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NVIDIA GTX 280 & GTX 260 Technology Report
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Note On The 8-Pin Power Connector

Those who have tried the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT will recall that even though that was the first card ever to sport an 8-pin power connector in addition to the usual 6-pin connector, the card actually works with just two 6-pin power cables attached to it. Unfortunately, the NVIDIA GTX 280 is simply too much of a power guzzler to do without the extra power provided by the 8-pin power connector.

According to NVIDIA, if you just plug in two 6-pin power connectors, the GTX 280 will refuse to boot up. A red LED located at the top of the card bracket will also light up, warning you that the card has insufficient power. If you are really interested in buying the GTX 280, first make sure you have a power supply with two PCI Express power cables and at least one must have an 8-pin connector.


Power Management

With such prodigious consumption of power, it was only natural that NVIDIA would pay more attention to power management, on top of the usual performance-boosting features.


- When used with an NVIDIA-based motherboard that supports HybridPower as well, the graphics driver can dynamically switch between the GTX 280/260 and the motherboard GPU, depending on the load.
- It can also make use of the motherboard GPU to further boost performance although such a boost would be minimal when compared to the power of the GTX 280/260.

Dynamic Clock & Voltage Scaling

- The new GT200 GPU supports dynamic clock and voltage scaling.
- Whenever the load drops, the GT200 automatically drops the clock speed and voltage to keep power consumption as low as possible.
- This allows the NVIDIA GTX 280 to reduce its idle power consumption to only 25 W, which is 60 % less than the 60 W the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra consumes while idling.

Clock Gating

- It also supports clock gating which turns off portions of the GPU that are not in use. For example, in 2D desktop mode, it automatically turns off the 3D core.
- The GT200 GPU even comes with a Blu-ray Playback Power Mode which essentially uses only the video processor to decode the Blu-ray video stream with the other parts of the GPU powered down for lower power consumption, and thermal output.


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Date Revision Revision History



Initial Release.







The NVIDIA GTX 280 & GTX 260


Note On The 8-Pin Power Connector
Power Management


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