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Saturday, 16 April 2011 06:01

GTX 590 Quad SLI tested - 2. GTX 590 shopping guide

Written by Sanjin Rados

Top Performance, High Price

Users should be aware that a Quad SLI rig requires some planning. Thankfully, Nvidia made things easy by making a shopping guide that we’ll show here:

Graphics Card

Of course, you’ll need two GeForce GTX 590 graphics cards. With SLI, you can mix graphics card manufacturers, so one GTX 590 card from Firm A, and a second GTX 590 card from Firm B is AOK.


GeForce GTX 590 in a Quad SLI configuration requires a SLI-certified motherboard with an extra PCIE slot between the two, double-width cards to ensure both receive enough cool air. If you’re water cooling the cards, you can get by without this extra slot, but for air-based cooling it is a necessity.

The clear air between the two GeForce GTX 590 graphics cards ensures that thermal performance remains within acceptable limits:

Intel X58 Express:
ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer
AsusRampage III Extreme
AsusRampage III Formula
Evga X58 FTW3
Gigabyte EX58-Extreme
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
Gigabyte X58A-UD9
MSI X58 Pro-E

Intel P67 Express:
Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Asus P8P67 Pro
Asus P8P67 WS Revolution
AsusSabertooth P67
Gigabyte P67A-UD5
Gigabyte P67A-UD7

Intel P55 Express:
AsusMaximus III Extreme
Evga P55 FTW 200
Gigabyte P55-UD5
MSI Big Bang Trinergy


With the combined power of four GTX 500 GPUs, Quad SLI can be easily bottlenecked by the central processor. Therefore, it’s important in this case to have a fast CPU to get maximum performance. Core i7 CPUs with Turbo Mode enabled are highly recommended, and for even better performance, you may even want to consider overclocking your processor.

Power Supply

Operating a Quad SLI GTX 590 system requires a power supply that has four 8-pin PCI-Express supplementary power connectors, each of which must receive 150 watts. Because of the complexity of designing, building and ensuring that the power supply meets these necessary requirements, NVIDIA works directly with power supply manufacturers to certify their products for Quad SLI use:

SilverStone ST-1500
Nexus RX-1.1K Gold
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500 W
AcBel PC8055 1100 W


A good computer case provides the proper airflow for cooling the graphics cards, without sounding like a jet engine. The optimal chassis has multiple fans that draw in cool air and push out hot air, with a large fan positioned on the door or side panel to blow cool air over the graphics cards. The case must also support an 11 inch graphics cards. As with the power supplies, NVIDIA works with manufacturers to ensure that their cases are certified for use with Quad SLI configurations:

Cooler Master HAF X
Thermaltake Element V
SilverStone Raven RV02


While the right case and air-cooling setup can result in low temperatures in a Quad SLI PC, water cooling can take thermal performance to the next level, resulting in an even cooler, quieter system that can be heavily overclocked. We’ve worked with several of the top water cooling companies in the world to build custom water blocks for the GeForce GTX 590.

System RAM / Operating System

For the best performance possible in a Quad SLI configuration, 6GB of system memory is highly recommended, and because of this the use of a 64-bit operating system is required. Windows 7 64-bit is recommended, though Windows Vista 64-bit will also suffice.

Finally make sure to grab the latest driver for GTX 590 Quad SLI support.

With the correct Quad SLI-certified components and some basic system-building skills, you should be well on your way to a having a great Quad SLI gaming PC, capable of playing games at the highest possible quality settings and resolutions.

(Page 2 of 4)
Last modified on Saturday, 16 April 2011 17:38
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+5 #1 Shadow187 2011-04-16 10:18
nVidia has some driver issues in Metro it seems..why would one GTX590 be able to use AA while two can't?

nVidia's better at lower resolutions with their top-tier cards than AMD is. Not sure if that's a good thing.. (http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1139/pg5/zotac-nvidia-geforce-gtx-590-quad-sli-review-bulletstorm.html)

Needs more games other than an AMD-sided game and an nVidia-sided game WITH tessellation.
+11 #2 Nerdmaster 2011-04-16 11:04
They dont know how to make a quad sli review. Tests at 1920x1080? That is possible with 570 / 6970. It is retarded to use that settings with 2 590. I would say 2560x1600 should be the minimum resolution and that 3 monitor tests are necessary. When you use 3 monitors scalling of quad sli becomes much better. Also there was no comparsion with 3 580 or 3 6970 that would be faster.
+16 #3 Boomstick777 2011-04-16 13:31
2 x GTX 590
Cost over £1100
Lower performance than HD 6990
Might explode

2 x HD 6990
Under 900Watt
Costs under £925
Best performance
Doesn't explode

Nvidia need 28nm badly, AMD already in production of 28nm cards, rumoured release in July. The next round of cards will be amazing, the GTX 590 really isn't worth its price tag. Either HD 6990 or if want Nvidia wait until Nvidia hit 28nm..
+11 #4 Boomstick777 2011-04-16 13:35
Quote "we did not have the results scored by two HD 6990 cards"

How convenient, meh
+12 #5 Wolfdale 2011-04-16 13:36
in a direct head 2 head 6990 vs 590, ati scores on allmost every test..

real shame you couldnt buckle up 2x6990 in this comparison, it would basically all come down to driver tweaking to decide who holds the quad-scaling crown

either way.. i think testing with 3x2 monitor would be in place with those speeds... if you want true results and scaling up to like 7680×3200 resolutions
+7 #6 deadspeedv 2011-04-16 14:20
2x HD6990 still wins

-1 #7 yourma2000 2011-04-16 14:22
Quoting Boomstick777:
Nvidia need 28nm badly, AMD already in production of 28nm cards, rumoured release in July. The next round of cards will be amazing, the GTX 590 really isn't worth its price tag. Either HD 6990 or if want Nvidia wait until Nvidia hit 28nm..

It'll probably be just mobile series which were rumoured to be released first, makes sense since we're constantly trying to increase the mobile marketshare, we won't see the desktop HD 7xxx until Q4 2011
+4 #8 Xyllian 2011-04-16 14:55
Didn't them explode? It's must be magic :)
+8 #9 Warhead 2011-04-16 16:51
Review: Top Performance, High Price

If Fuad wa writting this article it would read:

Top Performance, Affordable price :lol:
+3 #10 hoohoo 2011-04-16 18:18
1099 Watts is pretty extreme for almost any purpose.

All the eye candy does not make an FPS player shoot better...

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