As things stand today, the prices are exorbitant and with ATI releasing cards of their own priced at much lower prices offering better value for money, it’s only a matter of time before the prices for the GTX 280 drop. GTX 260s are expected to hit the markets soon, so a little caution at the moment is recommended to look out for some extreme price drops.
The Geforce 9 had a really short stay and NVIDIA has released the GTX 280, around the same time that ATI launched their first card.
Zotac was the first to send us their over-clocked version of the GTX 280 that they proudly call the GTX 280 AMP! These new cards are crossing uncharted territories. The Zotac GTX 280 AMP! runs at a core speed of 700 MHz instead of the default 602 MHz. Most numbers on the new card have been doubled from what was on the last 9800GTX. The memory bandwidth has been increased to 512 bit and there is 1 GB of memory on the card. An 8-pin and 6-pin power connector is required to power the GTX 280 AMP!
It’s just not all about the numbers. The GTX 280 absolutely destroys all previous records held by single cards. To give you an idea, the Zotac GTX 280 AMP! is about 50 to 75 per cent faster than the colossal 8800 Ultra in most benchmarks. For example, in one of our tests, the 8800 Ultra scores around 100 fps in Prey at 1920 x 1200 with maximum detail and 4x anti-aliasing and 8x antistrophic filtering turned on. The GTX 280 AMP! beat it with a score of 173 fps. Even Unreal Tournament 3 with all the settings turned up gave scores of 119 fps on the Shangrila map at 1920 x 1200. 3DMark 2005 and 2006 scores increased as well, but not to the extent of the real-world gaming benchmarks.
The card, in comparison, runs cooler than the 8800 GTXs, more so when compared to the 8800 Ultras. The cooling solution on the Zotac card is stock NVIDIA design. The card is a little less compact than the 9800GX2. It is lighter, but consumes over 300 W when on load. In idle, it drops to as little or lower than a 9800GTX card. A power supply of at least 600 W is highly recommended to any future owners.
The Zotac GTX 280 AMP! is a great card and we’re sure some of the non over-clocked versions are really good as well. It would be terribly wrong to say that the GTX 280 is not a good card. There’s significant improvement in performance. There’s one major problem right now, other than the high power demands—the price. The current price for the Zotac GTX 280 AMP! is a whopping Rs 44,444, which makes it way over the top in terms of pricing.