Asus ENGTX260 Matrix Reviewccokeman - May 26, 2009
Category: Video Cards
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The GTX 260 216 SP is a tried and true performer that offers excellent results for your performance dollars. With prices dropping and everyone becoming more value conscious, the video card manufacturers are releasing updated models of 2008 cards to fill the price performance gap between the big dogs and the now mid range performers. Some manufacturers just slap a new cooler on a reference PCB and call it 'new', while other manufacturers take a different approach and redesign the whole thing from scratch. This is the approach ASUS seems to have taken with the ENGTX 260 Matrix. Asus has put together a good looking card that does indeed have an improved cooling solution, but it's what's underneath that seals the deal and makes this a little bit better than the average GTX 260. As part of the ROG (Republic Of Gamers) series of products, the expectation is that this card will deliver stunning performance. However the card is sent out the door with reference clock speeds of 576/1000/1242 MHz that just don't lead you to think the card is much more than a cooling and software package. Lets see what kind of result the ASUS ENGTX260 Matrix delivers.
The front panel of the ASUS ENGTX 260 Matrix shows the video card as part of a sword on top of a shield showing the Matrix as the weapon of choice. The fact that this is part of the Republic of Gamers is highlighted at the top of the front panel. The rear panel lists some of the features the software included as well as the minimum system specifications.The front panel flips open to display the special attributes of the ENGTX 260 Matrix. These features include the Super Hybrid Engine with multi level voltage adjustment and auto phase switching. The Hybrid Cooler+ works with Advanced Dynamic load detection to help determine the cooling capacity to use. iTracker is a new monitoring and overclocking utility that is used to get the most from the Matrix, be it energy saving or seeking out the last bit of performance through voltage and fan speed adjustments.
Inside the box you get something a little different with a black box containing the ENGTX 260 Matrix. The only marking on this inner box is the ASUS logo in gold. Popping this box open you are greeted with much of the same as the logo continues to the inner packaging. This box contains the documentation and driver disk while the smaller box to the right holds all of the connectivity hardware. Digging a little deeper you get to the Matrix sealed in an anti-static bag.
What you get for bundled accessories are a manual, driver disk, a disk containing the manual, power adapter, HDTV-out dongle, S\PDIF input for sound out via HDMI, DVI to D-sub adapter and a DVI to HDMI adapter. All in all, a pretty decent amount of accessories to get you connected so you can enjoy the Matrix.
Let's take a little closer look at the Matrix before I put it through its paces to see if it belongs in the ROG line up.