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Appeared on: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Inno3D GTX275 OC


1. Introduction, features

It is not the first time that we see the release of a new product that is actually a stripped down version of a more expensive model. Nvidia's latest desktop graphics card is the GTX275, which promises to offer a performance close to what you will get from the high-end GTX285 GPU but it is available in a more affordable price. But what happens if you overclock a GTX275 solution? Does this makes your GTX275 equivalent to the GTX285? Inno3D has released such an overclockable version of the Nvidia GTX275 series.

The Inno3D GT275 OC Edition is based on the Nvidia GTX275 series and comes with increased clocks for core/shader/memory in order to deliver a product that could compete even with the GTX285 series. The Nvidia GTX275 series are based on the 55nm manufacturing process and its overclocking margins should be significant, provided that the cooling system on board is also efficient.

Below is a table showing the differences among the Nvidia GTX 2xx series of chips:

  GTX 295 GTX 285 GTX 275 GTX 260 Core 216
Stream Processors 2 x 240 240 240 216
Texture Address / Filtering 2 x 80 / 80 80 / 80 80 / 80 72/72
ROPs 28 32 28 28
Core Clock 576MHz 648MHz 633MHz 576MHz
Shader Clock 1242MHz 1476MHz 1404MHz 1242MHz
Memory Clock 999MHz 1242MHz 1134MHz 999MHz
Memory Bus Width 2 x 448-bit 512-bit 448-bit 448-bit
Frame Buffer 2 x 896MB 1GB 8969MB 896MB
Transistor Count 2 x 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 65nm

The Inno3D GTX275 OC edition is slightly overclocked compared with the typical Nvidia speeds. It core runs at 670MHz (+37MHz) Core, Shaders are clocked at 1404MHz (+0) and finally the memory closk is set at 1188MHz (+54MHz).

- Retail package

The Inno3D GTX275 OC edition retails for about €240 (including VAT).

Two(!) retail games are included in the package. The popular 'Company Of Heroes Opposing Front' and the 'Warmonger', a game that its also offered for free over NVIDIA's web-site. Users will also find in the box a driver's disc, one molex-to-pci-e adapter, a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, a DSub-to-DVI-D adapter, a TV-out cable with HDTV support and finally an Internal SPDIF cable.

The Inno3D GTX275 OC is equipped with the generic Nvidia cooling system with a single only fan. However a special I-Chill edition will be also available soon featuring the same PCB and a different and more efficient cooling system.

The typical for the category dual DVI-D and the HDTV outputs are gold-plated for lower noise. Nice addition from the Inno3D.

The card should be powered by two 6-pin power jacks in order to operate properly. You should also make sure that your PSU is powerful enough (600 Watts or more) before connecting this graphics card to your system.

Nvidia's SLI is possible with all currently sold GTX 2xx series, as long you are using two identical cards of course.

For all the tests, we used the latest Nvidia drivers (185.81) in order to get the highest possible performance, especially with the latest DX10 game titles.

According to GPU-Z, the GOU runs at 670MHz and the memory is clocked at 1188MHz:

The NvidiaBios Editor v5.0 software does not support this product, yet:


2. Test PC setup

Here is our test PC setup:

Below you can see the applications and games we used for the performance measurements for this card. The FRAPS software was also used to check the in game performance when needed.

DirectX 9

DirectX10


3. Benchmark settings
- Testbed DirectX9

We used the default settings for 3DMark05 as following:

Again we used the default settings:

- Testbed DirectX10

We used the three built-in "Performance" and "Extreme" benchmarks in various resolutions

We used the built-in benchmark with all details maxed out.

We used the hocbench Crysis benchmark tool for three resolutions, 1280x1024, 1680x1050 and finally the 1920x1200. We ran the benchmark software either with High and Very High details in order to find out at which resolution the game was playable.

We used the FRAMEBuffer benchmark tool for three resolutions, 1280x1024, 1680x1050 and finally 1920x1200. We also checked all the available quality levels.

We used the built-in benchmarking utility and maxed out all visual details including the DX9/DX10 settings and up to 16x AA/16x AF.


4. Futuremark hall of fame
The Futuremark benchmarks have been highly discussed between gamers and reviewers. For your information we post the results of 3DMark 05, 3DMark 06 and of course the latest 3DMark Vantage, giving you a rough idea of what can you expect from the tested graphics card.

The Inno3D GTX275 OC performs better than GTX260 series as it was expected. It was also faster than the GTX285 series this is probably due to the use of a newer driver for this test.

The 3DMark Vantage provides a clearer view of the the card's performance in various resolutions. The Inno3D GTX275 OC has a clear advantage over the GTX260 series and it is close to the generic GTX285 series:


5. Crysis (DirectX10)

Crysis is probably the de facto benchmark game since almost no currently available card can offer acceptable frame rates at high resolutions and with very high quality settings enabled.

However, the game is full playable at 1280x1024 even with with high quality settings enabled. The Inno3D GTX275 OC was very fast at this resolution and gave an average FPS of 50.00, leaving the GTX260 cards behind:

Enabling the very high quality settings has an significant impact on the performance of all the graphics cards. The Inno3D GTX275 OC gave 23 FPS, while the GTX285 solutions show their teeth with 32FPS:

Pushing resolutions even higher at 1680x1050 and 19200x1200, the performance difference between the GTX285 and GTX275 series is around six (6) FPS.


6. Crysis Warhead (DirectX9, DirectX10)

Compared to the original "Crysis", the latest "Crysis Warhead" offers many visual improvements in both DirectX9 and DirectX10 rendering modes.

Here are the FPS results we got with the Inno3D GTX275 OC graphics card in all possible resolutions/quality settings and with anti-aliasing disabled:

DX9
1280x1024
1680x1050
1920x1200
Low
Average
Low
Average
Low
Average
Performance
62,28
126,88
54,91
120,15
56,85
122,37
Mainstream
32,33
76,74
32,35
72,75
32,96
71,29
Gamer
22,26
55,28
22,46
49,94
21,46
43,76
Enthusiast
22,81
42,51
17,88
34,51
15,46
28,48

Enabling DirectX10 has a impact upon performance. Again the Gamer level seems to be the perfect choice and depending resolution, you can enjoy really high frame rates.

DX10
1280x1024
1680x1050
1920x1200
Low
Average
Low
Average
Low
Average
Performance
62,12
105,97
55,88
102,21
50,82
101,51
Mainstream
34,16
70,62
36,17
67,52
36,06
62,10
Gamer
22,30
50,03
20,67
42,71
21,72
36,99
Enthusiast
19,48
34,38
17,36
29,07
16,41
24,30

We compare the Inno3D GTX275 OC with various other graphics cards. At 1280x1024, the tested card is very close to the GTX285 series:

At 1680x1050, both the GTX285 and GTX 275 are still very close:

Finally at 1920x1200 the GTX285 is slightly faster..

The DirectX10 rendering mode seems to be harder for all the cards to handle.

At 1280x1024 we see a clear advantage of the GTX285 series over the GTX275, but only at the Performance/Mainstream quality levels.

The situation is the same at 1680x1050 & 1920x1200. The GTX285 series is better only when you choose the Performance/Mainstream detail levels. If you set the equality settings lower, the two cards will give you the same performance.


7. Company Of Heroes v1.71 (DirectX 10)

Company Of Heroes is a popular action/strategy game with many fans around the world. The game it was the first that ever to take advantage of the the DirectX10 mode and also offers impressive game physics. We took some FPS measurements with all visual details enabled:.

The Inno3D GTX275 performed very well and close to what the GTX285 series deliver in all tested resolutions.


8. Far Cry 2 (DirectX 9/10)

Far Cry 2 is one of the hottest game titles right now. The game supports both the DirectX 9 and the DirectX10 rendering modes and its graphics engine is much lighter than the one that Crysis uses. As a result, all the graphics cards will perform quite well, even at the higher resolutions of 1920x1200 with 16xAA/16xAF enabled.

At 1280x1024, the Inno3D GTX275 was close enough to the GTX260 series, at least at the high/very high detail level:

At the highest 1920x1200 resolution, the performance difference between the Inno3D card and the GTX285 is six (6) FPS at the Ultra High detail level.

Finally, we enabled the 16xAA/AF . The Inno3D GTX275 OC seems to be very capable, reaching the performance of the GTX285 series.


9. Half Life 2 Episode 2 (DirectX 9), Left4Dead

Half Life 2 is a first person shooter game that everybody has played and loved. Episode 2 has several image quality improvements and enabling the 4xAA and 16AF further enhances the gaming experience.

The Inno3D GTX275 had good performance, although it was slightly slower than the XFX GTX260 XXX:

- Left4Dead

The latest Source engine is found in the ' Left4Dead' game title. We used a custom time demo and measured the performance of the graphics card using the embedded console. The measurements started at 1280x1024 and up to 1920x1200 with 16xAF enabled all visual settings maxed out.

The rendering speed of the Inno3D card was quite high here with 102.77FPS at 1280 x 1024 (4x16AF).

At 1920x1200, the card was just 4FPS slower than the GTX285. Enabling 16xAA reduces the performance to 76.75FPS, which is still very playable.


10. Overclocking, final words
- Overclocking

For our overclocking tests we used the latest RivaTuner with FurMark. The highest scores we got were 720MHz/1562MHz/1284MHz for the core/shader/memory respectively.

Note that during our tests we had to increase the fan duty circle up to 70% making the card more noisy but stable.

- Final words

The Inno3D GTX275 OC is based on the Nvidia GTX275 series but it has increased clocks for core/shader/memory. That makes the graphics card very fast allowing it to compete even with the GTX285 series in some cases. The majority of our tests showed that the GTX285 series is just 4-6 FPS faster than the Inno3D GTX275 OC, depending the game title and rendering mode.

However, the the GTX285 is faster without any doubt with the DirectX 10 games.

Inno 3D's solution is also very competitive in terms of pricing. With a retail price of €240 Euro, this graphics card seems a real bargain since the GTX285 series would cost you more than €300 Euro.

In addition, the card comes in a complete retail package, has golden-plated outputs, two retail games and it is also backed by a 2-year warranty. Finally, the card is also overclockable although increasing the fan speed is necessary to get a stable system, making the card more noisy.

Inno3D also plans to ship the special I-Chill GTX275 series of graphics cards, possibly with even higher clocks (?) and a different and more effective cooling system.

Overall this is a great package for all the categories of users. The graphics card is fast, costs much less than a GTX285 and looks very future-proof. Definitely a 'Safe Buy'.



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