Feeds
70%

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280

Over-priced, over-specced and over here

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

It continues: "The initial version of 3DMark Vantage shipped with a PhysX installer that only included support for CPU physics and the Ageia physics chip. The initial version didn't contain a GPU physics installer as nobody had that product. Once we brought physics to the GPU through our Ageia acquisition, we updated the PhysX installer to add support for GPU physics.

"The same thing applies to Unreal Tournament 3. All we’ve done is update the installer to add support for GPU physics.

"The installer will be available for everyone to download off the Nvidia website this week, so folks can play with it and enjoy the new GPU physics effects."

In response, AMD pointed us towards this quote from Oliver Baltuch, President of FutureMark, on the matter:

“We are adhering to the rules set out in our previously published documents (PDF). Based on the specification and design of the CPU tests, GPU make, type or driver version may not have a significant effect on the results of either of the CPU tests as indicated in Section 7.3 of the 3DMark Vantage specification and whitepaper.“

As a result, AMD is confident that Nvidia doesn't have Futuremark’s approval for their GPU acceleration of PhysX.

Power Draw Test Results

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 - Power Test Results

Power draw in Watts (W)

Of course, AMD will eventually offer physics-on-GPU code of its own, and Futuremark will have to revamp its tests to take into account the blurred line between CPU and GPU. For now, though, Nvidia can gain higher scores at the cost of ending apples-for-apples comparisons.

Unfortunately, we only had the Zotac for a short time before the business of driver 177.35 vs 177.39 kicked off, and we didn’t get the chance to compare the two back-to-back.

At the very least, Nvidia is sailing close to the wind with 3DMark Vantage, but outside the rarified domain of benchmarks and back in the real world, the idea of handling physics on the GPU makes perfect sense.

We love the Zotac GTX 280 AMP! to bits but it's very hard to recommend the level of expenditure that buying one entails. For the price of a single GTX 280 you can buy a PlayStation 3, and if you’re thinking of SLI or Tri-SLI GTX 280 that would pay for a decent 50in HDTV.

Verdict

Nvidia’s latest and greatest graphics chip truly is superb, but it is also monstrously big, horribly power-hungry and ludicrously expensive. We’re waiting for GT200b to bring DirectX 10.1 and GDDR 5 support to the party, and the sooner Nvidia rolls out 55nm fabrication the better.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

70%

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280

You thought the GeForce 9800 GTX was fast? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Price: £455 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.