Being the vendor behind the fastest graphics card money can buy means a lot for both NVIDIA and AMD, in equal measures, as neither is willing to accept the "second best" spot while trying to spin off their mediocrity with "performance/features to price" (unlike the desktop CPU industry). NVIDIA has been a company traditionally seen as being behind the fastest GPUs for longer periods of time, and with higher standards in product quality. Its GeForce GTX 580 single-GPU was very fast, but its competition was inconclusive with the Radeon HD 5970, the red team's lead extended with the launch of Radeon HD 6990, a couple of weeks earlier, but now NVIDIA got the GeForce GTX 590.
We in the media had written off the possibility of a dual Fermi graphics card, like GeForce GTX 590, using two GF100 GPUs after seeing the GeForce GTX 480's obnoxious thermal/electrical figures. GF110 is worlds apart from GF100 in terms of thermal and electrical characteristics, but even that left a bit of a doubt if NVIDIA can actually pull of a dual-GPU graphics card design based on it, let alone a single-PCB dual-GPU design. Well, NVIDIA's engineers shut us up with their GeForce GTX 590. But that's only a part of the story. Whether this 6 Billion transistor, 1024 CUDA core, 3 GB over 384 GB/s monstrosity keeps its cool and checks its appetite while it performs well is the business-end of it and we will test this in our GTX 590 review.
We have today with us a GeForce GTX 590 by ASUS, which sticks to NVIDIA's reference design, and combines it with ASUS' high quality packaging and bundle. ASUS' Voltage Tweak technology and SmartDoctor software that lets you up voltage is very much part of the package, ready to enhance your GTX 590 with overclocking. Boy oh boy.