Accessories included with the N260GTX OC consist of a DVI-to-VGA adapter, S-Video / TV-Out extended cable and HDTV / Video-Out connection cable. Optional components include external power cables, DVI-to-HDMI adapter, and an internal SPDIF cable. Hardware Secrets has an article on when and how to use the SPDIF input connector on the graphics card to route audio to HDMI output.
MSI also includes a variety of software applications and utilities, which consist of the following:
Graphics Card Driver - Based on NVIDIA's reference driver
Live Update - On-line graphics card BIOS and driver updates
StarOSD - Monitor system information, adjust monitor configuration and overclocking
Dual Core Center - Hardware monitor and Dynamic Overclocking Technology (D.O.T.)
GoodMem - Frees system memory
LockBox - Locks system
WMIinfo - Detailed system configuration report useful for troubleshooting
VIVID - Real-time graphics quality optimization tool to adjust color, sharpen edges and enhance contrast
ThinSoft Be Twin
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Norton Internet Security 2008 trial
This particular system has been in use for the past few months along with the 64-bit version of Windows Vista.
Antialiasing was set to "Override any application setting" in the driver for Unreal Tournament 3.
Antialiasing was limited to 2x in The Witcher at the resolution of 2560x1600.
Antialiasing in the Warhammer demo was set to off and on.
The following photograph is of the N260GTX OC installed in the test system. Note that the N260GTX OC requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power connectors. Although external power connectors may be provided as accessories, NVIDIA recommends power connectors that are native to the power supply.
Graphics Card Installed
The performance of the N260GTX OC was compared to a reference graphics card based on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 280. The GeForce GTX 280 had been their most powerful GPU until the GeForce GTX 285 and GeForce GTX 295 debuted. In most cases, the performance of the GeForce GTX 280 matches and at times exceeds that of the GeForce GTX 275, but trails the GeForce GTX 285.
The Competition - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
Performance is compared to a single GeForce GTX 280 at the resolutions of 1680x1050, 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. Results also include features such as PhysX. Also included are Mixed-Vendor SLI benchmark results against an EVGA GeForce GTX 295.
As in past reviews, when two graphics cards that make use of the same GPU are available, they are usually tested in SLI or "mixed-vendor" SLI mode. Mixed-vendor SLI allows multiple graphics cards that are based on the same GPU to be used together. For this review EVGA's GeForce 260 Core 216 Superclocked was available.
Mixed Vendor SLI
With PhysX, rendering performance can be impacted since a single NVIDIA-based graphics card performs the rendering and PhysX processing. Similar to SLI, a second graphics card can be added and dedicated to PhysX processing. However, with PhysX, the graphics cards can be based on different GPUs - for example, a GeForce 260 GTX could be used for rendering and a GeForce 9800 GTX for dedicated PhysX processing.