With AMD's Radeon HD 6990 stealing the performance crown only two short weeks ago, we knew it wouldn't be long before Nvidia answered the challenge. The company's GeForce GTX 590 was a poorly guarded secret, with specifications leaking as far back as last fall. Today marks the flagship's official launch and needless to say, we're excited to see how it stacks up to AMD's dual-GPU offering.
The GeForce GTX 590 packs two GF110 graphics processors -- the same chip that powers the GTX 580, currently the fastest single-GPU graphics card available. Although the GTX 590's processors have the same core configuration as the GTX 580's, Nvidia had to reduce the graphics and memory clock frequencies to keep the card's thermal envelope within reasonable levels.
Realizing that, we can already assume the GTX 590 isn't going to be as fast as two GTX 580s in SLI. However, two GTX 580s would cost at least $1,000, and since the GTX 590 needs to be relatively competitive with the Radeon HD 6990 in terms of pricing, we bet Nvidia doesn't want the GTX 590 to be as quick as SLIed GTX 580s anyway. Okay, that's enough speculation. Let's get this party started!