EVGA GeForce GTX 275 Review

EVGA GeForce GTX 275 Review

It seems like the graphics card war heated up just a couple of years ago with the introduction of NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800 and ATI’s eventual reply. Since then there’s been a constant level of tension between the two discrete graphics card giants as new cards are released and new market segments are stratified. It’s the latter that has led to the introduction of the GeForce GTX 275; like its model number implies, it sets between the updated GTX 260 Core 216 and the GTX 285. With the price all but matching the model number, is this a good choice for your system? Read on for our full review.


  • GPU: 55nm GT200
  • Core clock: 648MHz (633MHz standard)
  • Processing cores: 240
  • Memory: 896MB GDDR3 @ 1188MHz (1134MHz standard)
  • Digital output: 2 x DVI-I
  • Analog output: 1 x S-video
  • Power: 2 x 6-pin PCI Express
  • Interface: PCI Express 2.0 x16
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

The EVGA 896-P3-1171-AR Superclocked GTX 275 carries a suggested retail price of $269.99. The standard EVGA GTX 275 goes for $249.99, while the 1792MB version is being sold for $299.99.

Build and Design

EVGA has become a darling of the graphics card world in recent years. Due in no small part to their step-up policy, which allows a certain amount of leniency to users who buy a new video card only to cry as a new model comes out, they’ve also become known for class-leading lifetime warranties on certain products. Their version of the GTX 275 comes solidly built, though it weighs less than it looks. The EVGA circuit board is black, with a large black fan assembly and heatsink cover sitting on top. The cylindrical multi-blade fan on the right works admirably to keep the card cool without being too loud.

The GTX 275 is something of an odd duck, warring for consumer attention with NVIDIA’s two other high-end cards, the GTX 285 (with the 280 being set EOL) and the GTX 295, their dual-GPU solution. That means that the GTX 275 is now the second highest single GPU solution that NVIDIA offers. As such, it’s worth briefly comparing the three cards, especially given that they share such similar architectures, GPU, etc.

NVIDIA uses the GT200 GPU in all three of its high-end cards; while the 295 is clocked slightly lower (most likely due to the cooling requirements two high-powered GPUs command) the second GPU more than makes up for it. In fact, given the shared attributes, it might be said that the GTX 295 is similar to two GTX 275s in much the same way that the Radeon 4870X2 is similar to HD4870s.

One thing to be cautious about is the sheer size of the card. While it’s obviously a dual-slot solution like most other high-end video cards, it’s also pretty long, coming in at almost eleven inches. While most full tower cases won’t have any problem making room, anything smaller might not be able to fit it in without at least rearranging hard drives or cables.


Our test system for this review uses a Phenom II X4 955 CPU clocked at 3.7GHz, 4GB of DDR3 Corsair XMS3 memory, an ASUS M4A79-T Deluxe motherboard and an OCZ Vertex solid state disk in addition to the EVGA GTX 275 graphics card. The standard or reference version of this card’s GPU is clocked at 633MHz, with a shader clock of 1404MHz and memory tuned to 1134MHz (effectively 2268, thanks to the DDR). The Superclocked GTX 275 variant being looked at in this review is only slightly overclocked to 648MHz, with a shader clcok of 1458MHz and memory running at 1188MHz. The truly overclocked FTW card is available for an extra thirty dollars and offers a GPU running at 713MHz, shaders working at 1512MHz and memory clocked to 1260MHz. There’s also a fourth variant which runs at reference clock speeds but includes twice the memory for a total of 1792MB of GDDR3 RAM.

3DMark Vantage results:

Category3DMark Vantage score3DMark06 scoreOverall scoreP1170515226 3DMarksGPU subscore11496—CPU subscore12381—

Here, let’s take a look at how the EVGA GTX 275 compares with what is essentially a rebadged performance champ of the last generation. The difference between these two cards is what a user with an older card might expect to achieve with an upgrade.

Bioshock results:

SettingsMinimum framerateMaximum framerateAverage framerateGTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 2751680×1050, settings maxed66 fps82 fps192 fps265 fps103.8 fps146.5 fps1920×1200, settings maxed61 fps73 fps145 fps188 fps84.9 fps123.9 fps

Bioshock is getting on in years, but it still manages to scale well. The GTX 275 pulls in around 150% of the performance of the GTS 250, which is how it should perform. If nothing else, it shows that if the GTX 275 is going to be used to play slightly older games, detail and resolution would be no problem whatsoever. Go ahead, max everything out, crank up the resolution and it’ll be smooth as silk.

Call of Duty: World at War results (4x AA/AF):

SettingsMinimum framerateMaximum framerateAverage framerateGTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 2751680×1050, settings on auto40 fps64 fps82 fps94 fps62.6 fps83.7 fps1920×1200, settings on auto38 fps45 fps68 fps93 fps53.6 fps79.4 fps

The fifth Call of Duty game also poses no problem for the GTX 275. What’s nice here is that even at higher resolutions, the minimum framerate always stays above forty frames per seconds, meaning that gamers won’t see slowdowns in the game, even during scenes where soldiers and grenades are blowing up left and right.

Left 4 Deadresults (8xAA/no AF):

SettingsMinimum framerateMaximum framerateAverage framerateGTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 2751680×1050, settings maxed48 fps62fps135 fps215fps87.1 fps138.4fps1920×1200, settings maxed34 fps69 fps103 fps165 fps68.7 fps122.2 fps

Left4Dead isn’t exactly graphically intensive, but that doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly popular game; everyone knows how carthartic killing zombies can be. With an average of over 100 frames per second, gamers can twitch and take out hunters without worrying about the game not performing as fast as they need.

Crysis v1.2 results (no AA/AF):

SettingsMinimum framerateMaximum framerateAverage framerateGTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 2751920×1200, all settings medium18 fps23 fps60 fps82 fps39.5 fps46.9 fps1680×1050, all settings high17 fps23 fps46 fps54 fps29.1 fps38.4 fps1920×1200, all settings high14 fps22 fps39 fps64 fps26.4 fps36.6fps

Crysis has been a defining benchmark for video cards for months and months now, due in no small part to how much power it requires. Whether it’s because of the game’s fantastic detail or Crytek’s inefficient development doesn’t really matter, as it doesn’t change the fact that a really robust graphics card is needed to drive this game at anything but the loweast settings. In this case, we ran the game with no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering, at both high and medium settings (three and two out of four possible detail levels). At high, even the GTX 275 struggles a little bit, with framerates dropping as low as 22 frames per second during really active scenes. Thirty frames per second is really the minimum before it becomes too noticeable.

Fortunately, the average is well above that minimum level at 37 fps, and that’s with a pretty high level of detail in the game. There isn’t a huge difference between the slight downgrade in resolutions; the real change comes with changing the settings down to medium. It must be said that even at medium settings with AA and AF turned down, the game still looks great.

Crysis Warhead results (no AA/AF):

SettingsMinimum framerateMaximum framerateAverage framerateGTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 275GTS 250GTX 2751920×1200, all settings mainstream20 fps27fps55 fps83fps40.7 fps54.6fps1680×1050, all settings gamer14 fps21fps44 fps54fps29.8 fps37.3fps1920×1200, all settings gamer12 fps18 fps35 fps50fps24.8 fps33.2fps

When Crysis Warhead originally came out, it was said that it would perform better than its predecessor on the same graphics hardware, though we haven’t really found that to be the case. While some tests have it doing better and some worse, in the end it’s essentially a wash. At a guess, the gamer (equivalent to Crysis’s high) settings show the same or slightly more detail than Crysis, while the mainstream (medium) settings show slightly less.

Power, Heat and Noise

One of the really great things about this card is how quiet it is. At idle, the card rests at around 48 degrees Celsius, which is a little warm, but equivalent to many other cards today. Fortunately, the fan that EVGA uses in the GTX 275 glides through the air without too much fuss, and as the GPU temperature ramps up, so does the fan: gently, not in loud, staccato bursts. Pushed to its limits for 20 minutes or so, the card got all the way up to 92 degrees Celsius, so it’s important to have good airflow in a case before this card is installed. At that high temperature the fan is definitely noticeable but it’s still not loud, and manages to be quieter than most of the high-end video cards we see push through here.


For a while, it seemed like NVIDIA was struggling to remain as competitive as ATI’s recent offerings, doing so only by introducing massive price cuts on some of their product lines. They’re really back in the game, so to speak, with solid cards at several different price points, and great value adds like the recent GPU accelerated CUDA software, some of which our sites have looked at in the past. ATI really needs to increase their presence in the GPGPU arena with their Stream initiative, and soon.

In short, the GTX 275 is a good card if you’re willing to pay the price, and will power through most games at most resolutions without a problem. Combined with a lifetime warranty and EVGA’s limited-time Step-Up programs, it’s hard to go wrong.


  • Good fan choice means that it runs quiet (for a video card)
  • Solid performance
  • Low idle power draws


  • Physically large; users without a full tower case have issues
  • Superclocked variant provides questionable value for the cost






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