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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Video Card E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 16 June 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Video Card
GT200 GPU: Why Now and What's New?
GeForce GTX 280 Specifications
GTX 280 Features
NVIDIA Hybrid Technology
GeForce GTX 280 Closer Look
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark06 Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Lightsmark Frame Rates
SupComm: Forged Alliance Results
World in Conflict Benchmarks
GTX 280 Temperatures
GTX 280 Power Consumption
GT200 GPU Final Thoughts
GeForce GTX 280 Conclusion

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280

I want to begin this article by expressing that like many of you reading this article, I spent money on 9800-series GeForce products thinking that my choice would be free of buyers remorse for at least a year. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that the GeForce 8800 series landed itself atop the competition and reigned supreme for well over a year. So it seemed logical that when NVIDIA launched their 9800 series, that things would somehow remain the same. So this is where I break some painful news to owners of premium top-end GeForce products: there's a new king named GTX 280 and he's not just a bigger, better, version of something we've already seen. The new GeForce GTX 280 presents a completely new core design, and introduces NVIDIA's 2nd-generation DirectX 10 architecture as opens up a new dimension of heterogeneous computing.

Hot on the heels of a rapid-succession GeForce 9800 GX2 and GeForce 9800 GTX launch only two short months ago, NVIDIA now officially unveils the GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 video cards. Using the fastest and most-powerful graphics processor NVIDIA has ever developed, both new GeForce products are constructed from a freshly-minted GT200 graphics processor (. Both the GTX 280 and GTX 260 products position themselves at the very highest segment of the GeForce product line. NVIDIA Estimates that the GeForce GTX 280 will be introduced at $649, while the similarly powerful GeForce GTX 260 will enter the $399 price point. If the competition ever had a very good reason to be concerned with their future, it would be right now.


Now would also be a good time to explain why the new GTX 280 and GTX 260 product launch had to occur just nine weeks after the last GeForce 9-series launch. We offer a full explaination in the following section, but the short explanation is that the GT200 GPU isn't just another GPU with a few extra cores and speed increases; this is a whole new creature that does more than just render graphics.

Sure, you can realistically expect phenomenal frame rate results out of this video card, but you can also expect that real-world applications such as Adobe's upcoming CS4 software suite can actually perform every manner of tasks faster with this new GPU than any multi-core CPU ever could (which I witnessed first-hand at the NVIDIA Editors Day 2008 event). Finally, graphical demands of every imaginable level are handled by a GPU that out-paces the ability of a CPU, making it a lot more than just another video card. It's going to be tough to contain my enthusiasm since I've been testing this card for almost two weeks now; but I assure you that while the performance is every bit as real as I say it is.

Currently Supported GeForce Products GeForce GT200 Family GeForce 9 Series Family GeForce 8 Series Family
  • GeForce GTX 280
  • GeForce GTX 260
  • GeForce 9800 GTX
  • GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB
  • GeForce 8800 GT
  • GeForce 9600 GT
  • GeForce 8600 GTS
  • GeForce 8600 GT
  • GeForce 8500 GT
  • GeForce 8400 GS
  • GeForce 7300 GS
  • GeForce GTX 280
  • GeForce GTX 260
  • GeForce 9800 GX2
  • GeForce 9800 GTX
  • GeForce 9600 GT
  • GeForce 9600 GSO
  • GeForce 9400 GT
  • GeForce 9300 GS
  • GeForce 9300 GE

  • GeForce 8800 Ultra
  • GeForce 8800 GTX
  • GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB, 512 MB and 320 MB)
  • GeForce 8800 GT
  • GeForce 8800 GT for Mac
  • GeForce 8800 GS
  • GeForce 8600 GTS
  • GeForce 8600 GT
  • GeForce 8500 GT
  • GeForce 8400 GS

As sure as our name is Benchmark Reviews, this article will be report every GTX 280 benchmark result we've collected; but please, for the sake of missing out on something very big, don't skip all of the information we offer here just to see video game performance charts and glimpse at our conclusion. This isn't just another article about the latest and greatest video card or how well it handles the latest game titles, this article is also meant to explain why the GTX 200 graphics processor is going to change the way we all use computer hardware now and into the future.

Even before the GeForce GT200 GPU, NVIDIA has been consistently overwhelming the graphics card industry. Anymore it seems like the only products that manage to outperform their video cards are other GeForce graphic cards. Industry competitors have been very unsuccessful at beating NVIDIA, and very recently their biggest rival waved a white flag in surrender and relegated themselves to feeding off a low-end market segment just to maintain an identity. Sometimes though, I think that you become so good at what you do that you begin to compete with yourself. Not surprisingly NVIDIA has already anticipated this problem and planned for a solution, which is why this article will introduce a lot more than just video game frame rates for the new compute-ready GT200 graphics processor.


In the next section, Benchmark Reviews takes the time to give a full explanation as to why the GTX 200 graphics processor arrived so quickly after the last product launch, and begin to point out why it deserves some special attention.

About the Company: NVIDIA Corporation

NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) is the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, a high-performance processor which generates breathtaking, interactive graphics on workstations, personal computers, game consoles, and mobile devices. NVIDIA serves the entertainment and consumer market with its GeForce products, the professional design and visualization market with its Quadro products, and the high-performance computing market with its Tesla products. These products are transforming visually-rich and computationally-intensive applications such as video games, film production, broadcasting, industrial design, financial modeling, space exploration, and medical imaging.

NVIDIA Product LinesNVIDIA_Black_Square_3D_Logo_250px.jpg

GeForce - GPUs dedicated to graphics and video.
Desktop and notebook PCs equipped with GeForce GPUs deliver unparalleled performance, crisp photos, high-definition video playback, and ultra-realistic games. GeForce notebook GPUs also include advanced power management technology to deliver high performance without sacrificing battery life.

Quadro - A complete range of professional solutions engineered to deliver breakthrough performance and quality.
Certified for all leading professional graphics applications. #1in professional graphics segment share. NVIDIA Quadro Plex is the industry's first dedicated visual computing system (VCS).

Tesla - A massively-parallel multi-threaded architecture for high-performance computing problems.
A dedicated, high-performance GPU computing solution that brings supercomputing power to any workstation or server and to standard, CPU-based server clusters. Tesla delivers a 128-processor computing core per GPU, C-language development environment for the GPU, and a suite of developer tools - allowing users to develop applications faster and to deploy them across multiple generations of processors. It also can be used in tandem with multi-core CPU systems to create a scalable computing solution that fits seamlessly into existing workstation or IT infrastructures.


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