With ATI’s recent efforts dominating the market, NVIDIA and their board partners have to do something to try and keep the fans excited, and the most recent effort goes to EVGA’s GTX 275 CO-OP PhysX card, which grafts a GTS 250 GPU onto a traditional GTX 275 and uses it as a dedicated PhysX processor.
What sets this card apart from other efforts is that it’s the first time in recent memory in which a manufacturer put disparate GPUs — that is, two different GPSs — on the same board. Recently NVIDIA and their partners have been touting the GTS250 as a great supplemental card.
So users are expected to buy a primary GPU and then a secondary one not to bump up framerates, but to exclusively handle PhysX effects (though, in all fairness, framerates can shoot up as much as 20% or more if you’re trying to run PhysX on two cards as opposed to one).
The GTX 275 was a pretty good card, and the GTS 250, at least the 1GB version, was all right for the price and time. What’s the difference between those cards and this one? Well, performance-wise, nothing. You’ll get the same effect with the new CO-OP card (what EVGA calls their dual-GPU cards) as you would with two discrete GeForce cards. You will save on power bills, though, and if you’re one of the few high-end enthusiasts that enjoys using multiple cards, you can do some pretty crazy stuff with this one, like going Tri-SLI, use the three GTX 275s to render a game, one or two GTS 250 GPUs to handle PhysX and the remaining one to fold proteins. In other words, it can be about as excessive as you want.
Unfortunately, there’s no price mentioned yet, and when it is, chances are it won’t be cheap. Still, it’s an interesting product if nothing else, and whether it’s a category-defining product or just an answer in search of a problem to solve, well, we won’t know for some time. Users who buy the new card are also treated with a free download of Batman: Arkham Asylum, which isn’t surprising since it’s the biggest game that supports PhysX in any appreciable manner. The physical card is also emblazoned with the Joker’s image.