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NVIDIA GT200: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1GB Review

NVIDIA is the first of the two graphics titans to roll out their new generation of graphics adapters once again. The first of the series is usually the best of the lot, and it’s no exception this time. Introducing the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280, the first dual core GPU based on the GT200 architecture. Rumored to be a power guzzler and under-performing part, we put it to the test to find out if such claims are true.

When the NVIDIA G80 first arrived, it brought with it the joy of shader processing for consumer PC graphics. The NVIDIA G92 went on to move this performance to a more affordable level, apart from making NVIDIA ownership a less cranky experience. As with most technolgical product cycles, the trickle-down is followed by a roller coaster ride up the next performance level. What we have with us today is the NVIDIA GT 200 chipset manifesting itself in the form of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1GB, packing 240 Shader Processors into a 65nm BGA package.


The big deal, of course, lies in the raw increase of pixel-pushing power. Extra pixels to fill the HD display that you broke the piggy bank for. Video acceleration continues to be handled by NVIDIA’s VP2 Engine, so whatever benefits of PureVideo 2 will be retained in this new product range. Notably, the 240SP GeForce GTX 280 will take on NVIDIA’s previous flagship power-guzzler, the GeForce 9800 GX2, with the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 being the only commercial threat from the Red Camp. Till the RV770, maybe. With no major architectural changes, it only means that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 will not support Shader Model 4.1 and DirectX 10.1.



Before we move on, we have a table comparing the specifications of both the older GeForce 9800 GX2 and the just-released GeForce GTX 280.


  NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1GB
Manufacturing Process TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm
Core Clock 600MHz 602MHz
Stream Processors 256 (128 per core) 240
Shader Processor Clock 1500MHz 1296
Texture Units 128 (64 per core) 80
Raster Units 48 (24 per core) 32
Memory Bus 256-bit on individual core 512-bit
Memory Clock 2000MHz 2214MHz
Memory Capacity 1GB (512MB per core) 1GB
PCI-E Power Connectors 1 8-pin, 1 6-pin 1 8-pin, 1 6-pin


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