Nvidia's response to AMD's Antilles is here and we finally have a competition going. Nvidia has taken its time to develop this dual GPU monster and we are really impressed with the build and design of its reference card. Let's just get the specifications out of the way first.
As you probably know by know by now, the GTX 590 is made possible by slapping together two GTX 580 cores onto a single PCB. That's two full Fermi cores with 512 shaders each running in SLI, now that's horsepower. Nvidia has paid special attention to the cooling aspect and noise levels of the fan ever since its GTX 480 was like having a hair dryer installed in your rig. Before we get to it, let's start off with the design of the card.
Instead of having just a plastic block covering the cooler, which is the case of the HD 6990, there's a nice pattern on either sides of the fan and the rear as well. Nvidia prides itself on the new fan design which it says only produces 48db, which is quite something. The card still measures 11-inch in length which means it will easily fit in most mid-tower cases.
Having two Fermi GPUs onboard means the GTX 590 is ready for 3DVision Surround out of the box. There are three dual-link DVI-I connectors and a mini-DP connector. The backside of the cores is covered by heat spreaders as well for additional cooling.
The card is powered by two 8-pin power connectors. Here's a really nice treat for enthusiasts, if you have a windowed cabinet then you'll be able to see the Geforce logo as its backlit. Forget the performance, I'd pick one of these up just for this. I think Nvidia should put this on all its dual slot cards and even encourage manufacturers to do the same. Think about it, board partners spend a lot of effort on the sticker on the front of the card but what's the use since once installed, you can't see it anyways.
Here are some more shots of the GTX 590 without the cooler. The two vapor chambers are placed directly above the two cores.