Hi guys. I found this site looking for a review of this card. Sadly I don't think this card will ever be available to me in the U.K, but I did convince my friend to buy one. Why?
Well the answer is rather complex. I am a reviewer myself and I review hardware all the time. However, I am more of a thorough reviewer than most and often visit old hardware (even three years old) to see how it performs now as early reviews are usually a good 15% down on how it will perform into the future. So as you have probably guessed I am not paid to do what I do and as thus can come down super hard on new hardware if I think it's crap.
That said, once again there are quite a few things missing from the review. Some of it has been pointed out, others not.
Firstly this card is unique. It is a custom card. 99% of other cards are all mass produced and then had a sticker shoved on the cooler shroud (460 stock, 470, 480 and so on). This is why it has always made me laugh when reading customer reviews on sites such as newegg when people say "This card is trash, I should never have bought a *insert company name here* and got a *insert company name here*.
So when buying this particular card it can only be gotten via EVGA and so you are getting an exclusive item. Exclusive items come at a cost.
Secondly SLI does not come without headaches. The bridges are most always rubbish and need fettling before it works properly. Most of the SLI systems I have built have displayed tearing and artefacts down to the poor bridges.
Thirdly it has an SLI connector because the card was originally intended to be SLI capable. And, for want of making it simple is SLI capable. However, when Nvidia got wind of it they told EVGA not to go ahead with it. I would imagine this was for the same reason that they did not make triple SLI available themselves as the 460 was such a good card that three of them would have made their expensive high end cards defunct overnight (if only in benchmarks which let's face it most people buy high end cards for any way, to show off and toss off in a corner).
I myself have worked in R&D (not any more) and I can tell you now that bringing in a designer to design the custom PCB and then the custom cooler and making it all work does not come cheap. This card (being unique) will not share a single piece or part that another card uses apart from the blazingly obvious (the DVI headers and 8 pin sockets). The rest has all had to be designed and manufactured only for this card.
That means it will be made in woefully less numbers than a stock 460.
All products like this carry a premium price tag. Right now you can get a 5870 on Newegg for $160 after rebates. An Asus Ares will cost you $960 with no rebates. Why? because you are getting a custom product.
Personally I think the 2 win will sell very well, if only on the basis of the above. It's more expensive than SLI 460 but it's big, fast, and (IMO) affordable. $420 or so is not going to bankrupt any one. A half decent GPU will cost closing in on a third of that any way.