EVGA, a popular supplier of Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards, has quietly started shipments of graphics boards powered by GeForce GTX 260 chip made using 55nm process technology. The new chip is cheaper to manufacture and also consumes less power.
Currently there are at least two GeForce GTX 260 core 216-based graphics cards based on the 55nm version of Nvidia G200 graphics processor (which is also known as G200b, GT200b, GT206, G200 revision B, etc) in EVGA’s arsenal that are priced at $279 and $289, depending on the clock-speed.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 core 216 graphics chip features 216 shader processors (SPs), 72 texture units (TUs), 30 render back ends (RBEs). Usually, the GeForce GTX 260 core 216 is clocked at 576MHz with stream processing operating at 1242MHz. The cards carry 896MB of 1998MHz GDDR3 memory connected using 448-bit interface.
It is noteworthy that the new 55nm graphics processing unit (GPU) from Nvidia emerged first on EVGA’s graphics cards. This may indicate that the chip developer gives EVGA special privileges, as the company remains one of the few, which still exclusively supplies Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards onto the market. Still, considering the fact that the GeForce GTX 200-series graphics cards featuring 65nm G200 chip are more expensive in manufacturing, it may just be a question of weeks before all the partners of Nvidia introduce their GTX 200 family cards powered by 55nm G200b GPU.
It is also interesting to note that standard GeForce GTX 260 core 216 did not gain clock-speed as a result of higher clock-speed potential (chips made using thinner process technology can usually handle higher clock-speed), besides, EVGA also did not drop price of the product.