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Gigabyte GV-N26OC896H-GA Geforce GTX260 Core 216 Videocard Review

Gigabyte GV-N26OC896H-GA Geforce GTX260 Core 216 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Best of all, Gigabyte have pre-overclocked the Geforce GTX260 from the default 578MHz clock speed to 630MHz, and bumped up the 1242MHz shader clock to 1356MHz.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jul 15 2009   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA

nVidia Geforce GTX260 / GT200 GPU

While the original Geforce GTX 260 has a stock core clock of 578MHz, with shaders at 1242MHz and GDDR3 memory at 999MHz, Gigabyte has chosen to overclock the GV-N260C896H-GA for a little extra power.

The GPU on the GV-N260C896H-GA videocard comes from the factory running at 630Mhz, with shaders at 1356MHz. The 896MB of GDDR3 memory has been rounded up to an even 1000MHz.

To understand where all this power comes from, we need to take a look at the nVidia GeForce GTX260 GPU - a massive monolith of an IC sheathed behind its heatspreader. Code named 'GT200', this graphics processor is actually the second revision nVidia has made to its new next-generation graphics processors.

The nVidia GT200 GPU chip is designed with 240 total shader processors. Each one is a tiny processor that can compute either pixel or vertex mathematical operations. The processors are designed to operate on graphical information simultaneously, with each shader processor is operating on a single pixel per cycle.

These shader processors are broken up into clusters of 24, called Texture/Processor Clusters. In addition to the shader processors, the clusters also include a texturing array and a geometry controller. While the high end nVidia Geforce GTX 280 graphics card has all 10 of the GT200's TPCs enabled, the original Geforce GTX 260 had only 8 of the 10 TPCs enabled, the remaining two are either disabled or had defects that caused them to fail in nVidia's quality assurance testing.

The Gigabyte Geforce GTX260 Core 216 videocard that PCSTATS is tested today actually has an additional TPC enabled, so there are 9 clusters of 24 shader processors, for a total of 216 shader processors. This translates into a bit of extra shader muscle and texturing savvy. The GT200 GPU is oriented around shader processing and calculation, designed for games that utilize intense special effects like high dynamic range lighting, geometry distortion and dynamic reflections.

In addition to the increased shader cores, nVidia has also managed to get the GT200 GPU's 1.4 billion transistors shrunk down to a 55nm process. While the original 65nm GT200 die was a massive 576mm2, the die-shrink brings the overall die size down to 487mm2. Shrinking the overall size of the chip influences power consumption, heat output and of course price.

nVidia's GT200 processors are big. At the time it was produced, nVidia's 65nm GT200 GPUs were the biggest processor dies that the Taiwan Semiconductor Corporation ever fabricated.

The videocard has two SLI connectors so it can be paired with either one or two additional Geforce GTX260 videocards.

It's easy to hook up the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA in two or three-way SLI, as long as you have an appropriate SLI motherboard. The Geforce GTX260 can be configured in SLI mode with each videocard splitting the graphics load between them to increase frame rates when more graphical options are turned on. To run in SLI mode, you need a motherboard based on a compatible nVidia nForce chipset or an SLI-certified version of Intel's X58 chipset, and a pair or trio of Geforce graphics cards based on the same GPU.

PCSTATS will be pushing the pre-overclocked Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard to its limits soon, but first it's time to see how much extra power is used when the clock speeds are bumped up.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GV-N26OC896H-GA Geforce GTX260 Core 216 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — nVidia Geforce GTX260 / GT200 GPU
 Pg 3.  Videocard Power Consumption Measurements
 Pg 4.  Overclocking a Geforce GTX260 with nVidia nTune
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, STALKER, Crysis
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 10.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry 2, Crysis
 Pg 11.  Gigabyte's pre-overclocked GTX260 Weighs in

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