Skip to main content

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

Conclusion

Before the GeForce GTX 275 even arrived here at the lab, I was finishing up my first look at ATI’s Radeon HD 4890. My conclusion was that, while the re-timed RV790 core did in fact facilitate higher clock speeds and consequently more performance, the extra $70 to $80 dollars it’d cost to get 10% more performance simply was not worthwhile. Should the HD 4890’s price drop to $200 or so (which it very well might in light of this new competition--Update: In fact, it looks like ATI is aiming for $220 with mail-in-rebates, which gets us a little closer), we’d be much more likely to step up from the Radeon HD 4870 1 GB to a retail HD 4890 and try our hand overclocking the 4890 even farther.

In short, the $180-ish Radeon HD 4870 1 GB and GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 are priced too attractively to warrant such a high premium on a few extra frames.

And now we’re faced with the GeForce GTX 275—a card that Nvidia coyly suggests will cost $249 and will be widely available by April 14th. It’s tempting to apply the same logic here, since the GTX 275 represents an incremental performance increase versus the GTX 260 Core 216. But Nvidia’s lineup is a little different, requiring a fresh perspective.

Instead of bridging a gap between the $180 HD 4870 to $430 HD 4870 X2, like ATI’s $249 HD 4890 does, the GeForce family has a $340 GeForce GTX 285 wedged between its dual-GPU GTX 295 and this new GTX 275. That GeForce GTX 285 does open the door to a higher resolution or additional eye-candy feature beyond what you could enable with a GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 down at the $180 price point.  I know—that’s a mess of models and prices, but there’s sense to be made of it.

The GeForce GTX 275 sports the same core configuration as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 285. And while its memory sub-system is handicapped in comparison, your most playable frame rates are going to be 1680x1050 and 1920x1200—resolutions that aren’t as affected by memory as 2560x1600.

The bottom line is that, as our Sum charts indicate, the GeForce GTX 275 looks a lot like a GeForce GTX 285 at those two lower resolutions. The GTX 275 is generally a little faster than the Radeon HD 4890, too. And if Nvidia’s pricing projections turn out to be accurate, the GTX 275 will be priced similarly as well (at least right out of the gate, until The Market adjusts prices to correspond with relative performance).

With that said, the lower-cost GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 and Radeon HD 4870 1 GB are still mighty compelling for less than $200. If you were looking to step up to the GTX 275 from one of those boards, I’d hold off.

But if you were thinking about buying a GeForce GTX 285 at $340, the GeForce GTX 275 looks to be an impressive value, offering much of the same performance for $100 less.

  • privardo
    This would be my good price, good performance and the right time upgrade from 8800 GTS 512mb. Thanks for this awesome review!
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    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
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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!
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    srry for dp butkudos 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.
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    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.
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    I think the big thing for nVidia now is, who's going to spend money on a 285 with the 275 so close?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    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!
    Reply
  • privardo
    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
    Reply
  • privardo
    "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
    Reply
  • ifko_pifko
    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... )
    Reply