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MSI N260GTX OC Review- Page 2 of 7

ACCESSORIES

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.

Accessories

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
  • E-Color
  • MediaRing
  • ShowShift
  • ThinSoft Be Twin
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft DirectX
  • Norton Internet Security 2008 trial

TEST SYSTEM

This particular system has been in use for the past few months along with the 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Hardware and Operating System

  • Intel Core i7 940 Nehalem Quad Core Processor @2.93GHz
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 X58 Chipset Motherboard
  • 6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 Memory @1600MHz (PC3-12800)
  • Thermaltake ToughPower 1200W Power Supply
  • Dell 3007WFP LCD Monitor
  • Windows Vista 64-bit with Service Pack 1 / DirectX 10

Graphics Cards, Drivers, and Driver Settings

  • MSI N260GTX OC - 655MHz Core / 1408MHz Shader / 1050MHz Memory (2100MHz Effective)
  • EVGA GeForce 260 216 Superclocked - 626MHz Core / 1350MHz Shader / 1053MHz Memory (2106MHz Effective)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 - 602MHz Core / 1296MHz Shader / 1107MHz Memory (2214MHz Effective)
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 295 - 594MHz Core / 1296MHz Shader / 1026MHz Memory (2052MHz Effective)
  • ForceWare Driver Version 185.68
  • 32-Bit Color
  • Vsync Disabled
  • 60Hz Refresh Rate
  • High Quality Texture Filtering
  • Gamma Correct Antialiasing
  • PhysX GPU Acceleration Enabled
  • Ambient Occlusion - Off

Test Applications

  • Far Cry 2 - Gameplay
  • Lost Planet - Internal Benchmark
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 - Gameplay
  • The Witcher - Gameplay
  • Unreal Tournament 3 - Custom Timedemo
  • Warhammer Single Player Demo - Gameplay
  • World in Conflict - Internal Benchmark

Notes

  • 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
Please click to enlarge.

THE COMPETITION

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
Please click to enlarge.

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.

MIXED-VENDOR SLI

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
Please click to enlarge.

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.

Next Page: No Antialiasing Benchmark Results

Last Updated on June 5, 2009


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