Palit GTX 260 Reviewccokeman - August 20, 2008
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The Palit GTX 260 looks exactly like its bigger brother. Same dimensions, almost the same power connections, same dual-slot cooling solution - externally it is the same. The GTX 260 is a big video card; it comes in at 10.5 inches in length. One thing you may want to check - before you spend your hard earned greenbacks - is if the card will fit in your chassis. On a whim, I decided to find out just important this is. Out of the twelve cases in my farm, I found that the card would only fit in four. Just make sure you have the room, and if not, I can't think of a better reason for a case upgrade! Under the hood is where the differences lie. Instead of the 240 processing units the GTX 280 features, the GTX 260 sports 192. On the memory front, the GTX 260 falls short of the 1GB of GDDR3 memory on the GTX 280, sporting 898MB running through a 448-bit bus, instead of the 280's 512-bit bus. GPU clock speed is 576MHz, Shader clocks are set to 1242MHz, and the 898MB of GDDR3 runs at 1000MHz on that 448-bit memory bus.
The business end of the GTX 260 is where you will connect the card to the display of your choice. For connections there's what amounts to standard fare on higher-end cards. Two dual-link DVI+ ports and one HDTV port are used to send that signal out to the display. The exhaust from the heatsink assembly is directed through the expansion slot bracket outside of the chassis. This means that there should be a minimal impact to the temperatures inside of the chassis. The rear end of the card is one big intake for the blower fan. Why there you ask? Because when two GTX 260s are run in an SLI configuration, there's only about 1/8 of an inch between the cards to allow airflow into the primary card. This helps alleviate any overheating problems.
Power requirements for the GTX 260 include two 6-pin PCI-E connections; Nvidia's specifications show this card using 182 watts. Without these connections, the card just does not work as intended. Next to the power connections sits the HDMI sound input from your motherboard. By using this connection, which is tied to the digital audio S/PDIF output on your motherboard, you can have 7.1 Channel sound run through an HDMI cable to that plasma HDTV.
Up along the top front of the GTX 260 are the SLI bridge connections. Nvidia and Palit have chosen to cover these connections with a rubber cap to protect the underlying contacts when they're not use. This can prevent damage that would prevent you from running a pair of these in SLI.