Palit GTX 260 Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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It's a video card bonanza right now. New video cards have been flying out of the doors from both ATI/AMD and Nvidia, from the 3870 X2 and 48XX series from ATI to the 9-series, and now the latest from Nvidia - the GTX 200 series. The GTX 260 is really nothing more than slightly de-tuned GTX 280; the GTX 260 uses 192 stream processors, 898MB of GDDR3 memory running at 1000MHz, and 1.4 billion transistors on the 65nm core that is clocked at 576MHz. With those credentials, the GTX 260's performance should be able to hang close to it big brother, the GTX 280. With the massive parallel computing capabilities of the Palit GTX 260, it is able to use Nvidia's CUDA technology to perform complex scientific calculations (Folding@Home), as well as offload the burden of video transcoding from the CPU to the GPU. After seeing the performance of the GTX 280, and an overclocked GTX 260, you have to wonder just how a stock clocked card will perform.
If the performance of the Palit GTX 280 is any indication of the performance potential of the GTX 200 series video cards, then this looks to be another high performing example. Will the Palit GTX 260 be able to match the overclocking capabilities of the EVGA FTW edition that OverclockersClub recently reviewed? Will it be able to be pushed farther? I will have to find out.
Palit is still a newcomer to the North American market, and is still not well known by many - but this does not mean that they are a new company. They have been manufacturing motherboards and video cards for 10 years now. Palit is known for the overclocking potential of their non-reference design video cards, and providing innovative cooling solutions on the cards they build. Let's see if the Palit GTX 260 can step out from the crowd, or see if it hides in the shadow of its more powerful sibling, the GTX 280.
The front panel of the box shows the Palit mascot, the Frobot (Frog Robot), along with product identification, basic specifications and the "Gamers Choice" splash logo. The rear panel elaborates on some of the specifications, including support for DirectX 10, Open GL2.01, and what drivers are included on the driver disk. This information is included in 12 different languages, and considering the global availability of Palit's products, this is needed. The side panels list very little additional information, but Windows Vista compatibility and the Frobot are shown prominently.
Popping open the hood provides little excitement. The insides are partitioned to allow the GTX 260 to stay in place, locked in a box of its own, while the bundle takes up the rest of the space.
The bundle that comes with the Palit GTX 260 is pretty slim, but what is there will allow the end user to get the card installed and functioning in just about any case. The documentation includes a quick start guide, a generic driver disk, a DVI to D-sub adapter, and last, but not least, a DVI to HDMI adapter. Unfortunately, there is not an HDMI cable provided, making this feature unavailable until you purchase the 2-pin cable.
Now, let's take a look at the GTX 260 and see what it has to offer.