Search This Site
Custom Search
Build Your Own Computer
What's New

Computer Help

Guides and more

Site Pages

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 up to, and including,
Nvidia GeForce GTX 295

The Importance of Nvidia Driver Updates

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 was released in 2008 as a high end card; the Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 is the newest video card release (in 2009) and increasing performance demands will result in continuing performance-related releases and improvements in 2010 and beyond. What are the most powerful cards for gaming and high performance needs? Understand more graphics and/or video card information; for example: Nvidia driver download, dual monitor video card, Nvidia control panel, Nvidia driver updates, and more. What do you need for your system?

The Nvidia 8800 GTX has been on top for a long time. Along comes the Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 in 2008, and in 2009 we have the Nvidiea GeForce GTX 295; we expect continued performance improvement and new releases in 2010.

The entry of the GTX 280 as Nvidia's high end card was reflected in the price; the GTX 295 is also NOT a cheap card but it is considered a performance card. The GTX 280 was the first major rework of the G8x architecture and Nvidia slightly changed their naming convention to GTX, hence the 200 GTX series.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280The 200 series is not a major leap forward in architecture, but rather a host of corrections and fixes to the 8000 series and, of course, a nice big bump in processing power.

In comparison to the 8800, GTX which has around 518 GFlops (Floating point Operations Per Second), the Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 comes in at around 930 GFlops. The GTX 295 comes in at around 1788 GFlops.

Then there is the increase in the number of processors onboard, from 16 up to 30. The GTX 280 also has 1.4 billion transistors onboard, compared to around 680 million on the 8800 GTX. And the GTX 295 has 2 x 1.4 billion transistors onboard. This all shapes up to provide an improvement in processing power.

As Nvidia usually does, they are making 2 cards available.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 is a higher end card, and the 'little brother' is the GTX 260. Nvidia is still using GDDR3 memory, but has dropped 1GB of it on the GTX 280, but it has also increased the memory bus to 512 bits, a 60% increase over the 8800 GTX, with the GTX 260 holding 896MB of GDDR3.

The GTX 295 is (at this time - March 2010) the highest end card,The GTX 295 memory bus is 2 x 448 bits, with GDDR3 memory. The GTX 295 is considered faster, cooler, more efficient (as all upgrades are expected to be improvements!). The Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 reviews certainly demonstrate that the 295 has been well-received.

EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896-P3-1257-AR Video Card 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.

Return to Graphics Cards from Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 Review

Visit Graphic Card Reviews

Visit Gaming Input Devices

Return to Build Your Own Computer Home Page

The Builders Corner will help to keep you informed of new computer technologies.


More Information

I will never ever give out your email address.



Copyright© 2008-2014. Voice Marketing Inc. All Rights Reserved. Read our Privacy Policy.