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nVidia GeForce GTX 260 - Counter-Strike: Source

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
nVidia GeForce GTX 260

Summary

Our Score:

9

What can we say about Counter-Strike: Source that hasn't been said before? It is simply the benchmark for team-based online shooters and, four years after its release, it's still one of the most popular game in its genre. In complete contrast to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, it focuses on small environments and incredibly intensive small-scale battles with one-shot kills the order of the day. If you want to test all elements of your first person shooter skills in one go, this is the game to do it.

We test using the 32-bit version of the game using a custom timedemo taken during a game against bots on the cs_militia map. This has a large amount of foliage, so transparency antialiasing has a significant impact on image quality and performance, and is generally one of the most graphically intensive maps available. We find a framerate of at least 60fps is required for serious gaming as this game relies massively on quick, accurate reactions that simply can't be compromised by dropped frames.

All in-game settings are set to their maximum and we test with 0xAA 0xAF, 2xAA 4xAF, and 4xAA 8xAA. Transparency anti-aliasing is also manually turned on through the driver, though this is obviously only enabled when normal AA is being used in-game.

While the ATI HD 4870 does hold a small lead over all and sundry in this title, that lead is a minor one. Essentially, you can quite safely choose either the nVidia GTX 280, nVidia GTX 260, or ATI HD 4870 and be assured of unflinching performance even at the highest resolutions.

kalniel

July 11, 2008, 8:31 pm

When you say it comes with no games, what is the picture on the front of the box saying 'free game', with a picture of Neverwinter Nights 2, doing there?

Ed

July 11, 2008, 8:46 pm

Oh, right you are. I've got so many cards on my desk it's hard to keep track of them all. I've corrected this now.

kalniel

July 11, 2008, 11:01 pm

Thanks.





Too many cards you say? Maybe I could help take care of one or two ;-)

ilovethemonkeyhead

July 11, 2008, 11:02 pm

i think the crossfire support thing might be the most defining feature in this battle. is there any information on how the GTX 260 performs overclocked against the HD 4870?

Loggitt

July 13, 2008, 12:44 am

Overall your review is well done. However, your review doesn't fully address the running temperatures of the cards reviewed with a graph. Other reviews I've read are showing the two new Radeon cards as running much, much hotter than the two new GTX200 cards. Dangerously too hot! I want a Radeon 4870, but I'll probably be buying the GTX260 instead because of the huge difference in operating temperatures. I will be buying in one month, exactly. The Radeon card manufacturers have until then to release a Radeon 4870 with their own cooler design, as the reference cooler is not up to the task.

Ed

July 14, 2008, 3:18 pm

Well, I was also concerned at the running temperatures of both ATI's cards but they seem perfectly stable. Also, if there was any real worry about the operating temperatures, ATI would've fitted better coolers. It's not in its interest to have its cards fail so I'd trust them. As you say, though, if you are concerned you could wait a short while for board partners to release cards with alternative coolers.

NidStyles

November 12, 2008, 11:13 am

THe card's are designed to be able to handle the high temp's. Doesn't mean I want those high temp's in my case to begin with. I also don't like driver's I have to constantly fidget with to keep working right. I've stayed away from teh Red camp for those two reason's. Teh Green offering's work, and they work very well.

Jeff 4

January 22, 2010, 11:34 am

I just ordered a "custom built" Dell system. Every component in the basic build was upgradeable when ordering except the power supply and the video card. They're an nVidia GeForce GTX260 with a 475 watt PSU.





Did I make a mistake? I'm no expert and didn't notice the PSU was so small relative to the ones that other builds have, (all 800+W or better) Am I going to have trouble with this relatively small PSU and the nVidia GeForce GTX260 card ?

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