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[tweaktown] gtx 280 review - Page 3

post #21 of 48
Here's what I got so far


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1
Drivers: ForceWare 175.16 (9 Series) 177.34 (GTX 280)

s mentioned in our intro, we will be comparing the card against the last generation single GPU chAMP!ion; the 9800 GTX, along with its more powerful brother, the twin GPU 9800 GX2. What we’ve also done is include the HD 3870 X2 which is AMDs current flagship card.

Being the latest flagship card from NVIDIA, we have also upped the ante by including benchmarks at 2560 x 1600 to really test out not only the GTX 280, but the other cards we have here. We have also included Vantage for the first time which will now be making a regular appearance with it being added to our lineup. We were waiting for the right time to add it into the lineup and we thought the release of the GTX 280 was the perfect reason to do so.

In our first test, what we can see is that the HD 3870 X2 still comes out on top thanks to the ATI driver teams’ great dedication to the synthetic benchmark that is 3DMark06. We can see the GTX 280 AMP! from ZOTAC just trailing behind the older Dual GPU 9800 GX2.



With the settings cranked up on Crysis, we continue to see the GTX 280 and GX2 score very similarly to each other. While the GT200 based card does fix up the 2560 x 1600 performance issue in Crysis, even with a 600% increase in performance it’s still extremely far from playable.


Clips of the article !
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post #22 of 48
The Card

With the package out of the way, it’s time to check out the card. Having a look over it, there isn’t anything too out of the ordinary going on with the cooler design. The cooler takes up the whole card which is pretty common for higher end cards these days, and the design is very similar to the 9800 GTX with the main difference being a square design.
We also see a sticker on the cooler that lets us know the brand, model and the fact that the card is again an AMP! Edition

Checking out the back of the card, we see a similar design to the 9800 GX2 where the entire card was covered with a shroud. Along the back of the card we also have some vents where some of the hotter components have a bit of room to breathe.

Moving around the card, towards the back and across the top we have our power connectors which out of the box are covered with a warning sticker. Underneath the sticker we find two connectors, an 8-pin and a 6-pin. To the right of the connectors we also have the port for our loop back cable if you want to get sound through the HDMI convertor included in the package.

Continuing along the top of the card, we have two SLI connectors which out of the package have a cover over them. Two connectors’ means that we have support for up to three cards, meaning if you have a compatible motherboard, you could have Tri-SLI.


Specifications

Out of the box, a stock clocked GTX 280 is coming with a 600MHz core, 1300MHz shader clock and 2200MHz DDR memory clock on the 1GB of GDDR3. Compared to the 9800 GTX, this is 75MHz lower on the core and 388MHz lower on the shader clock. Both cards carry the same memory speed, though the 9800 GTX has only 512MB of GDDR3.

Compared to the dual GPU wielding 9800 GX2, we have the same core speed, a shader clock that is 200MHz higher and a memory clock that is 200MHz DDR lower. However, both the GTX 280 and GX2 sport 1GB of GDDR3.

While the GTX 280 might not sound that impressive when compared to the 9800 GTX, there are some big improvements in some of the more important areas. Instead of a 256-bit interface, we have a 512-bit one. Stream processors are also up from 128 to 240.

The new GTX 280 also includes PhysX and CUDA technology which is something we will go into more detail on when the drivers become available in the near future.

With all that said Zotac has upped the ante on their version of the card pushing the core to 700MHz the shader to 1400MHz and the memory clock to 2200MHz DDR.
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post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by voice View Post
I like how you left this bit out.



Not being an "Nvidia fanboy" (if you think i am go look up some of my posts in the ATi threads). I just don't want the GTX 280 to get the same treatment as the 3870X2 when that was first benched.
meh.. just quoted the first few paragraphs of the final thoughts.. kinda assumed people would read it themselves O_o
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post #24 of 48
So does this mean i should stick with my GX2's then?

I'll be honest though, i never expected the GTX 280 to be that much faster. It's all marketing, throw more memory and a wider bus in the situation and ppl will buy it on face value. I have been very suspicious about this card for sometime, it's been all too quiet so close to launch day.

What with it's manufacturing costs and low yields i don't think this card is going to get much support, Nvidia simply will start losing money hand over fist.

I think ATI have certainly got the chance now.
Edited by Mhill2029 - 6/16/08 at 4:29am
 
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post #25 of 48
I'll probably step up both GX2s. The price of the 3rd one will hurt.
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post #26 of 48
Aside from running benchmarks(Crysis Included) there is really little point in upgrading from previous gen cards -> Current gen. GTX280 might be interesting when it's 55nm and capable of higher clocks on air but until then I could care less. I feel the same way about the 4850, sure it's great for the money, but for those who already own a 3870 or G92(8800GT/S) I see little reason in "upgrading"... However this opinion is based solely on preliminary numbers, my 8800GTS OC'd scores better in synthetic tests and games... I still look forward to the 4870 1gb GDDR5 cards and even more so, await the 4870 X2(I pray it actually has no bridge chip and the rumor of shared memory is indeed true. IMHO that will go a long way in boosting performance).

All I'm getting at is if you can play every game(you enjoy) at your native rez with all the settings cranked up then there's absolutely no point in spending more money on extra frames that will go entirely unnoticed... Heck waiting for games(Crysis aside) to catch up might get you a better deal or a superior card when the upgrade is actually warranted.
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post #27 of 48
I have a serious problem distinguishing between NEED and WANT when it comes to computer hardware.
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post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlratt View Post
I have a serious problem distinguishing between NEED and WANT when it comes to computer hardware.
I won't be able to step up if i wanted to, i have 3 days left on my step up and no sign of GTX 280 yet on there.
 
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post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhill2029 View Post
I won't be able to step up if i wanted to, i have 3 days left on my step up and no sign of GTX 280 yet on there.
Expect an email within the next couple of days from EVGA.
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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlratt View Post
Expect an email within the next couple of days from EVGA.
Question is? Will it be a free step up? Don't care about shipping costs, but i have spent enough money on Nvidia crap to last me a lifetime.
 
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