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ZOTAC GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Edition Video Card E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 01 July 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Edition Video Card
GT200 GPU: Why Now and What's New?
GT200 GPU: Bigger, Better, Faster
GTX 280 AMP! Specifications
GeForce GTX 280 Features
NVIDIA HybridPower Technology
ZOTAC GTX 280 Closer Look
GTX 280 AMP! Detailed Look
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark06 Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Lightsmark Frame Rates
Unreal Tournament 3
World in Conflict Benchmarks
ZOTAC GTX 280 AMP! Temperatures
GTX 280 Power Consumption
GT200 GPU Final Thoughts
ZOTAC GTX 280 Conclusion

GT200 GPU: Bigger and Better

NVIDIA engineers specified the following design goals for the GeForce GT200 GPUs:

  • Design a processor with up to twice the performance of GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Rebalance the architecture for future games that use more complex shaders and more memory
  • Improve architectural efficiency per watt and per square millimeter
  • Improve performance for DirectX 10 features such as geometry shading and stream out
  • Provide significantly enhanced computation ability for high-performance CUDA applications and GPU physics
  • Deliver improved power management capability, including a substantial reduction in idle power.


8800 GTX

GTX 280

% Increase




87.5 %




25 %

ROP Blend



167 %








80 %

FB Bandwidth

86 GB

142 GB

65 %

Texture Fill

37 GT/s

48 GT/s

29.7 %

ROP Blend

7 GBL/s

19 GBL/s

171 %

PCI Express

6.4 GB

12.8 GB

100 %





The new second-generation SPA architecture in the GeForce GTX 280 improves performance compared to the prior generation G80 and G92 designs on two levels. First, it increases the number of SMs per TPC from two to three. Second, it increases the maximum number of TPCs per chip from 8 to 10. The effect is multiplicative, resulting in 240 processor cores.

Compared to earlier GPUs such as GeForce 8800 GTX, the GeForce GTX 280 provides:

  • 1.88× more processing cores
  • 2.5× more threads per chip
  • Doubled register file size
  • Double-precision floating-point support
  • Much faster geometry shading
  • 1 GB frame buffer with 512-bit memory interface
  • More efficient instruction scheduling and instruction issue
  • Higher clocked and more efficient frame buffer memory access
  • Improvements in on-chip communications between various units
  • Improved Z-cull and compression supporting higher performance at high resolutions
  • 10-bit color support

What makes the GeForce GT200 a great parallel processor?


There are three key ingredients:

  • CUDA: The greatest obstacle to parallel computing has always been the software. The GeForce GTX 280 supports CUDA, the industry's first parallel computing language to have deep penetrating (70 million user base) on the PC. CUDA is simple, powerful and offers exceptional scaling on visual computing applications.
  • GPU Computing Architecture: The GeForce GTX 280 is designed specifically for parallel computing, incorporating unique features like shared memory, atomic operations and double precision support.
  • Many-core architecture: With 240 cores running at 1.3GHz, the GeForce GTX 280 is the most powerful floating point processor ever created for the PC.
  • Torrential bandwidth: Due to their high data content, visual computing applications become bandwidth starved on the CPU. With eight on-die memory controllers, the GeForce 280 GTX can access 141GB of data per second, greatly accelerating HD video transcoding, physics and image processing applications.

Please see our NVIDIA GPU Computing FAQ for additional information on this topic, including the GPU [email protected] client, and BadaBoom transcoding software.


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