Nvidia launches mysterious new GTX 275

Santa Clara (CA) – Nvidia today returned to the famous days of graphics card paper launches with the new GTX 275. Rarely have we seen so much confusion about a new graphics card, which has been positioned as a $250-class rival to AMD’s new graphics card launched today as well. GTX 275, who are you?

Nvidia today announced the new GTX 275 in an apparent move to respond to AMD and, in fact, Nvidia changed the release date several times to match AMD’s launch in order to steal some of the Radeon’s thunder. Nvidia claims that the GTX 275, which is priced slightly lower than the 4890, takes the performance crown and, according to first reviews posted by the usual suspects, it seems that the GTX 275 is a “little faster” than AMD’s 4890. This could make it an attractive buy, if we leave out of consideration that you could buy a GTX 260 or Radeon 4870 for less than $200.

However, there seems to be some confusion at add-in board vendors what the GTX 275 really is and Nvidia’s spec sheet does not answer this question either. The company itself says this:

“Based on the GT200 architecture, the GeForce GTX 275 GPU features 240 processor cores operating at 1404 MHz, 80 texture processing units, a 448-bit memory interface, and an 896 MB frame buffer. In price and performance, it sits between the GeForce GTX 260 and the GeForce GTX 285.” The GTX 275 core is clocked at 633 Mhz.

So what chip is it based on?  
It appears that hardware review sites such as Tom’s Hardware have received GTX 275 cards that are based on the GTX 285 chip. While we did not find many add-in board card that already have received GTX 275 cards, the few we talked to indicated that there may be two versions of this product. One that is based on the GTX 285 (with 240 processors, lower clock speed (down from 648 MHz) and less memory (down from 1 GB)) and one that is based on the GTX 260 (all 240 processors enabled (up from 192), higher clock speed, up from 576 MHz, same 896 MB memory).

We were told that the GTX 260-based should be the one we should expect to see in the channel. Nvidia denied that there will be two different versions of the GTX 275. So we are scratching our head over this one.

GTX 275 cards are expected to become available around April 14 and we were told by add-in board companies that overall supply will be low in the beginning.