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While on the subject of heat, the GTX 260 is notably cooler than the GTX 280 when under load, a fact that shouldn't be surprising considering the slower clock speeds and reduced number of active components. This reduction in heat output is also reflected in its power usage, both idling and under load, though it can hardly be said the GTX 260 sips electricity.
While, for the most part, the GTX 260 is a perfectly acceptable card, on a physical level, we do have a couple of little niggles. First is its size.
When nVidia launched the 8800 GTS, which like the GTX 260 was a card that used the same chip as a more expensive model but with some parts of it disabled, nVidia was able to reduce the length of the card. However, with GTX 260 this hasn't happened. At 270mm the GTX 260 is as long as the GTX 280 and you'll have trouble fitting this card in most compact PC cases, so make sure you double check you've got space before buying!
Another thing we're not happy to see is that nVidia has dropped the power indicator LED that appeared on the back panel of the GTX 280. This was used to show, at a glance, whether the board had enough power (i.e. all the cables are plugged in correctly) and was a welcome little addition. Obviously the few extras pennies that this would have cost were too precious in this more price sensitive segment of the market. Also, it's not like any of ATI's competing cards have this feature.
Output options are the same trio of two DVI and an analogue output that nearly all high-end cards have nowadays. The former can carry a digital audio signal for use with an HDMI-to-DVI converter and the latter natively supports S-Video and uses the included dongle for composite and component output support.
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