In appearance, the GTX 260 and 280 are very similar, and are big double-slot cards out of the same mould as the 9800 GX2. There have been subtle changes to the construction to assist cooling and to reduce the transfer of heat from the graphics card to your motherboard and chipset but the family history of the GTX 280 is quite apparent.
It’s worth spelling out that the GT200 chip doesn't support DirectX 10.1 even though the differences between DX 10 and 10.1 are relatively minor. If you’re spending £400 on a graphics card you might be none too impressed by the idea of missing out on a gaming feature as you are unlikely to buy another graphics card in the near future.
When we tested the Zotac GTX 280 AMP!, we wanted to be sure the system didn’t restrict this beast of a graphics card so we used an Intel Skulltrail motherboard with dual quad-core processors overclocked to 4GHz. We also tested a selection of graphics cards working back through the GeForce 9000, 8000, 7000 and 6000 families to put things in perspective.
We used Nvidia's Forceware 177.35 drivers for the GTX 280 - more about the drivers later.
Crysis Test Results
Average frame rate
Longer bars are better
You’ll note that our games tests are rather brief and consist of two runs in Crysis at 1280 x 1024 with the quality settings set, respectively, on Medium and High. The run uses a saved game and is actually game play with a running gunfight as you make your way up a jungle path in bright sunlight. The average frame rate is taken with FRAPS.
PC Gaming has gone mad.
Recently I put together a nice powerful Quad Q9450 system and 4Gb RAM, plus a not too shabby 8800GTS, the newer type with 512Mb and other changes from the 320Mb models.
Now imagine my surprise when I put Crysis on it, foolishly thinking that I could put the settings on at least High (not highest), as I watched my system grind to a painful halt. You could measure the frames per second in minutes.
I haven't built a PC system in about four years before this one after realising that I got into that flow of buying the biggest fastest systems. I stopped when it went all sour when the games required MORE than what the latest gfx cards could process.
So it seems things carred on getting sourer and sourer to the state of utter madness.
And now it seems even this ridiculously expensive state of the art card STILL doesn't allow crysis to run at high settings at high resolutions. How old is Crysis now? I dread to think how badly it performed when it first came out.
I'm not a console gamer generally, but something led me down the path of getting an XBox 360, then a PS3. I still cringe at some of the arcadey shallow-arsed titles available, but the new GTA4 seemed to justify my decision.
...Not that Crysis is a cerebral piece of gameplay in itself!
There is a clear 1:1 relationship when designing games for consoles, 1xConsole performance = 1xGame performance. Easy to achieve seeing as all consoles are created equal.
PC gaming has just gone insane due to the inherent anti-equilibrium (cool new word combo!). I'm surprised the whole industry hasn't crashed and burned due to this hardware-Software divide.
And what is it with those graphs? the GX2 and 8800GT (in different tests) seem to come out better all round. I'm presuming this is because GX2 is two boards in one package, but still isn't it cheaper than the 280?
So why is the 280 better then?
Or, for the price of a GTX280 you could buy an Xbox 360
... and have some decent games to play on it as well.
> Feel free to differ in opinion but if you do beware,
> your just plain wrong and likely stupid.
But may be able to spell ..
clarification about the test system
Yes the Crysis figures look weird and yes that probably says more about Crysis than it does about the GTX 280.
I tested with Windows Vista Ultimate Edition SP1 32-bit and Crysis was a fresh installation patched to v1.21
I'm a power loving gadget geek but even I don't care about this
because in order to use DX10 or higher I have to pollute my gaming system with Vista. Which means my 8800 still doesn't run at full capability because Windows refuses to make DX10 for XP Pro. Why the hell would I want to buy an even bigger card that I can't take advantage of because of poor policymaking for the software that drives it?
Hell, I'll just strap on another 8800 in SLI, still come out with decent power usage, and save an arseload of cash, perhaps even get some performance boost in framerate, even though particle effects and such are still going to be castrated.
And I don't wanna hear *jack* about DX10.1 unless it RUNS ON XP!