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GTX 280 vs 8800 GTX - 18 Months of Innovation

Introduction & Setup

Welcome to the very first GPU review written and produced by GPUReview.com! For now we are still purchasing the hardware that we review so we may not being reviewing cards very often until we start getting samples from manufacturers. The idea to do this review came from my desire to upgrade from my 8800 GTX to a GTX 280. So this review will be focused on the performance differences between the Evga 8800 GTX and the Evga GTX 280 in four games and two benchmarks.  

Our review "software suite" consists of:

  • 175.19 WHQL drivers for the 8800 GTX
  • 177.41 WHQL drivers for the GTX 280
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit
  • 3DMark06
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures
  • BioShock
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Crysis

Our review hardware consists of (my PC):

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 @2,666MHz
  • CPU Heatsink: Zalman 9500 LED
  • Motherboard: Abit IN9 32X-MAX (8800 GTX) MSI P7N SLI Platinum (GTX 280)
  • Video Cards: Evga 8800 GTX (768-P2-N831-AR) and Evga GTX 280 (01G-P3-1280-AR)
  • Memory: 4GB (2x 2GB) Corsair Dominator PC2-8500 @800MHz
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 250GB SATA 7,200RPM
  • PSU: Enermax Galaxy DXX 1,000 Watt
  • PC Monitor: Samsung 20" 204B LCD
  • HDTV: Sharp LC-37GP1U 37" 1080p LCD

You can see that two different motherboards. This was necessary because the GTX 280 could not be installed onto my Abit IN9 32X-MAX. For more details check out this story I wrote about the whole ordeal. The performance differences between the two motherboards are negligible.

Our testing methodology involves me playing a game and recording 2 minute sections using Fraps. I get at least 3 two minute runs and then I average the Minimum, Maximum and Average FPS numbers. The settings are kept the same for both graphics cards. 16X anisotropic filtering and 4X Multisampling antialiasing were used for all games by using the Nvidia control panel Manage 3D Settings menu. No filtering or antialiasing were used while running the 3DMark benchmarks.

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