Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Nvidia GeForce GTX 275 Preview: A Well-Timed Retaliatory Strike?

Nvidia GeForce GTX 275 Preview: A Well-Timed Retaliatory Strike?
By

If you’re one of those sadists who love to see 31 flavors of graphics cards slicing the market into $10 increments, then today is your lucky day. Not only do you have ATI’s new Radeon HD 4890 1 GB sliding into the $249 price point, but Nvidia is also launching its GeForce GTX 275 at the same price, set in between the GTX 285 and GTX 260 Core 216—decidedly closer to the GTX 285, as we found in our testing.

We won’t pretend that the simultaneous timing of these two unveilings is in any way coincidental. It’s certainly easy to understand the two companies’ line of thinking here, though.

On one hand, you have ATI coming off successful launches of its Radeon HD 4850, 4870, and 4870 X2 cards. The red team is out to show everyone that it still has the moves, and that its re-timed RV790 architecture is worth as much now as RV770 was 10 months ago.

On the other hand, you have Nvidia, which took a beating early on in the ATI RV770 GPU's life cycle—until it lowered prices on its own boards to compete a little more evenly. We have to imagine the green team is out to show that it can do battle based on performance and an attractive price tag right out of the gate this time around.

Filling In The Gaps

Nvidia has already tried the “let’s disable one thread processing cluster” angle with its GT200 architecture—that resulted in the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216. The GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 is about on par with the Radeon HD 4870 1 GB already. So, Nvidia needed something newer, something faster.

The only thing short of a GeForce GTX 280, which is being phased out in favor of the GTX 285, is a GeForce GTX 280 with the GTX 260’s back-end—the 28 ROPs and 896 MB of GDDR3 on a 448-bit memory bus. Incidentally, that’s the same GPU doubled up and slapped on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295. Now there’s a concept that works.

Nvidia is playing its price card very close to its proverbial chest. Set a target too early and ATI finds out, using price and performance data to re-orient the Radeon HD 4890. Loose lips sink ships and all of that. But by withholding the GeForce GTX 275’s price tag until the very last minute, comparing the card to its competition becomes a tricky matter.

With that said, early murmurs from Nvidia fall right around $249—right at ATI’s suggested retail price on the Radeon HD 4890 1 GB. Moreover, cards are expected to start trickling out shortly after launch in Europe and be widely available to the rest of the world by April 14th, so you very likely won’t be able to buy a card right away (in contrast, the Radeon HD 4890 should be available at launch). Finally, the drivers with which we’re testing are in beta, and will be posted to Nvidia’s download site as betas on April 2nd. Combine those three factors and we’re a little more comfortable calling this a preview. The hardware is final, but some of the other particulars could be subject to change between now and when the GTX 275 shows up for sale--especially once ATI and Nvidia find out what each other are charging and start jockeying for position.

Display 51 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 3 Hide
    privardo , April 2, 2009 4:59 AM
    This would be my good price, good performance and the right time upgrade from 8800 GTS 512mb. Thanks for this awesome review!
  • 3 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 2, 2009 5:06 AM
    i think putting the competitors next to eachother would have been easier on the eyes... putting 4870x2 gtx295 next to eachother, 4890 gtx275 next to eachother...you catch my drift
  • 2 Hide
    cangelini , April 2, 2009 5:09 AM
    Yeah, but with each resolution its own color, after looking at it both ways, it was easier to put each product family in descending order--hopefully it makes just as much sense that way!
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 2, 2009 5:10 AM
    srry for dp but[id edit if i cud]
    kudos to nvidia for stepping up their game in the last second that had nothing to do with renaming cards. an attractive card at an attractive price.

    it'd be smart for ati to not release the 4890x2. wouldn't make any sense, like my grammar skills. hopefully drivers can catch up and do some damage, id doubt they woudl do anything dramatic though.
  • 1 Hide
    megamanx00 , April 2, 2009 5:11 AM
    Too bad they didn't overclock the 4890 and the 275 for the review. I would have liked to have seen how the two cards compared overclocked. The heat and power dissipation on the 4890 would probably be a little scary though :D .
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , April 2, 2009 5:12 AM
    I think the big thing for nVidia now is, who's going to spend money on a 285 with the 275 so close?
  • 5 Hide
    cangelini , April 2, 2009 5:25 AM
    megamanx00Too bad they didn't overclock the 4890 and the 275 for the review. I would have liked to have seen how the two cards compared overclocked. The heat and power dissipation on the 4890 would probably be a little scary though .


    No need to fuel the tin-foil brigade elsewhere on the Web re: hand-picked cards. When we can get our hands on these boards for our System Builder Marathons, straight from e-tail, then we'll give you the goods on overclocking with the same boards available to everyone else!
  • 0 Hide
    privardo , April 2, 2009 5:52 AM
    Quote:
    Originally we said that the price would be $249 in the US, and €249 in Europe, however if the Euros-to-USD conversion is correct (1.00 Euro = 1.31 U.S. Dollars), the North American version should cost $327 instead.


    If the retail price for this card is turn to be over $300, they will never fool this monkey cause he will just get two HD 4770 and crossfire'd them, which surely beat a single 275
  • -4 Hide
    privardo , April 2, 2009 5:53 AM
    Quote:
    "Originally we said that the price would be $249 in the US, and €249 in Europe, however if the Euros-to-USD conversion is correct (1.00 Euro = 1.31 U.S. Dollars), the North American version should cost $327 instead."


    If the retail price for this card is turn to be over $300, they will never fool this monkey cause he will just get two HD 4770 and crossfire'd them, which surely beat a single 275
  • 0 Hide
    ifko_pifko , April 2, 2009 5:58 AM
    Well... summing all the framerates is just nonsense. ;-) The games with higher fps will weigh more than the others. (I know that in this test the variance in fps is not as wide as in tests with more games, but keep that in mind in the future please and learn the basics of statistics... )
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , April 2, 2009 6:20 AM
    ifko_pifkoWell... summing all the framerates is just nonsense. ;-) The games with higher fps will weigh more than the others. (I know that in this test the variance in fps is not as wide as in tests with more games, but keep that in mind in the future please and learn the basics of statistics... )


    Not sure if you got a chance to read that page or not, but it says:

    With the frame rates added together, we get a “big picture” number to compare the various cards, though a comparison like this one is going to shift its weight most heavily to high-frame rate games like Left 4 Dead and de-emphasize titles like Crysis.

    I agree that the usefulness of such a metric is limited, yet we've been asked for them, so they're provided =)
  • 0 Hide
    ifko_pifko , April 2, 2009 6:45 AM
    cangeliniNot sure if you got a chance to read that page or not, but...

    Sorry I didn't read it. :-p But that doesn't change the fact, that any conclusion driven from it is highly distorted...
    Who ever asked for this method of comparison probably didn't know what he wants. :-D
  • -2 Hide
    lucuis , April 2, 2009 7:13 AM
    cangeliniNot sure if you got a chance to read that page or not, but it says:With the frame rates added together, we get a “big picture” number to compare the various cards, though a comparison like this one is going to shift its weight most heavily to high-frame rate games like Left 4 Dead and de-emphasize titles like Crysis.I agree that the usefulness of such a metric is limited, yet we've been asked for them, so they're provided =)


    Would have been much more sound to take an average.
  • 3 Hide
    gkay09 , April 2, 2009 7:16 AM
    History repeats itself :p  ...
    8800GT performance similar to the 8800GTX's, for lesser price.
    GTX275 performance similar to the GTX285's, for lesser price.
  • 0 Hide
    privardo , April 2, 2009 7:36 AM
    I quote that from the Tom's news!! If Nvidia and its partners have learned their lesson from the hard-competition given by ATI, they will sell this card just about $50 more expensive or less than the double of ATI entry mid-level 40nm card's price. I'm willing to pay extra $50 to get less fps, less memory speed & capacity and less raw processing power (all compare to HD 4770 crossfire'd)in exchange for their PhysX and CUDA. But never if the price spanned to $100. Not simply for saving money, but for their competition too. Playing fans either to ATI or NVIDIA, and they will return to their loyal purchaser sky-high price after win the market.
    Less than two years ago 8800 Ultra was priced $800-$900, just to make this monkey wondered, do they use gold in producing that ultra chip?
  • 3 Hide
    IzzyCraft , April 2, 2009 7:50 AM
    gkay09History repeats itself ...8800GT performance similar to the 8800GTX's, for lesser price.GTX275 performance similar to the GTX285's, for lesser price.

    So then the GTX275 will be recycled 3 times because if it works just rename it!
    But seriously G92 8800GT great release from nvidia that blew away ati in the price for performance
  • 2 Hide
    RazberyBandit , April 2, 2009 9:20 AM
    I can't help but wonder how many companies will be selling off their now "discontinued" GTX 280 stock at equal or higher prices than the newer, better, GTX 275, as if it's still better than the 275 just because it's number is higher... nVIDIA is still playing a bit of the mis-named game. They should have named it the 280X, 280+, 280MkII, or something along those lines so as not to leave any chance of screwing over the misinformed and uninformed buyers out there.

    An example already exists:

    EVGA has their GTX 280 1024MB in their "B-Stock" store still selling for $269.99. That's $20 more than their pre-order price set for the GTX 275 896MB. You really think lower clock and memory speeds with an additional 128MB memory is worth the difference? Even when their "B-Stock" items come with ZERO accessories?

    Gimme a break nVIDIA. Your cards are solid, but it's about damn time you learned to name them properly.
  • 3 Hide
    joewho , April 2, 2009 12:47 PM
    I would have liked to see TEMP'S on both cards. I've had HD4850's and HD4870's and what I hate is the Temps.
  • 4 Hide
    Pei-chen , April 2, 2009 1:09 PM
    ATI and Nvidia should fix their prices and price their cards better; $50 increments from $50 to $600. I don’t like the idea a $300 card could beat the previous gen’s $500 card because of competition.

    Ford and GM for the win.
  • 4 Hide
    JPForums , April 2, 2009 1:25 PM
    Quote:
    Would have been much more sound to take an average.


    An average would still give more weight to the higher FPS games. The lower FPS games are more important as there is effectively no difference between 100FPS and 120FPS.

    If you want an overall figure, you need to first normalize each game's benchmark so that they weigh evenly. To get a normalized score, you'd divide a cards FPS by the FPS of the highest performing card in the group. Whether you normalize across resolutions, game settings, or just games is up to you as long as you specify. Using this method you will often see a larger spread for low FPS games (though they should be more important anyways). However, this represents the true difference between the card (percentage wise) and should not be mitigated.

    If you really wanted an overall apples to apples, you'd apply the above method, but only use settings for the games that each card being compared can play smoothly. It doesn't matter if you get 7FPS or 12FPS, you can't play it either way. You might want to divide the comparisons into classes (highend, mid-highend, etc) to get an effective overall comparison.
Display more comments