nVidia has just launched its brand-new GTX 285 chip - a slight improvement on the older GTX 280. It's therefore a little odd to find MSI coming out with a new GTX 280 card. But the MSI nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC isn't a bad card and MSI has done its best to make this new version as swift as it can.

This particular incarnation packs some improved speeds, including a clock speed of 650MHz (up for 602MHz), while the memory clock jumps from an effective 2,214MHz to 2,300MHz. These aren't massive differences, but they lead to a slightly enhanced performance when the MSI nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC goes head to head with the newer GTX 285.

The PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285 isn't quite as fast as the Asus ENGTX285 TOP that we reviewed last month, and the MSI itself cuts the gap by a few frames, with the nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC languishing just 3 or 4 frames per second behind. This wouldn't be a bad result but for the fact it's a marginally pricier card than the PNY nVidia GeForce GTX 285.

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The one area in which the MSI nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC impresses is that it operates more quietly than the 285. In normal operation it achieved the lowest noise levels of any card in this category, remaining one of the best even when running through games tests. However, one of the supplementary power connectors is an 8-pin. If you're looking to buy two or three 280s and run them together, this could be significant, since, should you not want to rely on adaptors, you'll find it harder to find a compatible PSU.

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MSI nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce GTX 280
  • 1GB GDDR3 RAM
  • 512bit memory interface
  • 650MHz core clock
  • 1,150MHz memory clock (2,300MHz DDR effective)
  • 147.2GBps memory bandwidth
  • 400MHz Ramdac
  • 240 stream processors
  • 1 x 6pin and 1 x 8pin power connectors
  • PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.0
  • 2 x DVI
  • HDMI via adaptor
  • TV-out
  • includes Colin McRae Dirt and Lord of the Rings (trial)
  • noise levels: 45-47dB (normal conditions)
  • 48-49dB (running Crysis)
  • three-year warranty
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 280
  • 1GB GDDR3 RAM
  • 512bit memory interface
  • 650MHz core clock
  • 1,150MHz memory clock (2,300MHz DDR effective)
  • 147.2GBps memory bandwidth
  • 400MHz Ramdac
  • 240 stream processors
  • 1 x 6pin and 1 x 8pin power connectors
  • PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.0
  • 2 x DVI
  • HDMI via adaptor
  • TV-out
  • includes Colin McRae Dirt and Lord of the Rings (trial)
  • noise levels: 45-47dB (normal conditions)
  • 48-49dB (running Crysis)
  • three-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

MSI has done its best with the nVidia N280GTX-T2D1G-OC, but it is outdated technology and, unless this card becomes the subject of some juicy price cutting, we recommend opting for a 285 instead.

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