We reviewed Zotac's heavily overclocked nVidia GeForce GTX 275 AMP card in August. Good though it was, it had strong competition in the ravishing ATI Radeon HD 4890. So here we look at look at the considerably cheaper standard PNY GeForce GTX 275.
The PNY GeForce GTX 275 is simply a 285 with lesser memory. That's not just in terms of capacity (896MB of GDDR3, rather than 1GB), as the 448bit architecture is a notch down on the 285's 512bit. The upside for the 275 is that ATI's 4890 contender has a narrower 256bit interface - which leaves rivals closely matched.
So far, there's no difference between the PNY GeForce GTX 275 and the overclocked Zotac. And all 275 cards offer 240 stream processors, while the 4890 offers over three times that figure.
The PNY GeForce GTX 275 comes with the XLR8 tag emblazoned on the front and sticks to nVidia's base speeds: core clock is 633MHz, rather than 702MHz in the Zotac 275. And the memory clock is a pedestrian 1134MHz, while the Zotac steps up to 1260MHz. In terms of raw figures, though, even the Zotac was no match for the 4890, so the PNY should lag even further behind.
Figures don't tell you the whole story and, hamstrung by its piffling interface, the 4890 doesn't always convert superior specs into an emphatic win in real-world testing.
Where Zotac's overclocked 275 was several frames faster in most tests, the PNY GeForce GTX 275 is slightly slower than the 4890. At lower resolutions, the 4890 proved a slightly faster card in a number of games. Once you crank up the detail, a 275 holds its ground more convincingly, generally slipping ahead of the 4890 at a resolution of 1920x1200. In overall performance terms, there's little to choose between the two.
The PNY GeForce GTX 275 supports Cuda and PhysX technology, and these could give future games an extra degree of sophistication that might give nVidia an edge. ATI's better DirectX 10 support is less of an advantage, so for future potential, we have to nod in the direction of the 275.