the case through the backplate, the 295GTXs heatsink opts to blow some of the air back into the case. This really can heat up your case as this card packs some significant heat. However this may the only way the card would stay cool enough. With this configuration it is possible to push more air through the heatsink.
When compared with the 285GTX, there is one major difference visible here also. Instead of the two SLI-connectors, which can be found on the 285GTX, the 295GTX only has one. This can be explained by the fact that the card already uses one SLI connection internally.
The back of the card really doesn't have that much to see. Unlike the front of the card, the back is not covered with the mesh. The back however does have an identical hole, as the front, for the fan of the heatsink.
As some people may be interested on what the covers of the card contain, we took the liberty of voiding our waranty on the card so you won't have to. This is easily the most complex card that I have taken apart, and it really wasn't that much fun to put back together.
Like the earlier sandwich-cards from Nvidia, the structure is pretty much the same here. The heatsink has two identical almost identical sides, which should even the temperatures of the core nicely. The base of the heatsink is made out of aluminum and the contact areas for the GPUs and for example the NVIO-chip are made out of copper. Although you can't see it from this picture, there are some embedded heatpipes in the heatsink, which should even out the heat onto a larger area of the heatsink.
The two PCBs differ somewhat from each other. While the other has the PCI-e connector, NF200-chip for the SLI, and the HDMI-port, the other PCB has both DVI-ports. Both cards have their own power-circuitry onboard as well as the NVIO-chip. The heatsink really does have its work cut out for it, as it has to keep all of these components cool enough too function.
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