NVIDIA GeForce GTX275 SLI Review - Conclusions

Submitted by skipclarke on 29 July, 2009 - 02:32

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Other Benchmarks

Trackmania NationsTrackmania Nations
Overall, each card tends to perform comparable to each other. It appears that the game is rather CPU locked at this point, at least at these settings. The GTX 275 1792MB SLI is the top performer, except at 5040x1050. We see similar performance with 1680x1050 and 1920, and then 3840x1024 and 2560x1600. In general, I wouldn't invest in the more expensive GPU setup for these minimal improvements in performance. Also, the game looks smooth as silk above 30fps, so I don't perceive any real benefit of improved GFX horsepower. Unless the GTX 285s make a momentous shift, we will probably drop Trackmania Nations as a benchmark.

World in Conflict
I have decided to stop using World in Conflict as a benchmark. WIC produces SIGNIFICANT variance in its results; or either back-to-back or "clean" runs (after a reboot). For example, when running the benchmark at 5040x1050 I would initially see an average fps of 40. Subsequent runs would each produce drops of 5-7 fps. Thus you end up with three runs of 40, 33 and then 27. This is a variance of basically 33% between runs. Thinking this was due to running the benchmarks on a single boot, I tried the same with reboots in between. After rebooting, the game may initially produce a result of 30. This is within the range of the last two runs (in the first round), but far less than the first run on the clean boot.

With enough tries, I could get consistent runs on a single boot. I could also get series of runs (five per resolution) that made sense as you charted them against each other (worse performance at higher resolutions). But at the end of the day, I feel like I'm manipulating the numbers to try and fit them to a pre-ordained mold. This isn't something I can comfortably do, and in all honesty I don't know how other sites or magazines are effectively using the World in Conflict Benchmark Tool.


If you're playing Source Engine games (HL2, TF2, etc.), a single GTX 275 will do you more than enough. While I would assume a frenetic match of TF2 would reduce your frames below our HL2 benchmarks, I think your experience will still be stellar. The 1792MB card does produce noticeable improvements in 2560x1600 and 5040x1050, and provides a smoother overall experience. If you're running Vista, ensure that you are running in 32-bit mode for any Source Engine game.

If Far Cry 2 (or something similarly demanding), the GTX 275 1792MB SLI setup is the top dog at high resolutions and aspects, and compares with the GTX 295 at lower resolutions. Both the GTX 275 SLI and the GTX 295 have noticeable improvements over single GTX 275 cards, at every resolution and AA setting. I would be happier with the GTX 275 1792MB SLI as it provides better performance and doesn't have the annoying whine of the GTX295. A single GTX 275 is still a good proposition of you're willing to turn down a few settings.

I will also say that both the GTX 275 performed well in both single and SLI setups, with other games I played during the time. Both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Lord of the Rings Online performed well at their max settings. So, with a Core i7 based system, the GTX 275 is an admirable mid-range performer and scaled well in SLI for modern titles like Far Cry 2.

If you're willing to turn down a few settings, then you don't need to break the bank on a graphics card setup to push Wide Surround. It will be interesting to see how a single GTX 285 2GB performs, given it's increased shader performance and the benefits from more RAM at higher resolutions with AA.

What's Next?

Next in line is to get my hands on the GTX 285 1GB, GTX 285 2GB, and then finally GTX 285 2GB SLI. After that I will be moving to benchmark more games going forward with my "winning setup."