Every now and then one of NVIDIA's board partners tries to do something special with one of their products. A nice overclock, custom coolers, new PCBs, there is a big bag of tricks to their disposal. But you have that, and then there always is a next step. Something weird, something special, often something very expensive. If you got cash to spend and like to go pro .. dude you gotta go for water-cooling. And if you combine that with NVIDIA fastest single GPU solution on the market, then chances are you'll have something special for sure. Manufacturers like EVGA can help you with that.
Take the GeForce GTX 280. A 1400 million transistor counting piece of silicon that raises the bar of single-GPU graphics processing. It's also a product that has been haunted and jinxed by a ghost called AMD with the RV770 product, which I'll now call Casper.
What sucks for NVIDIA, but is great for the consumer is that NVIDIA had to adapt their strategy. One of the big markers changed in that approach was to lower the pricing model of the top part of NVIDIA products. The GeForce GTX 280 dropped from an astoundingly overpriced 650 USD towards a way more interesting price. Though the MSRP is now set at 339 USD you can find (check here) the standard GTX 280 already for 419 USD ! And that certainly changed the dynamics, as that's a 35% price drop, making the GTX 280 way more flexible to put onto the market, and actually appealing to purchase.
Now why this long intro on pricing you ask? Well, what we are testing today is by itself unjustifiable expensive. So that massive price drop on NVIDIA's side helped out a lot, see, as for less than the original price 8 weeks ago, at $629.99 you can purchase the product we're testing today. But more on that later.
A water-cooled pre-overclocked heavily pimped out EVGA GTX 280 HC 16 is what we'll review today. Have a quick peek at the photo below and then let's dive into the full review.
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