Articles: Graphics

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As you know from our reviews, Nvidia had responded to the release of the ATI Radeon HD 4890 by announcing its GeForce GTX 275. This was a lucky move. Being a cut-down version of GeForce GTX 285, the new graphics card showed itself a worthy rival to the opposing Radeon and beat the latter in a number of games. However, the GeForce GTX 275 was inferior to the Radeon HD 4890 in one parameter.

We mean the amount of local graphics memory. ATI’s card features 1024 megabytes of ultra-fast GDDR5 memory accessed across a 256-bit bus whereas Nvidia economized on the RBE subsystem of its GeForce GTX 275 and cut down its memory subsystem as well. As a result, the GeForce GTX 275 has seven rather than eight 64-bit memory controllers and, consequently, a 448-bit memory bus and 896MB of graphics memory (with standard 512Mb GDDR3 chips). We can’t say that this affects the new card’s performance greatly because most games are more than satisfied with 896MB. And where this amount of graphics memory proves to be not enough, the card’s GPU performance is usually below playable.

Some time ago we posted a review of a GeForce GTS 250 equipped with as much as 2 gigabytes of graphics memory. However, the Gainward GTS250 2048MB did not have any advantage over Nvidia’s reference card with 1GB of memory. In that review we also supposed that large amounts of graphics memory would not be demanded in near future. There are more and more multi-platform game projects whose developers take into account the rather modest hardware specs of today’s gaming consoles and introduce appropriate optimizations. And the next generation of consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo is not going to be released soon.

However, the formal inferiority of the GeForce GTX 275 to the Radeon HD 4890 was obvious and inexperienced users could be misguided by the numbers: “1024MB” looks far more appealing on the product box than “896MB”.

This problem could be easily solved by replacing 512Mb with 1GB chips, though. As a result, the GeForce GTX 275 would have more memory than the Radeon HD 4890 and even than the dual-processor flagships from both ATI and Nvidia. Versions of GeForce GTX 275 with a double amount of memory (1792MB instead of 896MB) were sure to come out. One such product has been released by EVGA whose products often come to our labs and get positive reviews. Let’s see if the EVGA GeForce GTX 275 1792MB can carry this tradition on.

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