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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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RE: 1200w needed for SLI?
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/16/2008 10:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
My main point was that a single gtx 280 grabs 23 more watts (almost 10%) than a 9800gx2 while performance is usually lower and yet it'll set you back an extra $150.

Not the best price/performance/power draw combo out there if you ask me :D

RE: 1200w needed for SLI?
By SlyNine on 6/17/2008 12:12:49 AM , Rating: 1
Every since the 9700 pro required a power connecter, we've been on this path to inevitability. Every generation of video cards since have required more power and bigger faster fans, and even then are producing more heat. The 1900XT and its big copper heatsynk ran at 3dspeeds at around 80C. Now the 8800GTs run at around 95-100C.

It was only a matter of time before they either hit this wall or just started requiring what no user would be willing to buy.

The wall I'm talking about is the wall that we hit when the 8800GTX was first released how many years ago now ???? And since then what have we seen, a card with 80% performance increase. 4 times the power, and I have no clue the heat that sucker must put out.

Unless things evolve fast in the manufacturing process it could be a while before we see 4x performance of the previous generation in 6 months like we did with the 9700pro over the TI4600. Because we can no longer just double the power requirments, heat of the GPU and HSF size.

RE: 1200w needed for SLI?
By FITCamaro on 6/17/2008 10:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
Well my 8800GTSs run under 65C at full load. :)

I do think you're right though. GPUs eventually are going to hit a wall because of the power requirements. A wall outlet can only put out so much power.

Unfortunately though to make things faster, you have to add more transistors. More transistors means more power. More power means more heat.

GPUs have far more transistors than CPUs in terms of transistors that are actually for logic. The fast majority of a CPUs transistor count these days is for L2 cache. At least on Intel CPUs.

This all said, I am interested to see where ATIs 4xx0 series fits in.

RE: 1200w needed for SLI?
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/17/2008 10:40:18 AM , Rating: 2
That's were die shrinks come to help.
Problem is, as Nvidia is a fabless company, they have to rely on someone like TSMC, that has its own timing and investment strategy and that can certainly imply not upgrading the process facility at the time a customer like Nvidia could need it the most.

As for the wall's power outlet, that's far from being a problem yet but if 2000w PSUs start appearing on the PC market, I guess more than one will have to face the choice of wether to turn on the aircon or the PC :D

RE: 1200w needed for SLI?
By SlyNine on 6/17/2008 9:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder, Since AMD does have that. Could that help ATI's devision. Or is it somthing that just doesnt translate in to GPU's or they wouldnt have enough resorces to produce both.

Before I thought TSMC did both AMD and ATI.

RE: 1200w needed for SLI?
By SlyNine on 6/17/2008 9:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure who rated me down. But they need to double check what they know. While not all 8800GT's may run at 95C under load. Many do run at 95 and the card doesnt even start to clock its self down untill 110C. EVGA first 8800GT's didnt even spin the fan up untill they hit around 90C. The card's are supposed to run at up to 100C.

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