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NVIDIA GTX 280 3-Way SLI  (Source: NVIDIA)

The GPUs in the series include the GTX 280 and GTX 260

NVIDIA launched a new family of GPUs today called the GTX 200 series. Within the series there are currently two GPUs -- the GTX 280 and the GTX 260. The NVIDIA GTX 280 is now the flagship GPU from NVIDIA and sits in the line above the 9800 GX2.

NVIDIA is stressing with the new GTX 200 family that the GPUs go beyond gaming and are one of the most powerful processors in a PC and can be used for rendering video and other functions. NVIDIA says that its goals with the architecture of the GTX 200 series were to design a processor twice as powerful as the GeForce 8800 GTX, rebalance the architecture for future games with more complex shaders and more memory, improve efficiency per watt and per square millimeter, provide enhanced CUDA performance, and add a significant reduction in idle power requirements.

NVIDIA says that the GTX 200 line provides nearly a teraflop of computational power. The GTX 200 family also offers support for PhysX powered physics processing right on the GPU. Both the new GTX 280 and GTX 260 support SLI and 3-way SLI. The previous NVIDIA 9800 GX2 could not support 3-way SLI.

Key features in the new GTX 200 GPUs include support for three times the number of threads per flight at any given time. A new scheduler design allows for 20% more texturing efficiency. The memory interface for the GPUs is 512-bit (GTX 280) and full-speed, raster-operation (ROP) frame blending is supported. The GTX 200 series also features twice the number of registers for longer and more complex shaders and IEEE754R double precision floating-point. The GTXC 200 line also supports 10-bit color scan out via the DisplayPort only.

One of the main goals with the GTX 200 line was improved power management. Both the GTX 200 series GPUs have idle power requirements of about 25W; during Blu-ray playback power requirements are around 35W; full 3D performance requirements vary with the most power needed being 236W (GTX 280). The GTX 200 line is compatible with HybridPower, which makes the power needs of the GPU effectively 0W.

The GTX 280 is built on a 65nm process and has 1.4 billion transistors. The stock video cards have a graphics clock of 602 MHz, processor clock of 1,296 MHz, and a memory clock of 2,214 MHz. The GTX 280 has 1GB of GDDR3 and 240 processing cores and 32 ROPs.

The GTX 260 is also built on the 65 nm process and has 1.4 billion transistors. The graphics clock for the GTX 260 is 576 MHz, the processor clock is 1,242 MHz, and the memory clock is 1,998 MHz. The memory interface on the GTX 260 is 448-bit and it has 896MB of GDDR3 memory. The GTX 260 has 192 processing cores and 28 ROPs. The maximum board power is 182W.

Both video cards will support PhysX processing on the GPU. NVIDIA purchased Ageia in early 2008.

GTX 280 video cards will be available tomorrow for $649 and the GTX 260 cards will be available on June 26 for $399.

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Impressive.... But not the GT200
By pauldovi on 6/16/2008 4:30:18 PM , Rating: 1
Remember, the G80 came out in November 2006 and it still hasn't been topped by either Nvidia or ATI. That speaks very highly of the achievement that was the G80. Now ATI and Nvidia need to step it up. Yes the G92 a great improvement in cost and heat, but I honestly expected more from 1.5 years of development.

RE: Impressive.... But not the GT200
By Parhel on 6/16/2008 4:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
Remember, the G80 came out in November 2006 and it still hasn't been topped by either Nvidia or ATI.

What do you mean? These cards beat the G80 soundly.

RE: Impressive.... But not the GT200
By pauldovi on 6/16/2008 7:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
You have to look at the overall picture and not just the top score.

2 x 8800GT's are cheaper than and beat the GT280.

RE: Impressive.... But not the GT200
By Lightning III on 6/16/2008 8:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
an 8800gt is really a g92 part

By pauldovi on 6/16/2008 10:14:57 PM , Rating: 1
Which is nothing but a 65nm G80.

RE: Impressive.... But not the GT200
By just4U on 6/16/2008 10:32:42 PM , Rating: 2

Remember, the G80....

I didn't accually expect all that much more over the past 1.5 years. It's hard to top what they did with the G80 in such a short time frame. It's one of those cards that comes out every 5 years or so.. after that it's speed bumps until the next great design comes along.

RE: Impressive.... But not the GT200
By SlyNine on 6/17/2008 12:17:49 AM , Rating: 4
The 9700Pro was easly one of those cards, every since then we have just tripled the size of heat synk, doubled Power demands, and incressed heat the card runs at.

We are at a point where that is no longer acceptable. what are they going to do release a card that doubles Power demands, and incresses heat the card runs at, and use a 3 slot GPU cooler to get 4x the performence agian, and even if that worked for this generation what about the next one.

RE: Impressive.... But not the GT200
By just4U on 6/18/2008 4:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you.

ALTHO ... some of those new coolers (3870, 8800 GTS/X line do look kinda funky. Peoples eyes get big and round when I say...

... and that's your video card!)

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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