EVGA GeForce GTX 280 1GB Superclocked Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     June 16, 2008

The New Nvidia Lineup

Here it is; the new Nvidia lineup in all its glory and there are some pretty significant changes that we can see right off the bat. The most notable of these changes is the discontinuation of the short-lived 9800 GX2 as Nvidia’s flagship product which is now replaced by the GeForce GTX 280 and to a lesser extent the GTX 260 as well. The rest of the Nvidia high to mid-range lineup stays pretty much the same with cards like the 8800GT and 9600GT receiving further price cuts over the last few weeks.

Sitting at the top of this new lineup is the GTX 280 which is equipped with 1GB of GDDR3 memory working at 2214Mhz (DDR) and is basically on-par with what we saw with the GX2. Also gone are the days were we see a 256-bit memory interface on something that is deemed a “high-end” product since the GTX 280 now uses a 512-bit interface. This should eliminate many of the claimed bottlenecks of the narrower interface used on cards like the 9800 GTX. The core speed (which includes the ROPs and TMUs) operates at a somewhat mundane 602Mhz which is quite interesting since many pundits claimed that with the switch to a 65nm manufacturing process we would see a rapid incline in clock speeds. This has not happened with the core of the G200 series it seems.

To keep with their new parallel processing mentality, Nvidia has changed the name of their Stream Processors (or shader processors depending on your mood) to “processor cores”. There are 240 of these so-called processor cores in the GTX 280’s G200 core which operate at 1296Mhz. This speed is once again quite a bit less than what we are used to seeing with past Nvidia products but considering the number of processors, we can consider this a brute force approach rather than the finesse which comes with faster speeds.

Even though this review isn’t focusing on it, the GTX 260 also sees the light of day albeit via a paper launch. This card is basically a stripped-down version of the 280 at a much, much lower price. If upon its release the 260 can hit the $399 price point, it may end up appealing to a much broader range of customers who don’t need the power of the GTX 280 but want a head start with this new architecture. We will take a look at the GTX 260 in an upcoming review closer to its availability date.

EVGA GeForce 280 GTX Superclocked Specifications

The EVGA Superclocked edition comes with a very minor clock speed increase which may be considered nothing but window dressing by quite a few people. That being said, an increase of 19Mhz on the core and 54Mhz increases on the processor cores and memory isn’t anything to scoff at since this overclock is fully covered by the warranty.

In the past we have been used to EVGA using the Superclocked name to denote some of their higher-clocked cards but this is no longer the case. They have completely revamped their lineup to the point where their Superclocked version is now one slight step above the stock-clocked version and the SSC is now clocked a bit higher than the Superclocked version. Confused yet? Well, EVGA isn’t done yet since they are now releasing a FTW version which will carry with it the highest overclocks of their lineup in addition to a Hydro Copper 16 version which carries a pre-installed water block. The KO version hasn’t seen the light of day in the information we have but we wouldn’t be surprised if it makes a debut sometime down the road.

Here are the product numbers for each of EVGA’s products

Reference: 01G-P3-1280-AR
Superclocked: 01G-P3-1282-AR
SSC: 01G-P3-1284-AR
FTW: 01G-P3-1286-AR
Hydro Copper 16: 01G-P3-1289-AR

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