NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 Unleashed

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Retail-Ready ASUS and EVGA GTXes

For the purpose of this review, we got our hands on a couple of retail-ready GeForce GTX 280 cards for testing. A third card we used for 3-way SLI was an engineering sample provided by NVIDIA, as was the GeForce GTX 260.

The two retail-ready cards came by way of EVGA and ASUS.  Below are EVGA's GeForce GTX 280 FTW Edition and ASUS' ENGTX280 TOP.




With the exception of the complex graphics affixed to the card's outer shell, EVGA's GeForce GTX 280 is physically identical to NVIDIA's reference design.  EVGA, however, chose to up the card's default GPU and memory clocks.  Whereas NVIDIA's reference design calls for a 602MHz GPU clock with 1.1GHz memory, EVGA has configured their FTW Edition card with a 670MHz GPU and 1.21GHz memory.  The frame buffer size is 1GB, and all outputs and connected are identical to the reference design.

When we cracked open the box, we found a typical assortment of accessories and software.  In the box, we found the obligatory driver CD, a user's guide, a dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCI Express power adapter, a dual-Molex to 6-pin PCI Express power adapter, dual DVI to VGA adapters, an HD component output dongle, and an EVGA case badge. We should also note, that the driver CD contained a copy of EVGA's "PRECISION" overclocking utility, and this card, like other EVGA cards, carries a lifetime warranty.




The Asus ENGTX280 TOP was also based on NVIDIA's reference design, and also had a 670MHz GPU clock with 1.21GHz memory.  The card is emblazoned with pink, purple, and brown camouflage, with a warrior chic smack dab in the center.  ASUS too bundles in the usual assortment of goodies with the ENGTX280 TOP, including driver and utility discs, a user's guide, a dual-Molex to 6-pin PCI Express power adapter, a DVI to VGA adapter, an HD component output dongle, and a "pleather" CD / DVD case, with matching mouse pad.

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