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Old September 5, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Default GTX 280 vs. GTX 260 vs. 8800 GTX review

Review


System Specs
QX6850 @ 3.6 GHz (9x400)
Asus P5Q Deluxe (Ket's mBIOS 1306)
8 GB Mushkin 996580 @ DDR2-960 5-5-15-15
Raptor 150 GB & Seagate 1 TB (games installed on those)
Corsair HX1000 1000w
Vista Ultimate x64 SP1

BFG 8800 GTX OC clocks: 600/900/1404
eVGA GTX 260 SC clocks: 621/1026/1296
BFG GTX 280 OC clocks: 615/1107/1350

Latest official drivers for all cards were used.
BFG 8800 GTX OC Forceware 175.19 configuration
eVGA GTX 260 SC Forceware 177.41 configuration
BFG GTX 280 OC Forceware 177.41 configuration
3D settings were left at defaults other than quality, which was set to "High Quality", & vsync, which was forced "Off", or when i needed to apply AA/AF to a game that didn't have in-game options for that.


For all benchs, i ran tests at least 3 times or more (excepting: CS:Source - twice; Plasma Pong - once).
Results posted are averaged from the multiple runs.



UT3 botmatch @ 2560x1600 DX10 maxed

Warfare: Floodgate
8800 GTX
min - 33 fps
ave - 42.02 fps
max - 53.33 fps
GTX 260
min - 41 fps
ave - 56.39 fps
max - 72.33 fps
GTX 280
min - 51.67 fps
ave - 66.04 fps
max - 88.67 fps

Deathmatch: Defiance
8800 GTX
min - 37.66 fps
ave - 50.49 fps
max - 68.67 fps
GTX 260
min - 49 fps
ave - 66.1 fps
max - 91 fps
GTX 280
min - 60.67 fps
ave - 82.72 fps
max - 124.67 fps


UT3 botmatch @ 2560x1600 DX10 maxed 4xMSAA 16xAF

Warfare: Floodgate
8800 GTX
min - 15.33 fps
ave - 21.07 fps
max - 27 fps
GTX 260
min - 20.33 fps
ave - 30.07 fps
max - 37.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 28.67 fps
ave - 36.85 fps
max - 44.33 fps

Deathmatch: Defiance
8800 GTX
min - 5.67 fps
ave - 23.72 fps
max - 36.33 fps
GTX 260
min - 26.33 fps
ave - 36.96 fps
max - 51 fps
GTX 280
min - 34 fps
ave - 42.96 fps
max - 56.67 fps


Bioshock Fraps run @ 2560x1600 DX10 maxed
8800 GTX
min - 34.67 fps
ave - 41.87 fps
max - 49 fps
GTX 260
min - 47.33 fps
ave - 56.13 fps
max - 67.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 56.33 fps
ave - 69.63 fps
max - 84 fps


Bioshock Fraps run @ 2560x1600 DX10 maxed 4xMSAA 16xAF
8800 GTX
min - 16.67 fps
ave - 20.66 fps
max - 27.33 fps
GTX 260
min - 23.33 fps
ave - 27.37 fps
max - 33.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 28 fps
ave - 34.42 fps
max - 43.33 fps


GRID Fraps run on Le Mans @ 2560x1600 maxed 4xMSAA
8800 GTX
min - 22.33 fps
ave - 29.16 fps
max - 34.67 fps
GTX 260
min - 30 fps
ave - 39.38 fps
max - 46.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 35.67 fps
ave - 46.49 fps
max - 56.33 fps


UT2004 botmatch @ 2560x1600 8xMSAA 16xAF
Onslaught: Ascendancy
8800 GTX
min - 49 fps
ave - 70.18 fps
max - 86.67 fps
GTX 260
min - 59 fps
ave - 79.33 fps
max - 101.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 63.33 fps
ave - 85.79 fps
max - 111.67 fps


Call of Duty 4 Fraps run @ 2560x1600 maxed 4xMSAA
8800 GTX
min - 19.33 fps
ave - 31.07 fps
max - 51.33 fps
GTX 260
min - 31.33 fps
ave - 46.07 fps
max - 76.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 32.67 fps
ave - 53.12 fps
max - 84.67 fps


HL2: Episode 2 Fraps run @ 2560x1600 maxed 8xMSAA 16xAF
8800 GTX
min - 15 fps
ave - 26.86 fps
max - 33.67 fps
GTX 260
min - 26.33 fps
ave - 51.18 fps
max - 67 fps
GTX 280
min - 27.67 fps
ave - 53.62 fps
max - 69.33 fps


Clive Barker's Jericho Fraps run @ 2560x1600 maxed 4x"Smoothing" (in-game AA)
8800 GTX
min - 12 fps
ave - 16.66 fps
max - 22 fps
GTX 260
min - 20.67 fps
ave - 26.47 fps
max - 33.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 24.33 fps
ave - 31.74 fps
max - 39.67 fps


Mass Effect Fraps run @ 2560x1600 maxed
8800 GTX
min - 23.67 fps
ave - 35.67 fps
max - 42.67 fps
GTX 260
min - 32.67 fps
ave - 46.42 fps
max - 55 fps
GTX 280
min - 39.33 fps
ave - 55.22 fps
max - 63.67 fps


Mass Effect Fraps run @ 2560x1600 maxed 4xMSAA
8800 GTX
min - 11 fps
ave - 15.83 fps
max - 19 fps
GTX 260
min - 17.33 fps
ave - 23.59 fps
max - 27.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 20.33 fps
ave - 28.13 fps
max - 33 fps


Devil May Cry 4 Performance Test @ 2560x1600 DX10 maxed 8xMSAA
8800 GTX
min - 20 fps
ave - 25.73 fps
max - 32 fps
GTX 260
min - 30.67 fps
ave - 37.96 fpsmax - 45.67 fps
GTX 280

min - 32 fps
ave - 43.78 fps
max - 53 fps
Note on the GTX 280: Saw weird big fps drops in some runs. I discarded those results, but wanted to mention the oddity.


F.E.A.R. benchmark @ 2560x1600 maxed 4xMSAA 16xAF
8800 GTX
min - 23.33 fps
ave - 42.67 fps
max - 96 fps
GTX 260
min - 34.67 fps
ave - 66 fps
max - 137.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 39.67 fps
ave - 76 fps
max - 165.67 fps


CS:Source Stresstest @ 2560x1600 maxed 8xMSAA 16xAF
8800 GTX
ave - 82.7 fps
GTX 260
ave - 158.28 fps
GTX 280
ave - 170.6 fps


Crysis Fraps run @ 1920x1200 all high 64-bit DX9
8800 GTX
min - 19.33 fps
ave - 24.51 fps
max - 28.67 fps
GTX 280
min - 34.67 fps
ave - 37.73 fps
max - 41.67 fps


Crysis Fraps run @ 1920x1200 all high 64-bit DX9 4xMSAA
8800 GTX
min - 15.67 fps
ave - 17.56 fps
max - 21 fps
GTX 280
min - 19 fps
ave - 21.84 fps
max - 29.67 fps


And most importantly...:D
Plasma Pong Fraps run @ 2560x1600 maxed 4xMSAA
8800 GTX
min - 60 fps
ave - 67.28 fps
max - 70 fps
GTX 280
min - 58 fps
ave - 64.88 fps
max - 68 fps



Impressions & Pics





I'd like to say i'm very happy with my new GTX 280, but that wouldn't really be the whole story.

My old 8800 GTX was a very good card, & held its own for a long time.
My new GTX 280 is certainly a pretty huge improvement, & the GTX 260's performance sits in between the two quite nicely.

This review was supposed to happen a long time ago, in July.

I ordered a BFG GTX 280 back on July 10th, nearly two months ago.
But it turned out to be one of the defective ones that overheat, so back to BFG it went.
They helpfully shipped me back an overheating defective replacement, so again, i had to fight with them.
Finally after what can really only be described as a horrible nightmare, i received what seems to be a functional third GTX 280.

I say seems, because i have zero faith in the quality control that nVidia & BFG are performing (or aren't) on these cards.
As far as i am concerned, only time will tell if this card is actually okay.

Thus far though, at least it doesn't overheat.

In the interim, i purchased an eVGA GTX 260 to play with, & it has done well for me.

Aside from the issues getting a good one, the GTX 280 performs well & scales consistantly, & provides a much-needed boost over my 8800 GTX for newer games @ my 2560x1600 resolution.
I will add more impression of actually playing games (other than for Fraps scores) if i get some time :p

Noise is not perceptible at idle, however, it does become quite loud at load, louder than the 8800 GTX.

It seems the cooling is certainly not overkill, as usually the fan hits 100% or very close to during games, which concerns me alot for future more intensive games that will no doubt run even hotter.
AMD's dual slot coolers are usually even louder at load, but at least there's always lots of headroom, as you never see 100% fan unless you manually set it there.

Thanx for reading. :)
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Last edited by -n7-; September 5, 2008 at 06:32 PM.
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Old September 5, 2008, 06:38 PM
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3.0 "I kill SR2's" Charlie
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Great job in testing all those games; I must say that you must have invested many hours into this.

For your information regarding the BFG GTX280, I have 2 of them folding 24/7 - both running non-stop for 2 weeks now. No sign of high temps, and other problems. I keep my fingers crossed.
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Old September 5, 2008, 07:45 PM
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Yes good review i hope Nvidia comes out with another Big flagship card as to me the GTX 280 needs a Sucessor as well as an X2 after the 9800 GX2
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Old September 5, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Thanks, really interesting
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Old September 6, 2008, 12:58 AM
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yeah thanks most sites dont seem to include the 8800gtx in comparisons with the newer cards, so as an owner of one, its nice to see what i can expect to get from an upgrade. mine is running a tiny bit faster than an ultra right now and i cant really see any reason to upgrade just yet (at 1920x1200). i figure when something blows the 280 away ill start getting more interested...
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Old September 6, 2008, 01:59 AM
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Great job on getting those #s for us!!!

Certainly shows the benefit(s) of moving up to the new tech across the board (especially when running high resolutions).

The mins are what impress me most. IMO, higher average FPS might be what folks are looking for, but min FPS is where a person will really notice the difference.
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Old September 6, 2008, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
The mins are what impress me most. IMO, higher average FPS might be what folks are looking for, but min FPS is where a person will really notice the difference.
I completely agree. Minimums will pretty much always be defining the game play when things get interesting.

Great job -n7-!
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Old September 7, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Yep good work !

That took a lot of time to do.well done.

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Old September 7, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
The mins are what impress me most. IMO, higher average FPS might be what folks are looking for, but min FPS is where a person will really notice the difference.
Indeed, minimum fps is what i look at most, especially for my resolution.

Thanx everyone for the kind words.

I've actually been gaming a bit this weekend haha...nice to be playing for fun rather than just to bench
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Old September 17, 2008, 03:22 AM
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Very informative post, very nice of you to take all that time to test each card for the community.
I'm going to be ordering a GTX 280 in a week or so and it's always good to see more testing.
Thanks.
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