MSI N280GTX-T2D1GOC, GeForce GTX 280 Redux

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A Closer Look

To look closely at the MSI N280GTX is to look at any standard NVIDIA reference design layout of the GeForce GTX 280.  There are no other distinguishing features of this card versus other off-the-shelf designs, save for its custom MSI decal with what appears to be a rather angry cyber-Ogre of some sort emblazoned on it. 



Again, like all stock GeForce GTX 280 cards (and we've yet to see any non-standard cards), the N280GTX from MSI is 10.5 inches long, which means it will extend about an inch over the width of an average full-sized ATX motherboard.  It also employs a two slot cooler design but will plug into any standard PCI Express X16 slot, preferably one that is PCIe 2.0 enabled.  This is not a hard requirement, however, since these cards are PCI Express gen 1 backwards compatible as well.  In terms of the GPU cooler itself, NVIDIA's reference design squirrel-cage fansink assembly does a nice job of managing heat while not proving offensive to the ear, even under heavy loads.

In terms of power requirements, as with all GTX 280 cards, you'll need both 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power cables to run this card, in addition to a robust power supply capable of pushing at least 235 watts accross its 12V rail(s) for graphics alone.  Finally, the MSI N280GTX-T2D-1GOC is also overclocked to a 650MHz core clock, as shipped from the factory, which is about 48MHz over NVIDIA's reference design spec of 602MHz.  This should offer a bit more performance in GPU-intensive situations but will also increase power consumption just a hair as well.  The card's 1GB of frame buffer memory, however, is clocked at 1150MHz (2300MHz effective), just like NVIDIA's reference design.

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