IF YOU THOUGHT Nvidia's spectacularly successful strategy in renaming the G92 to the GTS250, then seeding reviewers with ringers was low, you will love what it is doing with the 275. Yes, the company can go lower.
The official specs are 240 'cores', and clocks are at 633/1404/1134MHz for GPU, processor and memory respectively. Yawn. GDDR3 of course, no GDDR5 now or until the GT300 cores, the GT200 can't do it, but that is old news. Things are going to suck for NV on a die area board layers, and therefore cost for the rest of the year.
So, what is the sleazy part? Where to begin, where to begin. The first one is that there is no GT275 card or ASIC, in fact, as of CeBIT, the Nvidia partners didn't know it existed, mainly because it didn't. This 'planned' card wasn't planned, and is what you call a reaction. Take a sticker, slap it on an existing card, and blow different fuses.
We hear there will be only 5,000 or so made, just enough to seed the tame press and put a few on Newegg. Cards in this price range normally have initial shipments more than 10 times that, and go on from there. When you don't have something to counter a competitor, make something up, lose money on each, and claim the high ground, just not in the ethical sense of the word.
Can it get worse? Sure it can, since there is no 275 ASIC, NV is telling OEMs that they can make it from either a 280 or 260 board. One costs much more, and one performs better, so guess what everyone is going to use? That isn't necessarily bad, but how NV is seeding reviewers is. They are only going to be giving out a very special run of ONLY 280 based parts.
Quite special 280 based parts at that. Reviewers beware, what you are getting is not what you can buy, if you consider the 275 to be a real part to begin with. In any case, NV is seeding ringers, and claiming they are what the OEMs are going to make. Again. This is clearly not the case, but multiple reviewers told me they were specifically told by NV that the cards are not going to be 260 based. AIBs say otherwise, and documentation we have seen backs up the AIBs.
That brings us to the launch strategy. Nvidia will be allowing reviewers to write about the 275 on April 2, but there will be no cards. Etailers can 'sell' them from that date, but they are warned that cards won't be available until the 14th... maybe. This is because they don't really exist... yet.
So what you end up with is sadly typical: fake parts, ringers given to reviewers, and implied threats that if they write any of this, they will get cut out.
If you think the hardware review industry is cynical and gamed, you are right.µ