EVGA GTX 260 FTW Edition Reviewccokeman - July 7, 2008
Category: Video Cards
This year has been one to remember for video card enthusiasts. On the red side of the fence there have been the three series X2 models, the release of the 3400 series that can be used in hybrid Crossfire X with the added HTCP benefits. Just recently, the red camp released the 4xxx series to the world. The green side of the fence has been far from idle during this time as well. First was the launch of the 9xxx series cards, the 9600GT, 9800GX2 and the 9800GTX. Now, the GT200 series cards are in the pipeline with the GTX 280 and GTX 260 video cards. With the performance delivered by the GTX 280, the question has to be asked, just how far down the ladder does the GTX 260 fall? That's something we will find out.
The EVGA GTX 260 FTW (For The Win) Edition is the top factory overclocked model in EVGA's GTX 260 arsenal. Most people are aware of the superclocked cards the company makes. This series goes even further. EVGA has pushed the GPU core clock speed to 666MHz (It's the "debil" I say to quote a movie phrase), the shader clock speed to 1404MHz and the memory is overclocked by 107MHz to bring the speed up to 1107 MHz on the 898MB of GDDR3 memory. Normally, cards from the factory are not leaned on this hard. Is there something special here or is this maxed out with little left in reserve?
The GTX 260 uses 192 stream processors, 898MB of GDDR3 memory, 1.4 billion transistors all tied up in one huge 65nm core to deliver jaw dropping video performance. By using Nvidia's CUDA technology, the GTX 260 can be put to work with video transcoding and complex scientific simulations. Let's find out if the GTX 260 is just a neutered version of the GTX 280 or if it has the same performance potential as its big brother!
Sweet simple basic black with a little flash for effect. The packaging shows that EVGA is the #1 seller of Nvidia based products in the U.S.A. The only features of the FTW GTX 260 that are prominently featured on the front panel are the amount of GDDR3 memory and the fact that the card is PCI-E 2.0 compliant. The rear panel lists the features of the GTX 260, the lifetime warranty (with registration of course) and the contents of the package. The window in the panel allows the end user to compare the serial numbers so that there is no doubt about what is inside.
Once inside the box, it looks as though EVGA is taking no chances when it comes to protecting the goods within by putting everything into a foam enclosure. Front to back and side to side, the GTX 260 is protected. This is a huge improvement over the last EVGA cards I have used.
There is always a bundle of accessories shipped with video cards nowadays. Of course, the number of items ranges from as little as a driver disc to as much as every connector and cable you could ever need. The EVGA falls right into what I would call the standard package. Documentation for the GTX 260 FTW includes an installation guide, a quick start guide, the driver disc and a bubble type sticker with the EVGA logo. The accessories include two 2x4 pin to 6-pin PCI-E power connections, the HD Video dongle and two D-sub to DVI adapters. Pretty much everything you need to run the video out to dual monitors or your HDTV.
Now let's get a look at this beast!