PCB Design and Functionality
The new card looks exactly like earlier GeForce GTX 260 because nearly all the changes are limited to the GPU.
To remind you, the PCB of GeForce GTX 260 and 280 series cards is encased within a dual-slot cooler:
The new GeForce GTX 260 measures 270x100x32mm, just as the old one. The graphics card has a PCI Express x16 interface, two dual-link DVI ports and an S-Video output. The card’s mounting bracket also has a vent grid to exhaust the hot air out of the system case.
In the top part of the PCB there is a connector for an S/PDIF cable, two 6-pin connectors for additional power, and two MIO connectors for building SLI and 3-way SLI configurations out of two or three identical graphics cards with Nvidia’s GPUs.
Notwithstanding the less cut-down GPU, the peak power draw of the new GeForce GTX 260 has not changed. It is declared to be 182W. Like before, a 500W power supply is recommended for a computer with such a card installed.
Without the cooling system the card looks like this:
I scrutinized the PCBs of an old and the new GeForce GTX 260 but could not spot any difference, particularly in the power sections.
The GPU of the new GeForce GTX 260 can be identified by the second number in the last line of the marking. It used to read “G200-100-А2,” but now it reads “G200-103-A2.”
Manufactured on the 29th week of this year on Taiwan, the GPU is revision 2. Compared with the GPU of the older GeForce GTX 260, the GPU of the new GTX 260 has 216 rather than 192 shader processors and 72 rather than 64 texture processors. The number of render back-ends has remained the same at 28. The specified GPU frequencies of the new GeForce GTX 260 are 575/1242MHz like those of the older version. However, Leadtek pre-overclocked its version of the card, adding “Extreme+” to the product name. Thus, the default frequencies of the WinFast GeForce GTX 260 Extreme+ are 602/1296MHz. In other words, the card’s GPU is somewhat lacking in shader and texture processors in comparison with the GeForce GTX 280, but has the same frequencies. The card’s GPU frequencies are automatically reduced to 300/600MHz in 2D applications to save power and to lower the GPU’s heat dissipation.
The graphics card is equipped with 896 megabytes of GDDR3 memory. The memory bus is 448 bits wide. These parameters have not changed in comparison with the older version of GTX 260. Leadtek’s card carries memory manufactured by Hynix.
Marked as H5RS5223CFR NOC, the chips have an access time of 1 nanosecond which corresponds to an effective frequency of 2000MHz. The GeForce GTX 260 specs have a memory frequency of 1998MHz but it is increased to 2214MHz on the WinFast GeForce GTX 260 Extreme+. This is not the highest frequency among pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 260, yet quite high anyway.
Thus, the new graphics card has the following parameters: