This test session produces a gloomy verdict, but not for the GeForce GTX 275. The new card is only slower than the GeForce GTX 285 by an average 4.5% at the most popular display resolutions. Its 896 megabytes of local graphics memory are quite enough even for demanding application while the performance of the RBE subsystem is but rarely a limiting factor in today’s games.
The factory overclocking of the BFG card only increased its performance by 1.5%, so it does not differ much from a GeForce GTX 275 clocked at the reference frequencies.
The GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 is obviously hamstringed by its cut-down computing section. The GeForce GTX 275 is free from this drawback and outperforms the junior model of the series by 17-20% depending on the resolution. The GeForce GTX 285 differs from the GeForce GTX 275 with slightly higher clock rates (besides the RBE and memory subsystem configuration) but is not much faster than the latter. It is only at 2560x1600 that the GTX 285 is 8% ahead thanks to Crysis Warhead, Devil May Cry 4 and Left 4 Dead, but the GeForce GTX 275 offers a playable frame rate in the latter two games as well. And Crysis Warhead is not playable at the highest resolution on either of these cards.
Comparing the GeForce GTX 275 with the Radeon HD 4890, the new card from ATI is competitive to the GeForce GTX 285 while the GeForce GTX 275 is somewhat inferior to the latter. Thus, it all depends on the specific game. The GeForce GTX 275 has an average advantage of 1.5-6% over its opponent but loses to ATI’s card, sometimes quite a lot, in such games as Call of Duty: World at War, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Fallout 3, Race Driver: GRID, Red Alert 3: Uprising, and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. In other words, if these two cards sell at the same price, you should consider what games you are going to play. The Radeon HD 4890 will be better for some games and the GeForce GTX 275, for others.
We were quite successful at overclocking our BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC without extreme methods and achieved a performance growth of 8-12%. When overclocked, the BFG card was faster than both Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 285, but the latter cards can be overclocked in the same manner, too. So, overclocking is not an advantage here.
The GeForce GTX 275 looks like a good product overall, the smaller amount of memory being compensated by the release of models with 1792 instead of 896 megabytes of memory. The only thing we don’t understand is that Nvidia has itself released a killer for the GeForce GTX 285. Perhaps it is part of Nvidia’s policy of cutting the manufacturing cost of G200b-based products just as the PCB design of the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 had been simplified. What product will come to replace the GeForce GTX 285? Perhaps we will answer this question in a future review.