• Recommended by TR
nVidia GeForce GTX 260


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

The card we were provided with for review purposes is made by Leadtek. As per usual, so early after the launch of a new chip, the card conforms exactly to nVidia's reference design, as will most cards available in the shops right now.

In the box you get a fairly basic bundle starting with two six-pin PCI-Express to two Molex power adapters enabling even legacy power supplies to be used with this card (though it'll still need to be powerful enough to power the card). A DVI-to-VGA adapter is included but there's no combined S-Video to component/composite dongle nor is there a DVI-to-HDMI converter to complete the digital connection arsenal. A copy of the decidely old Neverwinter Nights 2 game is included but there is no other bonus software. Essentially, this is a budget bundle for a, relatively, budget card.

We've liked the recent trend in nVidia's card designs. It started with the GeForce 8800 GTX with its black PCB and heatsink/fan, and gunmetal PCI bracket and has continued, and indeed improved, over the last year resulting in the GTX 280 being our favourite yet. It's therefore nice to see that the GTX 260 is in fact the spitting image of the latter card.

The shroud is the same all encompassing black plastic affair that does a stellar job of funnelling air over the heatsink and protecting the front of the card. On the back is a black painted metal plate that acts as a heat spreader as well as protecting the delicate circuitry beneath from knocks or damage from static shocks (not that you would handle such delicate electronic equipment without properly earthing yourself, of course!).

The fan is as good as ever, remaining essentially silent when doing desktop work and only spinning up when needs be, and even then it's temperature dependent. The noise it creates when going at full pelt is distinctly audible but not so much that it would disturb a neighbour. It also does a good job of exhausting heat out of your case rather than letting all that hot air build up inside.

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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?


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.


July 11, 2008, 11:01 pm


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


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?


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.


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.


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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