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EVGA GTX 260 FTW Edition Review

ccokeman    -   July 7, 2008


Conclusion:

To have a lower model video card challenge the current single GPU King of the Hill in its performance speaks volumes about the capabilities of that video card. The GTX 260 features 48 fewer stream processors but still brings the heat due to its highly overclocked status. In the 32 benchmark tests run, the EVGA GTX 260 FTW edition was beaten by the GTX 280 in most of the tests (as expected). In 6 out of 32, the HD4870 beat the GTX260. Not bad performance with all things considered. Since the EVGA GTX 260 model I have tested is its top of the line FTW (For The Win) model, the expectation was that it should have incredible performance. It met and exceeded that expectation. When it came time to overclock this already highly overclocked video card, I found that EVGA had still left a substantial amount of head room so that peformance could be increased even further. I was able to gain an additional 96MHz on the GPU core and 101MHz on the memory. By overclocking even further than the "factory" overclock, the performance of the EVGA FTW edition even eclipsed the performance of the GTX 280 in some of the benchmarks. Serious performance potential. With increased load comes an increase in temperatures. By letting the drivers control the fan speeds, I never saw higher than 69 Celsius during my testing. By manually setting the fan speed to 100 percent, temperatures stayed in the mid to low 50s when monitored.

With 192 streaming processors, a fair amount of work can be done with the GPU. The parallel computing capabilities open up a whole new world of options. Crunching for a cure for many heinous diseases as well as offloading the load from the CPU when encoding video are all things that can now be done. With the latest drivers, Nvidia has incorporated a Physx driver to offload the CPU DLLs to the GPU instead of a dedicated PPU (Physics Processing Unit), changing where the work is done rather than the work itself. This capability should help immensely when Physx heavy games begin to appear later this year. If one of these gems is not enough, the ability to go to or even three is there since the GTX 260 supports dual and Tri SLI, making the gaming experience that much more enjoyable. That performance comes with a price tag though. $429 dollars a piece to be exact. Somewhat high when the ATI solution is almost as fast and costs far less. Performance does sell though. One thing that the GTX 260 is capable of is saving you some cash. How, you ask? Well, when running in 2D mode, the GPU core, shader core and memory speeds drop well down from the clocks used in 3D performance mode. The side effect is that energy consumption is reduced, saving the end user some cash. Bottom line on the EVGA GTX 260 FTW is that you get awesome performance that compares favorably with a video card costing $200+ more, the GTX 280. Even with the price premium that the EVGA FTW Edition has over the stock speed cards, the performance speaks for itself.

 

Pros:

  • Performance
  • Overclocking
  • Video transcoding
  • Temperatures
  • Parallel computing
  • Physx ready
  • Tri Sli capable
  • Hybrid power
  • Power savings
  • Overclocking utility

 

Cons:

  • Price

 

OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: ( Video Card)
  3. Configuration: (Drivers and Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. Testing: Crysis
  7. Testing: Knights of the Sea
  8. Testing: Bioshock
  9. Testing: Call of Duty 4
  10. Testing: World in Conflict
  11. Testing: Call of Juarez
  12. Testing: Company of Heros Opposing Fronts
  13. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  14. Extras: CUDA, F@H, Video Transcoding
  15. Conclusion
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