Features & Specifications
The NVIDIA GTX 280 uses NVIDIA’s second generation unified visual computing architecture. The stock clocked GTX 280 video card has 240 processing cores and 1GB or GDDR3 memory. The cards based on stock clock speeds like the XFX GTX 280 will retail for around $649. NVIDIA promises that the XFX GTX 280 will deliver about 1.5 x the performance of its previous GeForce 8 and 9 series cards.
Key architectural changes to the XFX GTX 280 include support for three times the number of threads in a flight at any given time, a new scheduler offering a 20% improvement in texturing efficiency, 512-bit memory interface, improved z-cull and compression technology for high resolution performance, architectural enhancements for geometry shading and stream out performance, faster full-speed ROP buffer blending (the 8800 series only had half speed), twice as many registers for longer and more complex shaders, IEEE 754R double precision floating-point, and hardware support for 10-bit color scan out via DisplayPort.
The new card supports Hybrid power as well. Power usage at idle/2D mode is around 25W, with Blu-ray playback power consumption is about 35W, full 3D performance mode varies but maximum TDP is 236W and in hybrid power mode the power consumption is effectively 0W. The XFX GTX 280 has a whopping 1.4 billion transistors and is built on a 65nm process. The graphics clock is 602 MHz, the processor clock is 1296 MHz, and the memory clock is 2214 MHz.
The test machine I am using has the following specs:
The first test up for the XFX GTX 280 is 3DMark06. I ran 3DMark at default settings in the NVIDIA control panel and in the 3DMark application. The XFX GTX 280 scored as follows:
To compare these numbers a bit, the ASUS EN9800GX2 Top overclocked 9800 GX2 scored 16936 3DMarks, the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition scored 16642 3Dmarks, and the stock clocked XFX 9800 GX2 scored 16227 on a machine with a different processor.
The first gaming test up was Crysis, which I ran at 1920 x 1200 with 2X AA, all settings on high for advanced video options. Fraps recorded frame rate data from the initial beach insertion until the battle with the first enemies. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:
Changing the advanced video options to medium resulted in the following frame rates:
To compare the average frame rate for the stock clocked 9800 GX2 at the same settings was slightly more than 34 fps.
The next game test was Quake Wars, which was ran at a resolution of 2560 x 1600 with all visual quality settings on high, 2x AA, ultra shaders and shadows, soft particles, and smooth foliage on. Fraps recorded frame rate data on a single player Africa Refinery map. Frame rates were as follows:
Call of Duty 4
The final game test up was Call of Duty 4, which I ran at a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 with 4x AA, shadows, specular maps, depth of field, glow, soft smoke, rag doll, and bullet impacts on. Dynamic lights were set to normal along with model and water detail. The number of corpses was large. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:
The XFX GTX 280 is a high performance video card by anyone’s standards. It is bested slightly in 3DMark 06 and some gaming tests by the highly overclocked 9800 GX2 video cards like the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition and ASUS EN9800GX2 Top. I can’t wait to see what the XFX GTX 280 can do in SLI and 3-way SLI, the latter is something the 9800 GX2 couldn’t do.
The new XFX GTX 280 is a fantastic performer and bests all but a few of the highest overclocked 9800 GX2 cards at stock GTX 280 clock speeds. XFX also bundles the card with the game Assassin’s Creed for some gaming action right out of the box. Overclocked versions of the XFX GTX 280 are coming soon and will bring even more performance. The XFX GTX 280 is an awesome high-end video card for those with the budget.
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Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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