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nVidia GeForce GTX 260 - nVidia GeForce GTX 260

By Edward Chester



  • Recommended by TR
nVidia GeForce GTX 260


Our Score:


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.


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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