XFX GTX260 XXX SLI ReviewZertz - December 12, 2008
Category: Video Cards
Price: $252 x 2
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For every single gamer out there, getting the most performance out of their video card is vital for a pleasant gaming experience. That is probably why the most expensive hardware component hiding inside the case is, more often than not, the graphics card. Obviously, not everyone can afford to put the same kind of money into it, so that's why both ATI and nVidia offer various models from low prices to ridiculously expensive cards. For those gamers that always want more out of their setup, pairing two cards is the only choice for absolute top of the line performance. This is exactly why both companies offer the possibility to combine the power of multiple cards. As you probably are aware, nVidia's iteration of this feature is called SLI, which now stands for Scalable Link Interface. Both cards are linked together using a bridge connected between them. See where I'm going with this?
Recently, we reviewed the XFX GTX260 Black Edition and we were quite impressed by the performance it was able to deliver. Today, I am going over not only one, but two of XFX's slightly lower clocked "XXX" versions of the GTX260. This one has its GT200 core clocked at 640MHz, just 26MHz shy of the praised Black Edition, while the GDDR3 memory runs at the exact same 2.3GHz.
The box, or should I say boxes, are pretty impressive to say the least. The huge GTX logo is really catchy with all the light rays being emitted from it along with some kind of creature in the back keeping a close look at you. The model name, 260, is clearly labeled right under it, although it doesn't say anything about having 216 cores like the cards from a short while back since all the current cards ship with the beefier core. Of course, this card supports SLI technology in both dual and triple card configurations. Also bundled with it is a very popular game, Call of Duty 4. Hopefully the latest iteration of the famous game series, World at War, will be included in the near future. Nevertheless, it's an awesome game and it's free!
Once the cardboard cover is slid out of they way, XFX's usual flashy green box shows up, which really is a good thing considering it's not only good to look at but, more importantly, ensures that the card is kept safe and sound. I attempted to get things moving by shaking the box a bit, but quickly abandoned this pursuit after I realized nothing in there was going to move. Once inside, I found the door hanger as well as a couple of manuals and discs. After moving those out of the way along with the one inch thick foam, the card itself finally shows its face. It is packaged in an anti-static bag that sits tight into another thick layer of foam. Finally, at the bottom of the box, I found DVI to VGA and S-Video to Component adapters as well as a Molex to PCI-E power connector. The last cable is used for the audio pass-through feature, more on that later.
Here's the full bundle that you'll get with this card. The driver disc, although newer ones are available, Call of Duty 4, a quick install guide and a brief manual. XFX's door hanger is also somewhat useful since it has the card's unique serial number on the back as well as a place to note your user name and password created while registering the card, or cards in this case. This way you don't have to take the cards back out of the computer once you realize you forgot to note the serial numbers to register the cards.
Let's keep moving and take a deeper look at the card itself.