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Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 up to, and including,
|EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896-P3-1257-AR Video Card|
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 has also received an improvement to its power consumption levels. While it is still near the high end while in use, its idle consumption is lower than any of the other high end cards that Nvidia produces. This is thanks in a large part to the Nvidia driver updates. The drivers are able to monitor the cards usage and adjust frequencies and voltage as needed.
What doesn't make sense however is the noise levels of the card. Once it kicks into high gear during a gaming session, it jumps to around 65 dB, compared to around 56 for the 8800 GTX.
In comparison testing, the card does not perform as well as it should. This is due in part to the newness of the drivers, and if past drivers are any indication, they will improve over time. When you throw in the noise level of the card, and the high end price, it makes it hard to recommend. However, the GTX 260 is another story. At a lower price, you will almost be able to run 2 of them in SLI for a little more than the price of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 280.
On the plus side, the Nvidia GeForce 280 GTX and 260 GTX have full support for PhysX which will allow games developers to more easily support it in upcoming games. For some in-depth comparison and benchmarking charts, and to find out more about Nvidia driver download, Nvidia control panel, Nvidia driver updates, and to find out what the current recommendations are for gaming, high performance, and even a dual monitor video card, check out Tom's Hardware.
Nvidia's GTX 295 has been released as a single PCB version graphics card with performance specifications identical to the dual PCB version. This has resulted in better power consumption, better thermal performance and better pricing (due to cheaper production costs). The card connects to both single and dual PCB GTX 295 versions and is Quad-SLI enabled.
Keep in mind that to connect this 'bad boy', you will need a 6 pin and an 8 pin power connector from your power supply. There are adapters for this, but you will need to ensure that your power supply can put out enough power to run this card.
- Improved GeForce 8 architecture
- Low idle power consumption
- GTX 260 price point is very nice
- Overall, performance is excellent, especially at high resolutions
- No support for Direct 3D 10.1
- Noise levels are way too high for the power consumption levels
- GTX 280 price is high; and the GTX 295 price is even higher
Overall, I would highly recommend the GTX 260, and if you are going for a high end system, get 2 of them and run SLI.
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