Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 core 216 review

£245
Price when reviewed

The GeForce GTX 260 core 216 is a timely shot in the arm for Nvidia. With the original GTX 260 lagging behind the competition, the addition of 24 extra stream processors should give it a much-needed boost.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 core 216 review

So this steroid-boosted GTX 260 now has 216 stream processors, although none of the other specifications has changed: the core clock of 576MHz and shader clock of 1,242MHz may sound impressive, but there isn’t a hint of improvement. There’s also still 896MB of GDDR3 RAM clocked at 1GHz.

We approached the card with some trepidation: would the increase in stream processors be enough to help the GTX 260, or would the same old specifications limit performance?

Our benchmarks showed that while the added processing power is an improvement, it’s only minor. Both Crysis and Call of Juarez remained unplayable in our toughest tests, and Call of Duty 4 and Far Cry 2 exhibited just minor improvements.

The core 216 is even less impressive when stacked up against the competition. The HD 4850 X2 is more expensive – £250 compared with £213 – but was significantly quicker in all tests bar Far Cry 2. Even the HD 4870, which is more than £50 cheaper than the core 216, outpaced the card in our most demanding tests.

It’s proof, then, that even Nvidia’s updated cards can’t compete with ATI right now. The additional stream processors provide only a minor benefit over the original GTX 260, and the HD 4870 is just as quick and significantly cheaper.

Core Specifications

Graphics card interfacePCI Express
Cooling typeActive
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX 260 core 216
Core GPU frequency576MHz
RAM capacity896MB
Memory typeGDDR3

Standards and compatibility

DirectX version support10.0
Shader model support4.0
Multi-GPU compatibilityThree-way SLI

Connectors

DVI-I outputs2
DVI-D outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
S-Video outputs0
HDMI outputs0
Graphics card power connectors2 x 6-pin

Benchmarks

3D performance (crysis) high settings43fps

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