XFX 280GTX XXX Edition

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
 
To ensure there were no bottlenecks for this review we used the highest specification CPU and memory we could get our hands on. A common mistake made when benchmarking graphics cards is that the rest of the PC system isn't sufficient enough to test the GPU to its limits. This results in a bottleneck situation, where the system can only run at the speed of its slowest component. For this reason, the test configuration chosen below has been specially selected to give each of the graphics card on test the headroom they require in order to produce the best results.
 
 Test Setup
 
Due to the limited amount of benchmarks and games available for testing with PhysX at present there will only be a small amount of testing in this review. Hopefully this will be added to in the near future as PhysX benchmarking and games no doubt increase in popularity.
 
PhysX FluidMark
1280 x 1024 0 x MSAA
1280 x 1024 x 8 MSAA
1280 x 1024 32 x MSAA
1600 x 1200 0 x MSAA
1600 x 1200 8 x MSAA
1600 x 1200 32 x MSAA
1920 x 1200 0 x MSAA
1920 x 1200 8 x MSAA
1920 x 1200 32 x MSAA
2560 x 1600 0 x MSAA
2560 x 1600 8 x MSAA
2560 x 1600 32 x MSAA

3DMark Vantage (No PhysX)
1280 x 1024 / Performance Mode
1600 x 1200 / High Mode
1920 x 1200 / Extreme Mode
 
3DMark Vantage (PhysX Enabled) 
1280 x 1024 / Performance Mode
1600 x 1200 / High Mode
1920 x 1200 / Extreme Mode
 
Unreal Tournament III (No PhysX)
1280 x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920 x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
2560 x1600/ DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
 
Unreal Tournament III (PhysX Enabled)
1280 x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920 x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
2560 x1600/ DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
 
A new addition to our benchmarking suite for this review will be used: PhysX FluidMark.
 
 
Overclocking
 
Pre-Overclocked GPU's never overclock massively so it was with some surprise that I managed to ramp up the core an additional 70mhz to a stonking 740mhz and the memory to a blisteringly quick 1300mhz.
 
 
Quite an impressive leap was to be had with the overclock, although temperatures started to creep towards the 90's after long periods of time. Let's now take a look at how the card performs with a series of PhysX benchmarks...
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Most Recent Comments

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

w3bbo
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

16-09-2008, 08:44:39

Rastalovich
Good review, I like the smell of this card.

Thing Mr.Smith may be leaning at with the PhysX aspect is.. well.. the 9800GTX will do the PhysX too, and so on.

%age of "good" games that come out and those games that utilize PhysX isn`t that big a margin. Sure it isn`t wildly touted as it could be, but I`m often surprised to notice the blue spinning lights of the PhysX card come on in games I had no idea used it. In particular users of the UT3 engine, and there have been a few.

I`d buy this card over a 4870x2 whenever presented the choice tbh.Quote

16-09-2008, 08:45:09

Bungral
I had a little read of this before bed last night. Some of the physics stuff looked good like shooting the cloth.. That was pretty cool. Will have a proper read later though.

One thing I did notice was that on the opening page I think it is when you mention how much it's overclocked from factory stock speeds you only actually mention how much one of the clocks is up by MHz.. You give 11% but I really couldn't be dealing with working it out and had to go find the other review for stock clocks as I couldn't remember (even though I owned one ).

Very small thing and just me being picky Quote

16-09-2008, 08:54:57

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Good review, I like the smell of this card.

Thing Mr.Smith may be leaning at with the PhysX aspect is.. well.. the 9800GTX will do the PhysX too, and so on.

%age of "good" games that come out and those games that utilize PhysX isn`t that big a margin. Sure it isn`t wildly touted as it could be, but I`m often surprised to notice the blue spinning lights of the PhysX card come on in games I had no idea used it. In particular users of the UT3 engine, and there have been a few.

I`d buy this card over a 4870x2 whenever presented the choice tbh.
The thing is PhysX has not really been touched on in any great detail in graphics cards reviews, at least none that I have read and what better way to try it out than with a flagship card? This is something I thought would be of interest to folk aswell as put a different take on the review rather than stick to the norm. A predicatble review is a boring review that no one wishes to read - hence the emphasis on PhysX which hopefully some folk have found interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
I had a little read of this before bed last night. Some of the physics stuff looked good like shooting the cloth.. That was pretty cool. Will have a proper read later though.

One thing I did notice was that on the opening page I think it is when you mention how much it's overclocked from factory stock speeds you only actually mention how much one of the clocks is up by MHz.. You give 11% but I really couldn't be dealing with working it out and had to go find the other review for stock clocks as I couldn't remember (even though I owned one ).

Very small thing and just me being picky
Fixed - cheers m8.Quote
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