Nvidia GeForce GTX 260/280 Review

What about Direct3D 10.1?

After the campaign Nvidia has been carrying on for some time now about its uselessness, it’s not really a surprise to learn that the 200 GTX won’t support this version of the Microsoft API. This is no surprise, but still, it’s a disappointment. According to Nvidia, support for the API was considered initially, but the developers they queried said they felt it “wasn’t important.” It’s true that Direct3D 10.1 doesn’t add anything revolutionary – as we pointed out when the Radeon HD 38x0 came out, it’s mostly a matter of correcting gaps left in the Direct3D 10 specifications. Yet there are still some interesting new functions that could prove to be useful to the rendering engines, such as deferred shading – which is more and more popular – and algorithms for rendering transparent surfaces without sorting.

So yes, it might all seem a little superfluous at a time when Direct3D 10 still hasn’t shown clear superiority over version 9, but it still smells a little like an easy excuse on Nvidia’s part. Saying that Direct3D 10.1 is of no use at the present time is not totally false (though Assassin’s Creed proves the contrary), but it’s a kind of vicious cycle – without support from Nvidia, clearly the API can’t really be used seriously by developers. We’ve seen a situation of this type before, but it was the converse: When the NV40 came out, what developers were using Shader Model 3? Especially on the first GeForce 6s, where the main functions, like Vertex Texture Fetch and dynamic branching in the shaders weren’t up to par. Yet, at that time the company was claiming to be in the avant-garde of 3D APIs.

So, our opinion hasn’t changed since then. Even if it may not be useful immediately, we are favorable to the inclusion of the latest technologies in new 3D circuits, so that developers can familiarize themselves with them. We knocked ATI for it at the time, and this time we’re allowing ourselves a little rant against Nvidia.

  • BadMannerKorea
  • Lunarion
    what a POS, the 9800gx2 is $150+ cheaper and performs just about the same. Let's hope the new ATI cards coming actually make a difference
  • foxhound009
    woow,.... that's the new "high end" gpu????
    lolz.. 3870 x2 wil get cheaper... and nvidia gtx200 lies on the shelves providing space for dust........
    (I really expectede mmore from this one... :/ )
  • thatguy2001
    Pretty disappointing. And here I was thinking that the gtx 280 was supposed to put the 9800gx2 to shame. Not too good.
  • cappster
    Both cards are priced out of my price range. Mainstream decently priced cards sell better than the extreme high priced cards. I think Nvidia is going to lose this round of "next gen" cards and price to performance ratio to ATI. I am a fan of whichever company will provide a nice performing card at a decent price (sub 300 dollars).
  • njalterio
    Very disappointing, and I had to laugh when they compared the prices for the GTX 260 and the GTX 280, $450 and $600, calling the GTX 260 "nearly half the price" of the GTX 280. Way to fail at math. lol.
  • NarwhaleAu
    It is going to get owned by the 4870x2. In some cases the 3870x2 was quicker - not many, but we are talking 640 shaders total vs. 1600 total for the 4870x2.
  • MooseMuffin
    Loud, power hungry, expensive and not a huge performance improvement. Nice job nvidia.
  • compy386
    This should be great news for AMD. The 4870 is rumored to come in at 40% above the 9800GTX so that would put it at about the 260GTX range. At $300 it would be a much better value. Plus AMD was expecting to price it in the $200s so even if it hits low, AMD can lower the price and make some money.
  • vochtige
    i think i'll get a 8800ultra. i'll be safe for the next 5 generations of nvidia! try harder nv crew