Palit GTX280 Reviewccokeman - July 28, 2008
» Discuss this article (5)
Getting that shiny new graphics card to do what you need it to do is not just an "install and go" affair. You need to have the instruction set - or drivers - to control the video card and tell it when, how, and why, so it does things in the most efficient way possible. In addition, there are utilities that help manage the performance of the video card. If these tools are not used, the money you spent on that performance GPU upgrade was just wasted.
Start out by inserting the driver disk into the optical drive, and let the Autorun feature bring up the installation GUI. Once the GUI is up, there are several options you can choose - install the drivers, install Direct X 9.0C, browse the disk, use the help menu, or exit from the disk. Of course, installing the drivers would be the next option. This disk seems to be just a generic disk with no utilities or value added programs, something that many manufacturers have done.
Choosing the Install Driver box will start the installation of the Nvidia drivers for this specific card. Follow through with the installation, choosing the options best suited to your system, and then reboot to finish the installation.
Choosing the Install Direct X 9.0c box does just that. Agree to the EULA, and the installation will commence; follow through and choose the appropriate responses to complete the installation. The Help box opens a help center to try and help diagnose any issues that you may experience. Browsing the disk will allow you to explore the disk and complete a manual installation of the drivers. As an added bonus, Palit has included the game "Tomb Raider Anniversary", that has our heroine Lara Croft doing what she does best.
If the default level of performance or visual quality is not what you want, you can use the Nvidia Control Panel to manage performance and visual quality. There are many different tabs where adjustments can be made, but I will show just a few that are important to the gamers among us. The Manage 3D Settings tab allows the Global (all situations) settings to be tailored to your liking. Under this tab are the game specific settings as well. There are prebuilt profiles that can be adjusted to get all the eye candy to work, or to minimize the settings to get higher frames per second. The choice is yours.
Now that the final steps of the installation have been completed, it's time to see just what kind of performance the Palit version of the Nvidia GTX280 can deliver. What kind of head room is there for the overclocker? Let's find out.