A Closer Look
Even though it looks like it, the holes next to the ASUS logo serve no purpose for the cooler's airflow. However, they help with circulation of air around components that are not actively cooled.
Just like on the GeForce GTX 295 dual PCB, a big metal heatsink is sandwiched between two PCBs to provide cooling for the whole card using a single heatsink and fan only.
The cooling module is essentially the same design like on the GeForce GTX 295 Dual-PCB, even though ASUS tells me that some refinements have been made to improve how the cooler handles the increased heat load.
That's how the card looks after disassembly. Notice the large number of the screws on the left side, I hope I didn't lose any and remember where they all go.
A ROG badge along the top edge of the card symbolizes that this card is part of the ASUS Republic of Gamers lineup - and it looks really nice.
A powerful card like this needs a lot of juice. That's why ASUS has put two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors on these cards. Considering a maximum power draw of over 450W per card this is absolutely necessary.
The GDDR3 memory chips are made by Hynix and carry the model number H5RS1H23MFR-N3C. With a cycle time of 0.77 ns, they are specified to run at 1300 MHz (2600 MHz GDDR3 effective). This is the fastest GDDR3 memory that money can buy, ASUS went all out here.
Just like the normal GTX 295, two NVIOs to drive displays...
.. an NForce 200 PCI-Express bridge chip, ...
.. and a Volterra I2C software control capable voltage regulator per GPU. Those three are left unchanged from all the other GeForce GTX 295 cards, which is a good choice, there is nothing to improve here.
Here you can see NVIDIA's GT200 GPU that powers the GTX 2xx Series. Is is made in a 55 nm process at TSMC Taiwan with 1.4 billion transistors.