As we would expect at this price/performance level, two extra power connectors are needed to keep (or indeed get) the card running so you’ll need a decent modern power supply. Meanwhile, the usual SLI connector points are also present along the top edge. Unfortunately no SLI bridges are included in the box.
If you choose to buy this particular Zotac GTX 275, one potential highlight is a free copy of one of our favourite racing games, Race Driver: GRID. As well as this you also get a full copy of 3DMark Vantage, so you can easily test your graphics card’s performance. There are also two 4-pin to 6-pin power adapters, an SP/DIF audio connection for passing audio from your sound card out through the DVI socket from where it can be transported along an HDMI cable using the included DVI-to-HDMI adapter. And finishing things off is the venerable DVI-to-VGA adapter.
”’A word on CUDA”’
One of the key differentiators between nVidia and ATI graphics cards at the moment is nVidia’s undeniably more mature and widely adopted platform for using the processing power of graphics cards for other things besides 3D games. The most prominent of these applications has been for offsetting the physics calculations used by the PhysX game engine onto the GPU. This results in better performance in games that support it.
(centre)”’The glass and fabric effects in Mirror’s Edge definitely add to the experience but alone are not enough to convince us to buy one graphics card or another.”’(/centre)
All well and good, except very few titles yet support this and, of those that do, few use it to the extent that it makes a discernible difference to gameplay. The one major exception so far is Mirror’s Edge where the constant running around glass fronted buildings provided the opportunity for the advanced glass breaking effects to regularly shine through. However, this alone would not be enough for us to recommend an nVidia card over an ATI one. We need a regular stream of quality titles that rely on this tech before we feel this one feature would make up for any 3D processing performance deficits.
(centre)”’MotionDSP’s vReveal offers impressive and easy to use video enhancements made quicker by GPU acceleration.”’(/centre)
Likewise, a few token video conversion and processing tools in the form of Badaboom and vReveal are not going to persuade us that CUDA is the be all and end all. Particularly because these programs aren’t even free. Sure, nVidia has support from the highly regarded TMPGEnc video transcoder but then Cyberlink’s Power Director demonstrates a more likely long term trend in that it supports both CUDA and ATI Stream. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not dismissing these value-added features outright but we just don’t feel there’s enough here to influence a buying decision for something that is going to spend the vast majority of its time doing other things (namely processing 3D graphics scenes).