NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 Unleashed

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Summarizing the performance of NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 cards is quite easy.  The GeForce GTX 260's overall performance falls somewhere in between the single-GPU based GeForce 9800 GTX and dual-GPU powered GeForce 9800 GX2, and it is usually faster than the dual-GPU powered Radeon HD 3870 X2 as well.  The flagship GeForce GTX 280, however, was overall  the fastest single graphics card we have ever tested.  There were a couple of instances when the GeForce 9800 GX2 pulled ahead of the GTX 280, but in the vast majority of our testing, no other single graphics card could match the performance of the GeForce GTX 280.


NVIDIA has done it again and raised the bar for that can be considered an ultra high-end GPU.  The GT200 series GPU at the heart of the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 offers more brute force performance than anything else to come before it.  Though producing such a massive GPU, does have its drawbacks, which are evident when you consider its die size and when looking at power consumption characteristics, the fact remains NVIDIA has produced the most powerful and fastest graphics card we have ever tested - yet again.

Suggested retail pricing for the GeForce GTX 280 is set at $649 and the GeForce GTX 260 checks in at a more palatable $399.  NVIDIA has informed is that the GeForce GTX 280 will be available in quantity tomorrow ( June 17th) and the GeForce GTX 260 is slated to arrive Thursday of next week, on June 26.  At those prices, the GeForce GTX series does not come cheap.  But enthusiasts have always had to "pay to play" so to speak.  We suspect there may be some wiggle room in these prices, however, as partners push clock speeds higher than NVIDIA's reference specifications and as ATI pushes out their next-gen GPU architecture, which is rumored to offer strong performance and a relatively low price point.  As usual, we'll know more in the coming weeks.

For now though, NVIDIA has further cemented their position atop the 3D graphics food chain.   They have executed once again with a new line of graphics cards that not only offer significantly higher frame rates, but large performance gains for gamers, game developers and researchers looking to exploit both GPU and GPGPU capabilities of NVIDIA's massive new multi-purpose graphics and compute engine.

  • Extreme Performance
  • PhysX Support Coming
  • Large Frame Buffers
  • Low Idle Power Consumption
  • High Peak Power Consumption
  • Expensive
  • Can Be Somewhat Loud

Related content