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Anadtech reviews GTX280/260

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June 16, 2008 1:31:13 PM

Get the review while its Hot !!!


http://www.anandtech.com/

PS: Ill jump to end and say a TLDR version, Bond saves the world and gets the girl. Now go reading !!!!

Edit: Seems THG did it aswell. They posted the article at the same bloody time. Oh well, ill check THG now.
June 16, 2008 1:49:47 PM

Once again more worthless hardware from Nvidia. Just get a 9800GTX or GX2 and call it a day.
June 16, 2008 2:08:26 PM

Man...that is disappointing *officially*...I am going to see what ATI is doing next week....if it can't even tie the GX2..well...I'll prob be on the ATI boat with the rest of you guys !

Now all we have to do is see their stuff.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 2:09:32 PM

Thanks for the links guys.

TBH I'm very disappointed with nVidia. It looks like the 9800GX2 delivers more power than a GTX 280 for $150 less. The only advantages the GTX 280 does have are low power consumption when idle and better behavior in SLI.
I want to apologize here to all the posters who asked for advice, if I told them to wait for the GTX 280 rather than buy a 9800GX2. Really stupid. :sweat: 

June 16, 2008 2:10:08 PM

Im still stuck between either a 4870 or crossfiring 4850's.
June 16, 2008 2:15:13 PM

aevm said:
Thanks for the links guys.

TBH I'm very disappointed with nVidia. It looks like the 9800GX2 delivers more power than a GTX 280 for $150 less. The only advantages the GTX 280 does have are low power consumption when idle and better behavior in SLI.
I want to apologize here to all the posters who asked for advice, if I told them to wait for the GTX 280 rather than buy a 9800GX2. Really stupid. :sweat: 


Well not everything scales with multiple chips, so it was very tough to see the 280 not beating the GX2, but I too am utterly bummed, and while I love my 8800, it looks like the next one will be ATI if it has the same performance and a good price.

At least we could take comfort in knowing AMD needs the money...lol

I really hope 280 sales are awful so that Nvidia gets the msg that producing another 5 series is a no no.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 2:19:05 PM

Yeah, let's hope AMD does better...

And what's up with the "GTX 260" name? The "GTX" used to help people recognize the top product. Now they're all GTX. I guess nVidia wants to sell bragging rights here, if not actual performance :) 

@spathotan
You'll need a new motherboard, I think, to Crossfire 4850s properly. Your current MB runs the second video card at only 4x, and I think that will hurt performance.
June 16, 2008 2:30:27 PM

granted that it might not be a lot faster than the gx2...but...

considering they had time to see how the g80 cores performed...and the fact that apps still do better on a single GPU because of overhead, this thing should have at least tied the gx2 in all cases at the worst in order to be "sellable"....man ;(
June 16, 2008 2:38:09 PM

Sorry, i am not impressed. I was really wanting to see something spectacular. Didnt happen.

Overpriced. Power hungry. 8800GT SLI beats them.

I think in todays world, Nvidia may be headed in the wrong direction.


June 16, 2008 2:38:38 PM

aevm said:


@spathotan
You'll need a new motherboard, I think, to Crossfire 4850s properly. Your current MB runs the second video card at only 4x, and I think that will hurt performance.

The P5Q has 1 16x and 1 4x slot but I believe with two video cards each runs at 8x and that is PCI-E 2.0 8x which is equivalent to PCI-E 1.1 16x although I could be mistaken.

The performance of the new cards is very disappointing but since I just bought a Rampage Formula and have been waiting for ATI's new cards to try out a crossfire setup I'm a little happy because I feel I made the right decision. Let's hope ATI can put out a great card with the 4*** series.
June 16, 2008 2:41:55 PM

Yes, Crossfire on the P45 board runs at 8x/8x which is good. However I edited my sig a few minutes ago, and when aevm posted I think he saw I still had my P35 in there :D 
June 16, 2008 2:44:05 PM

Well this is good news for ATI if their stuff is any good, they won't have to sell for kmart prices (low), bad for us !
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 2:57:03 PM

spathotan said:
Yes, Crossfire on the P45 board runs at 8x/8x which is good. However I edited my sig a few minutes ago, and when aevm posted I think he saw I still had my P35 in there :D 


Yup, I was talking about your old P35 Neo2-FR. That P5Q is nice :) 
June 16, 2008 3:06:16 PM

I think what we are seeing is that the future of performance will come from multithreading for both CPU and GPU. I think nVidia ( as would ATI) would love to come out with a 'super must have' card that blows everything previous to it away. GPU development has come up against its current technical limit or close to it and it is time to rethink how code will be handled and that will be multithreading.
June 16, 2008 3:07:14 PM

"Even looking to the comparison of four and two card SLI, the GTX 280 doesn't deliver $300 more in value today. NVIDIA's position is that in the future games will have higher compute and bandwidth requirements and that the GTX 280 will have more logevity. While that may or may not be true depending on what actually happens in the industry, we can't recommend something based on possible future performance. It just doesn't make sense to buy something today that won't give you better performance on the software that's currently available. Especially when it costs so much more than a faster solution." - Final words excerpt from Anand's review

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3334&p=19 GTX280 SLI vs Quad SLI

Looks like ATI and Nvidia will be competing on the mainstream - gtx260 for its price point is offering a much better gain over the previous generation single card solution than the gtx280 is over the previous high end solution

I was personally hoping for some BIG gains in SLI mode but it looks like that might be a flop for the gtx280 - the only thing is, Anandtech doesn't seem to have tested AA in the SLI test; whether that is an oversight or not i'm not really sure. While the gtx280 SLI scales better than the 9800 GX2 SLI - the 9800GX2 SLI is still nonetheless outperforming it.

Logically speaking though, from what the graphs indicate; the gtx280 tri SLI will beat out the 9800 GX2 by a fair margin, and the 8800 Ultra tri SLI will likely be well behind (although they didn't compare it) - but most people aren't going to spend 1950$ on graphics cards. While 1300$ might be somewhat feasible for a super high end graphics rig, I can't see many people investing in a gtx280 SLI at the moment given the performance it is offering

Will the future be better? I think so yes, I think the gtx280 will probably do well after a driver revision and in the next gen games, but until that point I don't think its got much to offer.
June 16, 2008 3:08:53 PM

Yep, NVIDIA has disappointed us yet again. First they disappointed us with the 9800 GTX, and now comes the 280 GTX which is quite rather disappointing, though 5x than the POS 9800 GTX. I rather just get a 9800 GX2 instead.

And I just got a 780i motherboard too, should have went for Crossfire instead. Lets see what ATI has to offer hmm.
June 16, 2008 3:12:29 PM

Craxbax said:
I think what we are seeing is that the future of performance will come from multithreading for both CPU and GPU. I think nVidia ( as would ATI) would love to come out with a 'super must have' card that blows everything previous to it away. GPU development has come up against its current technical limit or close to it and it is time to rethink how code will be handled and that will be multithreading.


rendering is already very parallel in nature.
June 16, 2008 3:15:47 PM

banking on some game in the future isn't the way to go unless nvidia and ATI are gonna stop releasing new cards ... likely by the time the 280 sees games worth it, new cards will be out, thus negating a lot of that argument.
June 16, 2008 3:20:02 PM

Far Cry 2 and Stalker: Clear Sky are out in the fall, I don't think Nvidia is releasing a new architecture by then

Those games will tell whether or not this card is blowing smoke :p  I don't think there is anything out right now other than Crysis that is challenging cards though
June 16, 2008 3:22:37 PM

I doubt NVIDIA is banking on future games with the GPU.
Most likely, that is the only way they can try and spin the lopsided top.

They have a GPU that is very expensive to make and does not perform all that well.

The most logical thing to do is to jack the price up super high and there will be some folks who buy it simply because it is expensive and therefore must be superior.

I think until NVIDIA is able to start making parts on a smaller process, they are in real trouble.

I think AMD/ATI are throwing a little party right about now.
June 16, 2008 3:25:45 PM

ovaltineplease said:
Far Cry 2 and Stalker: Clear Sky are out in the fall, I don't think Nvidia is releasing a new architecture by then

Those games will tell whether or not this card is blowing smoke :p  I don't think there is anything out right now other than Crysis that is challenging cards though


STALKER sucked..and I just played the farcry 2 demo..it's called "crysis" - aka as "farcry 1.5"....I hope fallout 3 rocks !

June 16, 2008 3:26:38 PM

zenmaster said:
I doubt NVIDIA is banking on future games with the GPU.
Most likely, that is the only way they can try and spin the lopsided top.

They have a GPU that is very expensive to make and does not perform all that well.

The most logical thing to do is to jack the price up super high and there will be some folks who buy it simply because it is expensive and therefore must be superior.

I think until NVIDIA is able to start making parts on a smaller process, they are in real trouble.

I think AMD/ATI are throwing a little party right about now.


...mmm free cake !

June 16, 2008 3:28:25 PM

royalcrown said:
Man...that is disappointing *officially*...I am going to see what ATI is doing next week....if it can't even tie the GX2..well...I'll prob be on the ATI boat with the rest of you guys !

Now all we have to do is see their stuff.


I don't think disappointing covers it. Disgusting, dismaying, disreputable, that starts to cover it, but still doesn't cover it completely. The arrogance of Nvidia to still refuse to include DX10.1. They've started a battle with Intel and now they're telling Microsoft that they don't need it. Oh yes, and TWIMTBP campaign looks for like The Way Its Not Meant To Be Played. Not better performance, not DX10.1, not competitively priced, not in my computer.

Oh yes, let ATI's 4870 come out and lets see how games should be played. At least, I hope that the 4870 provides a good advance over the 3870.
June 16, 2008 3:33:12 PM

So where does this leave us fellas with OC'ed dual 8800GTX's or Ultra's??? The new features are compelling but the overall price over what appears to be negligible performance increase is not so compelling? Had this thing been clearly 25% across the board better than anything out there, two in SLI would be a worthwile upgrade IMHO, just on that merit alone.

Furthermore, when Anandtech tried to run two in SLI they couldn't complete a benchmark with a 1000watt power supply. They needed more juice and thats just two in SLI????? Damm, thats way to much juice, for just two cards.
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 3:37:28 PM

When 2 8800GTs in SLI beat 1 GTX 280 and 260 then 2 8800GTX and ULTRA will do better.

I have a questions thogh, can both cards used in 3 way SLI mode? or only GTX 280 can ?
June 16, 2008 3:38:55 PM

royalcrown said:
STALKER sucked..and I just played the farcry 2 demo..it's called "crysis" - aka as "farcry 1.5"....I hope fallout 3 rocks !



Far Cry 2 and Crysis are being produced by 2 totally different companies on 2 totally different engines

Stalker: CS is going to be a great game, if you know anything about Stalker: SoC you know that THQ **** that game up by forcing it to market - GSC is making the game they meant to make in Stalker: CS, not the game that THQ told them to make

If you don't like games with an open world aspect thats cool, but many many people do - so if your only opinion is "dat sux" then I think i'll just ignore it ! :D 
June 16, 2008 3:39:23 PM

sailer said:
I don't think disappointing covers it. Disgusting, dismaying, disreputable, that starts to cover it, but still doesn't cover it completely. The arrogance of Nvidia to still refuse to include DX10.1. They've started a battle with Intel and now they're telling Microsoft that they don't need it. Oh yes, and TWIMTBP campaign looks for like The Way Its Not Meant To Be Played. Not better performance, not DX10.1, not competitively priced, not in my computer.

Oh yes, let ATI's 4870 come out and lets see how games should be played. At least, I hope that the 4870 provides a good advance over the 3870.


I'd almost have to go with Derek's thought on Anandtech that Nvidia did it just to screw with ATI and not microsoft...lol...even if not, it's not good for nvidia if games use 10.1 from what I understand, because of adaptive aa and basically "free" 4x msaa...
June 16, 2008 3:39:33 PM

sailer said:
I don't think disappointing covers it. Disgusting, dismaying, disreputable, that starts to cover it, but still doesn't cover it completely. The arrogance of Nvidia to still refuse to include DX10.1. They've started a battle with Intel and now they're telling Microsoft that they don't need it. Oh yes, and TWIMTBP campaign looks for like The Way Its Not Meant To Be Played. Not better performance, not DX10.1, not competitively priced, not in my computer.

Oh yes, let ATI's 4870 come out and lets see how games should be played. At least, I hope that the 4870 provides a good advance over the 3870.



If 4870 beats the gtx260 then it will be a resounding success for ATI

If it doesn't, well I feel bad for them.. :( 
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 3:40:36 PM

So no one answered ? :( 

can both cards used in 3 way SLI mode? or only GTX 280 can ?
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 3:41:45 PM

Nevermind i found the answer, both can do 3 way SLI :D 
June 16, 2008 3:43:29 PM

ovaltineplease said:
Far Cry 2 and Crysis are being produced by 2 totally different companies on 2 totally different engines

Stalker: CS is going to be a great game, if you know anything about Stalker: SoC you know that THQ **** that game up by forcing it to market - GSC is making the game they meant to make in Stalker: CS, not the game that THQ told them to make

If you don't like games with an open world aspect thats cool, but many many people do - so if your only opinion is "dat sux" then I think i'll just ignore it ! :D 


I can't say the next stalker is gonna suck obviously...just the original.

and playing the crysis demo felt just like playing farcry, , the game play and setting and overall feel was just too cloned...no matter what engine it uses..fyi...Farcry was also developed by Crytek..I have the game right here.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 3:49:36 PM

Maziar said:
When 2 8800GTs in SLI beat 1 GTX 280 and 260 then 2 8800GTX and ULTRA will do better.

I have a questions thogh, can both cards used in 3 way SLI mode? or only GTX 280 can ?


AFAIK, 8800GT and 8800GTS and 9800GX2 cannot be used in Triple SLI.
8800GTX, 8800Ultra, 9800GTX, and GTX 280 can.

June 16, 2008 3:49:37 PM

Considering Nvidia didn't raise it's texture units on GT200 compared G92 the performance isn't so great.

A 280GTX has 80 TMU and 260GTX has 64. A full G92 has 64 TMU as well.

We knew G92 was bottlenecked by bandwidth but GT200 has all the bandwidth it needs so it actually takes advantage of the fillrate it has. While ROP has gone up to 32, most games use multiple textures in a game to render shadows, water, etc... where texture fillrate is more important than SP, ROP, and bandwidth where Nvidia has focused on GT200.

Shader again is longevity but we weren't that shader bound to begin with on G92. The biggest gains would be shown with fillrate where GT200 has mixed results compared to GX2. GT200 is going to be good with AA but in raw performance I would give it to GX2 where it has more texture throughput and equal footing in Shader dept.

One thing 4870 and 4850 is that it will be more balanced than GT200 and isn't really starved for bandwidth while flexing it's shader muscles where it needs it the most.
June 16, 2008 3:51:06 PM

I read the review below at MaximumPC, not my favorite place but it was the first I saw. It strikes me as odd that there are such disparities between the tests. MaximumPC felt that the X280 bested the 9800 GTX, but they didnt test the GX2. That's a real bummer as I was hoping to have a good reason to refresh my rig this year. I guess I'll hang on to my 8800GTX unless ATI drops something nice later.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/unveiled_nvidias_next_...
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 3:54:13 PM

aevm said:
AFAIK, 8800GT and 8800GTS and 9800GX2 cannot be used in Triple SLI.
8800GTX, 8800Ultra, 9800GTX, and GTX 280 can.


+ GTX 260 can do 3-Way SLI too

also when i read the reviews of 3 8800GTX vs 2 9800GX2s and in most cases the 3 8800GTX won then i think 3 8800GTX can beat 3 GTX 280 because again according to reviews 2 9800GX2s (which lose to 3 8800GTXs in most cases) beat
3 GTX 280 in most games
June 16, 2008 3:54:51 PM

ovaltineplease said:
Far Cry 2 and Crysis are being produced by 2 totally different companies on 2 totally different engines

Stalker: CS is going to be a great game, if you know anything about Stalker: SoC you know that THQ **** that game up by forcing it to market - GSC is making the game they meant to make in Stalker: CS, not the game that THQ told them to make

If you don't like games with an open world aspect thats cool, but many many people do - so if your only opinion is "dat sux" then I think i'll just ignore it ! :D 


...sorry misread that as farcry and crysis not farcry 2...actually it looks like farcry 2 will have more in the "fun" dept vs crysis from the video previews :) 

a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 3:58:51 PM

aevm said:
I want to apologize here to all the posters who asked for advice, if I told them to wait for the GTX 280 rather than buy a 9800GX2. Really stupid. :sweat: 
Not at all. Maybe not in the actual advice as in the effect it will have - getting a 9800GX2 for about $125-150 in "extra savings" ATM.
It was good advice and they'll get a bigger bang for the buck video card after the fur stops flying in about another week.




June 16, 2008 4:13:10 PM

Will propbly see a price drop once ATI releases there cards...
June 16, 2008 4:36:14 PM

spathotan said:
Once again more worthless hardware from Nvidia. Just get a 9800GTX or GX2 and call it a day.


rather get a 2x8800GT/GTS in SLI and call it a day...
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 4:37:00 PM

What I find interesting is that catching up to ATI has cost nVidia dramatically. The compute power increase in the 2xx series is favorably increased, but is not seen in game play, whereas the ATI counterparts have had this ability all along. Now, actually, nVidia is more LIKE ATI than ever before, and trying to implement this is costly. Heres something everyone should keep in mind when buying/using one of these cards "One disturbing trait that we did notice though is heat. These GPUs appear to be quite sensitive to it. If you don’t keep the system adequately cooled and the card begins to heat up, performance suffers dramatically. And we’re not talking excessively high temps either. The GPU will begin to throttle itself if it hits 105 degrees; we never saw temps anywhere near this during our testing, even when running 3 GTX 280 cards in 3-Way SLI, but we noticed frame rates suffered dramatically at times anyway if we didn’t keep system temps down to an absolute minimum. We run all of our testbeds in an open air environment, so we added a floor-standing fan to help keep the cards cool. When running 3-Way SLI, we also manually cranked up the fan speeds to 100% for added measure.

Once we instituted these changes, the slowdowns largely went away. The bottom line: if you plan on running the GeForce GTX 280 or 260 inside a case, we definitely recommend that your chassis has a fan on or near the GPU." So this may explain a few problems that some of these reviewers have run into, and havnt yet figured out. Now if nVidia could complete catching up by implementing DX10.1 .....
June 16, 2008 4:59:48 PM

Definitely I think Nvidia was trying to catch up to ATI shader than anything else with GT200 while using the G80 style with rop and texture counts.

They probably figured 8800 Ultra is king and tried to build up on that. But they mismanaged to raise the TMU count and have lot of bandwidth like ATI did in the past.
June 16, 2008 5:04:35 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
What I find interesting is that catching up to ATI has cost nVidia dramatically. .


catch up with ATI?????, since when where they behind? After all its a game card, just like all ATI cards. Computer power is a side effect and generally not comparable in the world of gaming, which is what they are meant for. If they are behind its in their own products which is lamentable, or perhaps behind is to harsh as in just not far enough ahead. You have to consider this is a single GPU card. Most folks that get one of these will either SLI or Tril SLI.
June 16, 2008 5:20:09 PM

I don't see a lot of ppl SLI'ing these, not to mention they just posted that SLIing them did not help as much as they hoped.
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2008 5:41:27 PM

warezme said:
catch up with ATI?????, since when where they behind? After all its a game card, just like all ATI cards. Computer power is a side effect and generally not comparable in the world of gaming, which is what they are meant for. If they are behind its in their own products which is lamentable, or perhaps behind is to harsh as in just not far enough ahead. You have to consider this is a single GPU card. Most folks that get one of these will either SLI or Tril SLI.

First of all, F@H is an admirable thing to do, and its about time nVidia did this. Secindly, havent you been following the CUDA movement? Rendering video is an important thing to do, as well as audio. And they still havnt implemented DX10.1, which WOULD be the single best improvement games wise, for the gamer
June 16, 2008 9:17:30 PM

ovaltineplease said:
If 4870 beats the gtx260 then it will be a resounding success for ATI

If it doesn't, well I feel bad for them.. :( 


No it does not beat. The 4870 should be a little bit faster than 9800, so it's slower than 260.

!