GeForce GTX 275 and Radeon HD 4890 Round-Up
Gigabyte GV-N275UD-896H and MSI GTX 275 Twin Frozr OC
We wrap up our look at the contestants with two more GeForce GTX 275s - one each from Gigabyte and MSI.
Similar in many aspects to the ASUS ENGTX275, the Gigabyte GV-N275UD-896H looks plain-jane on the outside, but the components that go into the build are what Gigabyte calls their Ultra Durable VGA technology. Cleverly hidden in the robot image on the cover, Ultra Durable VGA consists of Gigabyte using 2oz. copper layers in their PCB, Japanese Solid capacitors, Lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, and Ferrite core chokes. Gigabyte, like ASUS, claims that these top tier components will allow their card to operate at 5-10% lower temperatures than the competition, reduce power loss by 10-30%, and have a 10-30% higher overclocking capability. We intend on checking into each one of these statements during our benchmarking routine.
The Ultra Durable Robot and Gigabyte logo are the only truly discernable marking on the card, and Gigabyte goes the extra step to cover the SLI bridge as well as cap off each of the ports on the bracket to prevent any incidental damage during shipping. Packaged in with the Gigabyte GV-N275UD-896H are two 6-pin to Molex converters, a DVI-I to VGA adapter, HDMI Cable, User Manual, and a CD-ROM that contains device drivers as well as the very handy application named GamerHUD, which we have used in the past for overclocking and monitoring their video cards.
MSI's Twin Frozr GTX 275 is a breath of fresh air, if you will, as it is the sole card in our round-up to break from the norm. The NGTX275 is equipped with an intelligent PWM dual-fan design where the fan speeds automatically adjust according to the core temperature of the GPU. MSI also bills the Twin Frozr as an industry first for graphics cards: using not two or four, but five heatpipes to improve heat dissipation efficiency. Heat is drawn away from the GPU immediately by the heatpipes, transferred back to the fins which are then cooled by the dual fan setup. Having two fans not only helps improve cooling efficiency, but also serves as a failsafe, since it is unlikely that both fans would fail at the same time.
The only detraction that we can make about MSI's Twin Frozr is that the fans release the heat directly back into the chassis instead of finding a way to exhaust out the rear. And the rear of the NGTX275 is actually something to take a quick look at if you're at all into the little things, as MSI has done a little custom work etching the company name into the grill. Finally getting to end of our summary, we noted that every company seems to have an idea about what a successful bundle consists of. For MSI, two Quick User's Guides, a drivers CD, DVI and HDMI adapters, and a S/PDIF audio cable mirror what we've seen with the others, and MSI also throws in standard S-Video and Component video cables which just about covers all of the possible output options available nowadays.