Asus ENGTX275 896MB PCIe Graphics Card

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup

To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configurations used in this review can be seen below:
 
i7 Rig

CPU: Intel Nehalem i7 920 Skt1366 2.66GHz (@3.8 Ghz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD5
Memory: 3x2GB Corsair DDR3 1600mhz @ 8-8-8-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 80GB
GPU: Asus ENGTX275
Graphics Drivers: Supplied by Asus
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w

 
During the testing of the setups above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games
• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Oblivion

• Race drive: GRID
• Call of Duty IV
• Unreal Tournament III
 

Power Consumption

Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Because of this, the readings below are of the total system, not just the GPU. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of Furmark.
 

 
The power consumption of the GTX275 was nothing out of the ordinary falling into the middle of the pack on both idle and load configurations. As with most of the GPU's on test, the more powerfull the card, the greater the amount of consumption.
 
 
Temperatures

Temperatures were taken at the factory clocked speed during idle in Windows and after 10 minutes of running Furmark with settings maxed out (2560x1600 8xMSAA). Ambient temperatures were taken with a household thermometer. As we use an open test bench setup consideration should be given to the fact that the temperatures would likely increase further in a closed case environment.
 

 
The GTX275 produced a decidedly average 50c when idling in windows but when put under a serious amount of load using the Furmark stability and benchmarking tool, the graphics card rocketted to almost 90c! Consider that this is in an 'open air' environment, temperatures could feasibly hit 100c in a closed case. Not good at all if you are in the middle of a firefight on your favourite FPS shooter. Intrigued by this blistering temp, I decided to strip the card of it's stock gunk and replace with my last smidge of Arctic Silver 5 and then tested again.
 
Temps came down to 82c under load conditions with the new paste which is still not great but a little better. Increasing the fan speed manually did drop temps further but I would have preffered the card to have controlled it's temperatures better by itself. A good point to come out of this is that the fan is silent when idle and not ear piercingly loud even when set manually to 100%. It's a shame then that the card did not take advantage of this by adjusting the fan speed accordingly when temperatures became uncomfortable. It's fair to suggest that this may just be our sample that runs hot as similar results were found with the GTX280. I know I've personally had 3 and all produced wildly varying temps.
 
 
Overclocking
 
For our overclocking tests I used the RivaTuner utility which worked perfectly with our setup. To test stability I ran 3D Mark 06 and a few runs of Call of Duty 4.
 
Overclocking the card was terrible until I had figured out that it was the temperatures that were locking the graphics card up and not a voltage limitation. With the stock paste substituted and the fan speed set to a bareable 70% I got much better success, achieving a stable 750MHz on the GPU core, 1664MHz shader speed  and a reasonable 1248MHz on the memory. It should be noted that in stock format I was not able to progress past 680MHz on the core, most likely a result to the temperature barrier.
 
 stock 
 
The results of this overclock can be seen below:
 
 
Replacing the stock gunk and spending a little time with rivatuner resulted in a worthwhile increase in frames per second at all resolutions. However, you will need to consider if this overclock and increase in FPS is worth voiding the warranty should your sample need the paste replacing.
 
After returning the card back to it's stock speed I ran our standard set of GPU benchmarks... 
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Most Recent Comments

15-07-2009, 11:02:31

JN
"The GTX285 is an expensive card and the GTX260 is being left behind in the performance stakes. Do Asus have an answer to this quandry with the ENGTX275?" - by W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...122746687s.jpg

Asus ENGTX275 896MB PCIe Graphics Card

15-07-2009, 11:10:12

chudley
Funny what was said about the temps, but that was the first thing I thought about when I saw the pic.

Good review Webbo

15-07-2009, 12:08:27

VonBlade
I never understand why ATI cards have reasonably varied thermal solutions, but NVIDIA suppliers stick stubbornly to the rather average stock one.

I'd be very interested to know if the twin-fan Gainward provides more usable temperatures.

I'd also love to see a SLI 275 report. Rumour has it that a good clocked 275 can equal a 285, so 285 SLI performance for 300 would be exemplary.

Great review as always W3bbo.

15-07-2009, 12:21:08

Ducky Spud
Bought one of these about a week and half ago now and Im impressed with its performance. Mine runs pretty hot too (around mid 80's) which is limiting my overclocking but reassured as my limit is similar to what webbo was stuck at with it stock (i start getting artifacts when my cores at 690Mhz). Will try sticking some new thermal paste on there... will eventually be watercooling it tho

15-07-2009, 14:29:51

ali_james
Surely it's a sign of the times, where the cards heat sink is possibly designed with half an eye on limiting the overclocking potential of the card, thus swaying users to spend that little extra on the next model up for guaranteed clock speeds.

Either that or it is some very lazy work from both ATI and Nvidia to stick with fairly rubbish/loud stock heat sinks and even lazier work from their partners not to design and fit something better.

Very good review, and to be fair to Asus it's at exactly the right price point, dodgy cooler or not.

15-07-2009, 18:41:46

Rastalovich
Great review, good card, bad cooler for even the timid enthusiast.

nVidia would be well charged to put a fair bit of rnd into a better cooling solution when they release GT300.

Even since the 8800GT, the cards have been decent enough in their various guises, but very let down imo by the performance of the coolers. (even tho I personally like the look of them as a full-on black shroud) - and the sound levels are horrendous.

Another great write-up w3bbo.

I prefer these cards as a supposed mid-range+ purchase for people, throw in PhysX and Cuda.

I wonder if it's worth doing quality comparisons for cards these days as opposed to fps. Something along the lines of setting an fps level - if the card passes it it's 'passes', then add to that how many quality processing levels u can goto whilst still staying over an fps level. e.g. if ur card does 100+ fps in COD4, another card doing 110+ fps doesn't mean anything, but being able to stay there with 16aa++ (or whatever).

Wonder if the days of fps are coming to an end, unless Dx11's coding brings it back into the picture.

Quality over performance differences u'll never notice ?

28-12-2009, 06:02:06

JulietteKlonk
it is the best card i guess.
Reply
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