The Bottom Line
Here is what it boils down to. The GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 280 offer a sizable gameplay experience improvement over previous generation GPUs. Where the waters get murky is in comparing gameplay performance to dual-GPU configurations like SLI. For the most part GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 280 will give you a better experience, especially at high resolutions with AA, but, if you already have an SLI configuration that gives you the performance and image quality you desire, then there is no point to upgrade right now.
For those who were holding out until the next gen arrived, well, it is here, and it is good if you are ready to upgrade. For example if you are using a GeForce 6 or 7 series GPU maybe you would want to upgrade now. Now would be a good time; you will see a very large performance increase. Of course, I fully understand if you want to wait to see what AMD has in store as well, from a gamersâ€™ perspective I have to say it is what I would do personally.
The BFGTech GeForce GTX 280 OC offered us solid gameplay performance, allowing very high playable settings in our games. It is the fastest single-GPU video card on the planet right now, period. Its price is high, at $659.99, but it will definitely deliver the goods, especially at 2560x1600. That extra $10 over MSRP also buys you an HDMI cable in case you need one.
Our only disappointment is the very tiny overclock of the core and stream processors which equate to absolutely no real-world gameplay performance improvements. Thankfully BFGTech will be offering future OC2, OCX and water cooled models with higher clock speeds. Other than that, you can of course be left to your own devices and overclock manually.
One thing we can say about both the BFGTech GeForce GTX 280 OC and GeForce GTX 260 is that both were very stable in our testing. We had no major game problems at all, all of our games were rendered properly and we had no driver control panel problems. The video cards were very stable in both stock frequency and overclocking frequencies, no lock ups, nothing out of the ordinary at all. We were pleased to be able to just plug them in, load driver and start gaming! This NVIDIA GeForce 200 series definitely has a mature feeling about it comes to stability and ease of use.