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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB

A mighty rival to RADEON 4890.

May 22, 2009



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Design


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB (reference)
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 275 (GT200)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 633/1400 MHz (nominal -- 633/1400 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1130 (2260) MHz (nominal -- 1130 (2260) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 448bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 240
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 270x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: in a separate NVIO chip.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI).
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: not installed.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).
Palit GeForce GTX 275 896MB
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 275 (GT200)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 633/1400 MHz (nominal -- 633/1400 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1130 (2260) MHz (nominal -- 1130 (2260) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 448bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 240
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 270x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: in a separate NVIO chip.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).
BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 275 (GT200)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 650/1440 MHz (nominal -- 633/1400 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1150 (2300) MHz (nominal -- 1130 (2260) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 448bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 240
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 270x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: in a separate NVIO chip.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI).
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: not installed.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).
Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition 896MB
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 275 (GT200)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 700/1512 MHz (nominal -- 633/1400 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies (physical (effective)): 1260 (2520) MHz (nominal -- 1130 (2260) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 448bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 240
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 270x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: in a separate NVIO chip.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB (reference)
Palit GeForce GTX 275 896MB
BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB
Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition 896MB

Each graphics card has 896 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM allocated in 14 Hynix memory chips on the front side of the PCB. These memory chips are designed for the maximum frequency of 1250 (2500) MHz.



Comparison with the reference design, front view
Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition 896MB Reference card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (old version)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB (reference)
BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB
Palit GeForce GTX 275 896MB


Comparison with the reference design, back view
Zotac GeForce GTX 275 AMP! Edition 896MB Reference card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (old version)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB (reference)
BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB
Palit GeForce GTX 275 896MB

Pay attention to the comparison with the old GTX 260 (it's well posed, as both GTX 260 and GTX 275 have a 448-bit memory bus). The fact is, the first GTX 260 were based on the GTX 280 design (512-bit), only the number of memory chips we decreased from 16 to 14, thus cutting the bus down to 448-bit and reducing memory volume to 896 MB.

However, later on engineers designed a new PCB for the GTX 260 to reduce manufacturing costs. It was based on the 448-bit bus and had only 14 memory seats. This very PCB was used for the GTX 275. In fact, the only difference between GTX 260 and 275 is in their cores: the number of stream processors in the former is cut down, while the latter has 240 stream processors as in the GTX 285.

The cards from BFG and Zotac are actually copies of the reference design, so there is no point in discussing them. But the Palit product is very interesting.

For one, it's the first card of this level (Hi-End) in our lab, which is manufactured by a NVIDIA partner. Until quite recently, all such cards were manufactured by third-party plants by NVIDIA's orders. So all partners offered the same cards, only labels, frequencies, and bundles were different. But now NVIDIA sells not only ready cards, but also GPUs, and some vendors can make cards on their own. Moreover, we can see on the photos that Palit uses a sterling 512-bit PCB for its GTX 275 (and most likely for the GTX 260), which was apparently designed for the GTX 285. It just lacks two memory chips, so the bus is automatically reduced to 448 bits, and memory volume is reduced from 1024MB to 896MB. Is it really cheaper to design a PCB with 16(!) memory chips on one side from scratch than to buy a ready solution from NVIDIA? I don't believe it. However, Palit would have hardly manufactured such products at a sacrifice. So it must be cheaper this way.

This card has a drawback: for some strange reason SLI connectors were moved in comparison with the reference design, so it's impossible to use the card from Palit (based on this PCB) in a SLI configuration with other GTX 2xx solutions (of the reference design). They can work only with their full counterparts from Palit. Or you will have to find a flexible SLI bridge (which are very rare) that allows some offset between connectors.

I'll stress the important point once again: all cards are 270 mm long, just like the 8800 GTX/Ultra. So a PC case should be large enough to accommodate this device. Besides, width of the housing does not change along the card, so a motherboard should have 30mm of empty space behind the used and the neighboring PCI-E x16 slots.

Graphics cards of this series feature soundcard connectors for transmitting audio stream to HDMI (via a DVI-to-HDMI adapter). That is, the graphics card does not have an audio codec, but it receives audio signal from an external sound card. So, if this feature is important to you, make sure the bundle contains a special audio cable.

Zotac and Palit cards have original TV-Out interfaces that require a special adapter to output video to a TV set via S-Video or RCA.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz maximum refresh rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit @ 85Hz Max - analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max - digital interface (all Dual-Link DVIs)

As for HDTV, a review is available here.


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