Hot on the heels of the impressive ATI Radeon HD 4890, Nvidia has released a card that it hopes will compete with its new rival. Just as with the latest ATI card, which boasted an updated RV700 core - the RV790 - the GTX 275 has a tweaked GT200 core - the force behind the GTX 285 and GTX 295.
Closer examination reveals the card to be a bit of a mix. It boasts a similar RAM complement to the mid-range GTX 260 Core 216, with 896MB of GDDR3, while the rest of the chip is reminiscent of Nvidia's faster parts, with a core clock set at 633MHz and a core configuration identical to that used in the GTX 285 and GTX 295.
Our gaming benchmarks provided surprising results. In our high-quality Crysis benchmark, the GTX 275 managed 47fps, the same score as the ATI Radeon HD 4890, and it managed a just-about-playable 28fps in our very-high quality test - only one frame behind. It's the first time an Nvidia card has matched an ATI product, blow-for-blow, in recent times.
Performance in Far Cry 2 was just as close, with both cards staking a claim for dominance. The HD 4890 was slower in the high-quality test, managing 73fps to the GTX 275's 76fps, and the ATI card was a single frame quicker in the very-high quality benchmark at 55fps. And price, as with performance, sees neither card gaining an advantage, with both retailing at around $420.
In fact, there's so little to choose between them that it would be unfair on one to recommend the other. Both the GTX 275 and HD 4890 offer fantastic performance for an excellent price - so, even if the buying decision comes down to nothing more than brand loyalty, your graphical hunger should be sated.
The GTX 275 represents a welcome return to form for Nvidia and is its first card for months that has competed on both price and performance. The GTX 285 and GTX 295 may be too expensive for serious consideration, but the revised core and slashed price of the GTX 275 makes it a far more tempting proposition.