nVidia GeForce GTX 260 - Race Driver: GRID

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
nVidia GeForce GTX 260

Summary

Our Score:

9

Race Driver: GRID is the newest game in our testing arsenal and it's currently one of our favourites too. Its combination of arcade style thrills and spills with a healthy dose of realism and extras like Flashback makes it a great pickup and go driving game. It's also visually stunning with beautifully rendered settings, interactive crowds, destructible environments, and stunning lighting. All that and it's not the most demanding game on hardware, either.

We test using the 32-bit version of the game, which is unpatched and running in DirectX10 mode. FRAPS is used to record frame rates while we manually complete one circuit of the Okutama Grand Circuit, in a Pro Tuned race on normal difficulty. We find a framerate of at least 40fps is required to play this game satisfactorily as significant stutters can ruin your timing and precision. We'd also consider 4xAA as a minimum as the track, barriers, and car bodies suffer considerably from aliasing and are a constant distraction.

All in-game settings are set to their maximum and we test with 0xAA, 4xAA, and 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.

Things take a rapid turn for the worse for nVidia's cards in this game. Neither the GTX 280 nor the GTX 260 fair well against the HD 4870. All three cards offer playable framerates but ATI's card will be able to provide that bit more headroom.

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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