nVidia GeForce GTX 260

The GTX 280 is, on average, the fastest single graphics card you can currently buy but it also comes with a seriously hefty price tag, which most of us would simply never consider stretching to pay.

This fact was driven home with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer by ATI, just a week or so later, when it released its own brand new card, in the form of the HD 4870, and proved that great performance didn't have to cost the earth.

Were this the end of it, nVidia might have had a hard time for the next few months as the vast majority of people recognised the limited reason for paying an extra 40 per cent for only (on average) 10 per cent more performance.

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