Feeds
70%

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280

Over-priced, over-specced and over here

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The GTX 280 AMP! Edition is a factory-overclocked card with the core speed raised to a nice round 700MHz, the Shaders to 1400MHz and the memory to 2300MHz. By contrast, the junior GTX 260 has eight clusters of shaders, seven ROP clusters, and has all the clock speeds reduced slightly. As if that wasn’t enough the 512-bit memory controller in the GTX 280 has been reduced to 448 bits for the GTX 260.

GT200 design

Nvidia's GT200 design

The power requirement of the GTX 260 is quite steep, however, rising to 236W. It can get away with a single six-pin PCI Express power connector. The GTX 280 is in a different league, and sports both a six-pin connector and also an eight-pin one, just like the GeForce 9800 GX2.

AMD went down a similar route with the Radeon HD 2900 XT, but you could choose to plug in two six-pin connectors from your power supply if you didn’t want to overclock. With the big GeForce models you have to connect an eight-pin block or the system won’t start.

Zotac and the other Nvidia partners supply an adaptor in the package that connects to two six-pin plugs to give you the necessary eight pins, so that’s a total of three six-pin connectors you require to get this graphics card running. In all probability, you’ll be looking at a significant outlay for a new power supply on top of the startling amount of money most vendors want for the graphics card. Zotac is a new and relatively obscure brand in the UK, and pricing for the GTX 280 AMP!, regular GTX 280, GTX 260 AMP! and regular GTX 260 seems a touch steep.

The Zotac cards are straightforward reference designs so it makes sense to check out comparable models to get representative pricing, which starts at £215 for a GTX 260 and climbs to £320 for an overclocked GTX 260. The gap widens in GTX 280 land, where you can find, say, an Asus GTX 280 for around £330 and an overclocked version for £375. It’s absurd to call a £330 graphics card ‘cheap’ but it’s hard to see why you’d consider a GTX 260 when Asus charges just a £10 premium for the GTX 280.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?