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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

Microsoft's Xbox 360 runs on a custom ATI GPU that's based on the Radeon X1800XT from 2006, and Sony's Playstation 3 has an nVidia G70-based chip that's essentially a Geforce 7800GTX 512MB... from 2005. Meanwhile nVidia's GPUs for the PC have had two full generations of graphics re-architecturing: the first in the form of the the nVidia G80 architecture that powers the Geforce 8800 GTX, and the second in one of it's latest chips, the massive nVidia GT200 GPU. Who ever said PC gamers didn't have it better than console gamers?

Which brings us to the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard PCSTATS is testing today! Based on the nVidia GT200 GPU, this flagship PCI Express x16 2.0 videocard has 216 shader processors that can work as vertex or pixel shading pipelines. 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. The Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard boasts a healthy 896MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1000MHz, running on a 448 bit wide interface.

The Geforce GTX260 is a big chip, built on a 55nm process it contains an astounding 1.4 billion transistors. The Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard supports all the usual eye candy like; DirectX10, Shader Model 4.0, OpenGL 2.1, and 128-bit HDR, as well as nVidia PhysX, CUDA, Hybrid Power and SLI.

To give you a real-world comparison of PC vs. console gaming, consider the following: while consoles can play Far Cry 2 at 1280 x 720 resolution (720p) at around 30 FPS, the Geforce GTX 260 can run it at 1920x1200 and beyond, with better image quality and smoother frame rates. Speaking of Far Cry 2, Gigabyte has included this game with the GV-N260C896H-GA videocard as a freebie. PCSTATS has recently started using Far Cry 2 as a benchmark, and it's certainly a good way to show off the Geforce GTX 260's capabilities.

Gigabyte's GV-N260C896H-GA videocard retails for about $250 CDN ($225 USD, £140 GBP), putting it firmly against the likes of the ATI Radeon HD 4870, another flagship videocard.

Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA Core 216 Videocard


User's Manual, Driver CD, Far Cry 2, DVI-to-Analog converter, (2) SLI 6-pin-to molex power cables, S/PDIF adapter cable.

Like most gaming videocards, the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA occupies two PCI expansion slots. If paired with a second or third identical videocard, the Geforce GTX260 can be configured run in dual or triple-mode SLI on supporting motherboards. It's always a good idea to ensure there's good case airflow so tightly packed graphics cards don't overheat or unnecessarily run fans at full duty.

The Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard supports onboard hardware HD decoding technologies care of nVidia PureVideo, so BluRay, H.264, VC-1, MPEG2, or WMV9-encoded media can be played back with little if any CPU load.

On the I/O panel of the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA are a pair of DVI ports which support resolutions of up to 2560x1600 pixels, as well as an S-Video output. No HDMI-to-DVI adapter is supplied, however Gigabyte do include the SP/DIF jumper to connect the videocard to the motherboard audio header so an audio signal can be routed through the videocard to deliver HDMI video with audio.

This Geforce GTX260 is officially rated at 182W, so it's no surprise this videocard requires two 6-pin PCI Express power connections. Performance videocards requiring multiple power connectors are pretty common, so power supply manufacturers long ago incorporated the extra power connectors necessary. If your power supply doesn't have the twin 6-pin SLI power connectors, Gigabyte has thoughtfully included two molex-to-6 pin power adaptors.

Next to the two 6-pin power connections is the 2-pin SP/DIF connector to bring an audio signal into the videocard for users that wish to output 1080p video and sound over HDMI (via HDMI-to-DVI adapter, not included). To understand where all this firepower comes from, we need to take a look at the nVidia GeForce GTX260 GPU....

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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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