The all conquering GTX280 has been around for quite some time now and has since been surpassed by the GTX285. Price however has always been the stumbling block for the GTX285 with many either opting to go the full hog and plump for an ATI4870x2 or drop down a notch to the GTX260. ATI exploited this gap in the market and filled it with the excellent HD4890 graphics card which for all intents and purposes performed extremely well and was very popular among enthusiasts but NVidia fans did not have this option until the GTX275 arrived on the scene.
The GTX275 is NVidia's answer to the ATI HD4890 plain and simple. It has been a rare occurance that both ATI and NVidia have openly squared up to one another, instead preffering to launch cards at strategic times striking blows from a distance. The mid range crown has been passed back and forth now for so long I am at a loss who now holds it, such has been to tug-o-war between the two manufacturers. Things changed however with the GTX275 and HD4890. Both cards were released within a month of each other and both cards were marketting themselves as the mid-high range card of choice. So which card should you choose and where should you hard earned cash go? We have already reviewed a number of HD4890 cards so instead I will be concentrating on todays review sample, the Asus ENGTX275. I will however be making strong comparisons to the cards biggest rival throughout the review.
The GTX275 nestles itself in between the GTX285 and GTX260 cards and for all intents and purposes have very similar processing units, all being based on the G200B core. The differences between the three are that the higher up the scale you go, the more stream processors, memory and rop counts you will get. All of which create an increase in the GPU's performance. Both the 285 and 275 GPU's have the benefit of a die shrunk core to 55nm, allowing higher clockspeeds but these speeds are still a far cry from the blistering speed of the ATI cards which are now hitting 1GHz as opposed to the AsusGTX275's core speed of 633MHz. Not only that but ATI are now using GDDR5 as standard but NVidia are sticking to the tried and tested GDDR3 for the time being. On the outset then, one could be forgiven for thinking the ATI 4890 is the much faster card. MHz and GHZ however are not the be all and end all of performance as we will find out...
The following specification was taken directly from the Asus product page:
Graphics Engine: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory: DDR3 896MB
Engine Clock: 633 MHz
Shader Clock: 1404 MHz
Memory Clock: 2.268 GHz ( 1.134 GHz DDR3 )
Memory Interface: 448-bit
CRT Max Resolution: 2048 x 1536
DVI Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600
VGA Output: Yes x 1 (via DVI to D-Sub adaptor x 1 )
DVI Output: Yes x 2 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output: Yes x 1 (via DVI to HDMI adaptor x 1 )
HDTV Output: Yes
HDCP Support: Yes
TV Output: Yes (YPbPr to S-Video and Composite)
Adaptor/Cable bundled: 1 x DVI to D-Sub adaptor,1 x DVI to HDMI adaptor, 1 x HDTV-out cable, 1 x Power cable, 1 x S/PDIF cable
Software Bundled ASUS Utilities & Driver
Dimensions: 4.376 inches x 10.5 inches
As you can see from the specification above, the Asus ENGTX275 is a reference, stock clocked GTX275.
Let's take a look at the package itself...