XFX 280GTX XXX Edition


ConclusionXFX GTX280 XXX
Before writing this review, I did a little reading about PhysX to refresh the memory and the signs were not good. PhysX of old appeared to be a flashy add on that did little to appeal to the gamers palate. Online competitive players will no doubt tweak the game config until it no longer resembles the original title anyway and have little time to stand back in awe at the special effects PhysX has to offer. However, as the results show, frames-per-second can actually be increased, quite dramatically, by the use of PhysX and until ATI get Havoc on the scene and release some reliable drivers to complement it, NVidia may have the upper hand once more. With over 150 titles due for, or already released, PhysX it seems, is slowly being incorporated into today's games world.
As for the XFX GTX280 XXX, there is little doubt this is the fastest single GPU on the market today. With blistering GPU and memory overclocks, there is simply no single GPU to touch it at the moment. These overclocks however, come at a small cost - roughly £28. Not a bad price to pay when you consider those overclocks are written into the cards BIOS, so it will run those clocks at 'stock', are warranted and require no fine tuning with utilities such as Rivatuner. You won't need to flash the BIOS yourself to gain such clocks (thereby invalidating the warranty and possibly killing the card), no volt mods are required either. What you pay for is what you get - the fastest single GPU on the planet.
So where should your money go? Before I got my hands on the GTX 280, it really was a 'no brainer'. The 4870x2 is the fastest card out there at the moment - FACT. Nothing, not even the GTX280 XXX can touch it in non PhysX games. It is on a par with the GTX280 XXX price wise but with the 4870x2 giving greater, raw performance, XFX are relying heavily on brand loyalty. The GTX's power consumption is considerably lower than the 4870x2. It also won't suffer from the dreaded 'micro-stutter' dual cards seems to be plagued with. The GTX, as it is a single GPU, does not need any fancy on-board crossfire/sli chip nor does it require Crossfire/SLI enabled games to perform at its peak. What it does need are more PhysX enabled games and although there are more games in the pipeline, no-one can say for sure whether PhysX is here to stay this time but by the performance increases available and the eye candy on display today, I certainly hope so. 
So, call me an optimist, call me a lunatic, call me anything you want because all things considered, the XFX GTX280 XXX is where my money would go at the moment. You may however, want to wait a little while until the '+' cards are unleashed upon us, or perhaps an XFX GTX 280 GX2 XXX+ edition (now that would be something worth getting tongue tied over!) but that's another story for another time.
The Good
- PhysX
- Presentation second to none
- Overclocked heavily from stock
- Quiet
The Mediocre
- Lack of PhysX enabled games
- The Price
The Bad
 - Still behind the 4870x2 on raw performance despite being overclocked.
Gamers Choice Innovation
Big thanks to XFX for providing us with the GTX280 XXX edition for this review. Discuss this review in our forums.
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Most Recent Comments

16-09-2008, 07:26:10

"PhysX has been a failure for AGEIA in the past, can XFX and NVidia conjour up some interest in game physics with the latest XXX edition of the GTX280?"


Read the full review here.Quote

16-09-2008, 07:57:41

Mr. Smith
Q. What is innovative about this product?

I don't understand why it was given that award. Decent review, lacking on game benchmarks though /Quote

16-09-2008, 08:15:24

No offence intended m8 but did you actually read the review or just skim over it? The review was aimed more towards PhysX, something I don't feel has had enough exposure. I could easily have benched it against a number of other cards which has been done time and time again. We have already reviewed a stock GTX280 so the overclocked 280 would give a predictable increase in scores and make for some pretty bland reading. I did include some benchmarks against other cards at the end to show the 'predictable' outcome so felt little need to emphasize that fact by running it on 6 or 7 titles. I would like to have seen some more benchmarks run on PhysX enabled games but they are few and far between as it is new and INNOVATIVE technology, incorporating PhysX into a GPU.

I just wanted to show some of the benefits other than raw FPS otherwise every review would be the same, which is not what people want to read imo - maybe I'm wrong?Quote

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