Microsoft's Xbox 360
runs on a custom ATI GPU that's based on the Radeon X1800XT from 2006, and
Sony's Playstation 3 has an nVidia G70-based chip that's essentially a Geforce
7800GTX 512MB... from 2005. Meanwhile nVidia's GPUs for the PC have had two full
generations of graphics re-architecturing: the first in the form of
the the nVidia G80 architecture that powers the Geforce 8800 GTX, and the second
in one of it's latest chips, the massive nVidia GT200 GPU. Who ever said PC
gamers didn't have it better than console gamers?
brings us to the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard PCSTATS is
testing today! Based on the nVidia GT200 GPU, this flagship PCI Express x16 2.0 videocard has 216 shader processors that can
work as vertex or pixel shading pipelines. Best of all, Gigabyte have pre-overclocked the Geforce GTX260
from the default 578MHz clock speed to 630MHz, and bumped up
the 1242MHz shader clock to 1356MHz. The Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard boasts a
healthy 896MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1000MHz, running on a 448 bit
The Geforce GTX260 is a big chip, built on a 55nm process it contains an astounding 1.4 billion transistors. The Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard supports
all the usual eye candy like; DirectX10, Shader Model 4.0, OpenGL 2.1, and 128-bit HDR, as well
as nVidia PhysX, CUDA, Hybrid Power and SLI.
To give you a real-world comparison of PC vs. console gaming, consider the following:
while consoles can play Far Cry 2 at 1280 x 720 resolution (720p) at around 30 FPS,
the Geforce GTX 260 can run it at 1920x1200 and beyond, with
better image quality and smoother frame rates. Speaking of Far
Cry 2, Gigabyte has included this game with the GV-N260C896H-GA videocard as
a freebie. PCSTATS has recently started using Far Cry 2 as a benchmark, and it's
certainly a good way to show off the Geforce GTX 260's capabilities.
Gigabyte's GV-N260C896H-GA videocard retails for about $250 CDN ($225 USD, £140 GBP), putting it firmly
against the likes of the ATI Radeon HD 4870, another flagship videocard.
GV-N260C896H-GA Core 216 Videocard
User's Manual, Driver CD, Far Cry 2,
DVI-to-Analog converter, (2) SLI 6-pin-to molex power cables, S/PDIF adapter
Like most gaming videocards, the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA occupies two PCI expansion slots. If
paired with a second or third identical videocard, the Geforce GTX260 can be configured
run in dual or triple-mode SLI on supporting motherboards. It's always a good
idea to ensure there's good case airflow so tightly packed graphics cards
don't overheat or unnecessarily run fans at full duty.
The Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA videocard supports onboard hardware HD decoding
technologies care of nVidia PureVideo, so BluRay, H.264, VC-1, MPEG2, or WMV9-encoded media can be played
back with little if any CPU load.
On the I/O panel of the Gigabyte GV-N260C896H-GA are a pair
of DVI ports which support resolutions of up to 2560x1600 pixels,
as well as an S-Video output. No HDMI-to-DVI adapter is supplied, however Gigabyte
do include the SP/DIF jumper to connect the videocard to the motherboard audio header so
an audio signal can be routed through the videocard to deliver HDMI
video with audio.