What the benchmarks DON'T Tell you about the GTX 280!!!
I've always believed that you have to take benchmarks with a grain of salt. They give you some idea about how a card will perform, but they don't give you a complete evaluation of the gameplay experience. A case in point is the GeForce GTX 280. Many reviewers have stated that Nvidia's newest card is little faster than a 9800 GX2 or 8800/9800 SLI setup in games like Crysis, COD4 and even in synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark 2006. However, these benchmarks reveal little about what a GTX 280 owner will experience while playing these games. He will experience gameplay that is much smoother than with a 9800 GX2. My 9800 GX2 would stutter all over the place in Crysis at 1920X1200 with everything set on High. Now I can play this game with my GTX 280 with three settings on Very High and everything else on High, and the game hardly stutters at all. The same is true for COD4 which suffered from microstutters with the 9800 GX2. Even the Medusa demo which stuttered all over the place with the 9800 GX2 is smooth as silk with the GTX 280. I think the 1GB of onboard memory and that 512-bit memory interface are the best features of the card.
In sum, beware of focusing on benchmarks. Get the card and judge for yourself. The GTX 280 is not wallet friendly, but it affords the ABSOLUTE BEST gaming experience that can be had today.