Asus ENGTX275 896MB PCIe Graphics Card

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance
The outer packaging will be familiar to anyone who has bought an Asus GPU recently in that it has the same black knight adorning the front of the box only this time with a green (Nvidia) instead of a red (ATI) background. Along with the knight and his steed are the Asus GTX275 features including Smart Doctor, 896MB of GDDR3, HDMI compatability and most interestingly, Ultimate Armaments (see below). Fliping the box over, the packaging affords the user further feature descriptions including GamerOSD and Video security, all neatly described in multiple languages.
box front box back
I have been impressed with Asus's improvements to packaging of late and the GTX275's is no different. Removing the outer sleeve reveals a very smart corrugated matt black cardboard box with gold Asus emblems. Flipping the lid on this box we find a further two packages with the main GPU found underneath. The accessories included with the GTX275 are pretty much complete in that there's a VGA driver disk, utilities disk, twin molex to single 6pin PCIe cable, VGA/DVI adaptor, HDMI adaptor and a TV out cable. Along with this list is the inclusion of a couple of manuals and a leaflet advertising Asus's own Xonar sound card.
box inner accessories
The card itself arrived packaged in an antistatic bag which was held in place by stiff foam packaging preventing the card from slipping around in the box. Removing this anti static bag we are greeted with a card that on the outset looks pretty much identical to both the GTX260, 280 and 285 GPU's and so it should as for all intents and purposes it's the same cooler and the same length as the GTX280/285. There are a few minor differences though, small vents along the side improve cooling and perhaps most significantly, there is no rear plate shielding the card.
card front card rear
Again, the front of the card is near identical to it's forbears with two gaping intakes for the fan which draws air in here then expells it out of the case via the vented backplate. Here is where we find two DVI ports which can be configured for VGA or HDMI connectivity using the provided adaptors. Along with the DVI ports is the TV out port allowing the card to be hooked up to a standard TV should you have the neccesary RGB ports.
card rear DVI
A nice little touch that adds to the protection of the card when not in use is the inclusion of small rubber shields which prevent antistatic shock to the card when handling. These are obviously removed come installation time but it's little touches like this that make the Asus card stand out from the crowd.
pcie sli
As with the GTX285, the 275 requires 2xPCIe 6 pin power ports. Should your PSU only have 1x PCIe 6 pin cable then Asus provide a Molex-PCIe power adaptor which, should your PSU have the required ampage of 40A on the 12v rail, will work fine. During testing the fan was just as quiet as other cards using the same cooler design. While I would like to see different coolers on NVidia cards the old adage is quite apt here in that shouldn't fix what isn't broken.
pcie fan
Throwing the card against a wall would reveal the innards that you can see below but if you are that curious then I recommend removing the screws on the rear of the card instead as there is much less chance of damaging the GPU. Both methods will however void the warranty on the card so I wouldn't do this unless you are feeling lucky.
The GPU was very well covered with the stock gunk most manufacturers seems to use these days. I must point out though that it was very dry, almost to the point of crumbling away from the IHS of the GTX275. The mount however was near perfect with an even coverage of the core. The remainder of the components to be cooler used thermal tape to transfer heat, including the Samsung HJ08 integrated memory chips.
cooler memory
The cooler is a mixture of a copper base plate, aluminium frame, copper heatpipes and aluminium fins. This mish-mash of cooling is all held together by a plastic frame which houses the single fan. Ugly it may well be but as our reviews have previously shown, the NVidia cooler is perhaps one of the most successfull coolers to be born out of OEM manufacturing for quite some time.
GPU baseplate
It's hard to describe anything new about a card that I feel have I have seen and handled so many times before. This is however the first time I have had the pleasure of holding a GTX275 but as it is almost identical to other cards in the NVidia range, very little can be added that hasn't already been said. I wonder if the results of our standard suite of OC3D benchmarks paint the same picture.
I think it's time we found out... 
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Most Recent Comments

15-07-2009, 15:10:12

Funny what was said about the temps, but that was the first thing I thought about when I saw the pic.

Good review Webbo Quote

15-07-2009, 16:08:27

I never understand why ATI cards have reasonably varied thermal solutions, but NVIDIA suppliers stick stubbornly to the rather average stock one.

I'd be very interested to know if the twin-fan Gainward provides more usable temperatures.

I'd also love to see a SLI 275 report. Rumour has it that a good clocked 275 can equal a 285, so 285 SLI performance for £300 would be exemplary.

Great review as always W3bbo.Quote

15-07-2009, 16:21:08

Ducky Spud
Bought one of these about a week and half ago now and Im impressed with its performance. Mine runs pretty hot too (around mid 80's) which is limiting my overclocking but reassured as my limit is similar to what webbo was stuck at with it stock (i start getting artifacts when my cores at 690Mhz). Will try sticking some new thermal paste on there... will eventually be watercooling it tho Quote

15-07-2009, 18:29:51

Surely it's a sign of the times, where the cards heat sink is possibly designed with half an eye on limiting the overclocking potential of the card, thus swaying users to spend that little extra on the next model up for guaranteed clock speeds.

Either that or it is some very lazy work from both ATI and Nvidia to stick with fairly rubbish/loud stock heat sinks and even lazier work from their partners not to design and fit something better.

Very good review, and to be fair to Asus it's at exactly the right price point, dodgy cooler or not.Quote

15-07-2009, 22:41:46

Great review, good card, bad cooler for even the timid enthusiast.

nVidia would be well charged to put a fair bit of rnd into a better cooling solution when they release GT300.

Even since the 8800GT, the cards have been decent enough in their various guises, but very let down imo by the performance of the coolers. (even tho I personally like the look of them as a full-on black shroud) - and the sound levels are horrendous.

Another great write-up w3bbo.

I prefer these cards as a supposed mid-range+ purchase for people, throw in PhysX and Cuda.

I wonder if it's worth doing quality comparisons for cards these days as opposed to fps. Something along the lines of setting an fps level - if the card passes it it's 'passes', then add to that how many quality processing levels u can goto whilst still staying over an fps level. e.g. if ur card does 100+ fps in COD4, another card doing 110+ fps doesn't mean anything, but being able to stay there with 16aa++ (or whatever).

Wonder if the days of fps are coming to an end, unless Dx11's coding brings it back into the picture.

Quality over performance differences u'll never notice ?Quote

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