Palit GTX280 Reviewccokeman - July 28, 2008
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The GTX280 is a large video card, slightly smaller than the 9800GX2. To cool this beast, Nvidia has used what looks to be the same heatsink assembly used on the 9800GTX, but with a slight modification. That being the addition of a vented metal backplate to keep the card from flexing, and reducing any heat buildup in the housing as well. The stock cooling solution is a two slot design that occupies two physical slots on your motherboard. If running an SLI or Tri-SLI configuration, the chances of using a PCI-based add-in card are slim to none, and slim just left town! Having a GPU core speed of 602MHz on its 240 processing cores, 1107MHz on the 1GB of GDDR3 memory running through a 512-bit bus, and shader clock speeds of 1296MHz, the GTX 280 offers a significant processing power increase over the 8- and 9-series cards.
The business end of the GTX280 features two DVI ports that can be used in a Dual-Link configuration, or with the appropriate adapter, HDMI-out with high definition audio. The card comes with an S/PDIF connection to the motherboard, a high-definition video-out port, and a power LED just to the left of the air vent. This LED shows whether or not you have the correct power connections attached to the card. The vent on this card allows plenty of air to flow through the housing and out the back of the chassis. The rear of the GTX280 carries the fan and the intake vent to cool the power regulation circuits on the PCB. The intake vent on the back end serves as the main source of intake air when the card is in an SLI configuration. When run in a multi GPU setup, these cards are incredibly close to each other, so another avenue for air intake had to be used.
The GTX280 requires an 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E power connection to the card for proper operation. The small plug next to the power connections is for the HDMI sound input from the motherboard. A small two wire harness is used to bring the sound to the card from an on board S/PDIF-out header. This allows the sound to be carried to the display device along with the picture through the included DVI to HDMI adapter.
The GT200 series of cards are Tri-SLI capable; each carries not one, but two SLI bridge connections. When not run in SLI, there is a handy cover that provides protection to the bridge connections. With the performance of the GTX280, and how well SLI and Tri-SLI are scaling, the performance potential is enormous.
Let's see how much the Palit version of the GTX280 has to offer in the way of overclocking and performance.