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Conclusion

Our tests have revealed no difference in performance between the 55nm and 65nm versions of GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 at the reference GPU and memory frequencies. However, the factory overclocking of the EVGA card ensured it an advantage of 4.3%-6.4% depending on the resolution. And our overclocking added 8-9% more to the card’s speed.

As a result, the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked showed itself a worthy opponent to the ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB. The EVGA card is faster in many tests, but the average advantage is only 5% (at resolutions no higher than 1680x1050) due to its loss in such games as Fallout 3, Race Driver: GRID, X³: Terran Conflict and Red Alert 3. Thus, the choice between the two cards should be based on the gamer’s personal preferences.

The EVGA card does not equal the GeForce GTX 280 at its default frequencies, but it showed good overclockability thanks to the new 55nm version of the G200 core. When overclocked, it overtook and even outperformed the flagship of the GTX 200 series in nearly every test.

The average advantage of the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 overclocked to 715/1541/2300MHz varies from 3.1 to 3.8%, and the biggest effect could be observed in Devil May Cry 4 (1280x1024, 10.7% advantage), World in Conflict (1680x1050, 10.8% advantage) and X³: Terran Conflict (1920х1200 and 2560x1600, 16.2 % and 19.3 %, respectively). This is very good considering the much lower price in comparison with the GeForce GTX 280. Thus, purchasing the latter card makes little sense after the arrival of the 55nm GeForce GTX 260 Core 216, but the upcoming GeForce GTX 285, another product based on the 55nm G200, is going to have higher frequency potential, too.

Talking about the specific product, the EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked delivers high performance and boasts good overclockability. It also comes with good accessories that include a copy of Far Cry 2, handy overclocking tool, lifetime warranty, and the opportunity to participate in the EVGA Step-Up program. The only downside is the high price, typical of EVGA solutions, especially as the official price of the Radeon HD 4870 with 512MB of GDDR5 memory has already dropped below $200 while the 1024MB version of the card costs only $239.

EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Summary

Highs:

  • 55nm G200 core;
  • High performance in contemporary games;
  • Outperforms ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB in many cases;
  • With additional overclocking outperforms Nvidia GeForce GTX 280;
  • Performance doesn’t depend on software multi-GPU support;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Minimal effect of enabled FSAA on performance;
  • 216 ALU, 72 texturing units, 28 RBE;
  • PhysX acceleration support in the GPU;
  • Hardware HD-video decoding support;
  • S/PDIF sound over HDMI;
  • Relatively low power consumption and heat dissipation;
  • Relatively low level of generated noise;
  • Good overclocking potential;
  • Full version of Far Cry 2 game bundled with the card.

Lows:

  • Performance shift towards TMU and RBE;
  • No DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support;
  • Incomplete hardware support of VC-1 decoding;
  • No integrated sound core;
  • No software for playback of HD video content;
  • High price.
 
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