GPU temperatures were measured using EVGA's Precision utility with the graphics cards installed inside the case. Room temperature was approximately 74° F / 23.3° C. Temperatures were recorded at idle at the Windows desktop (2D) with the default fan speed setting of 40% and at load running FurMark's stability test with the fan speed set at 40%, 50% and 75%. On the MSI N260GTX OC, fan noise started becoming noticeable around the 50% mark.
GPU Temperatures - Degrees Celsius
The dual-fan and heat-pipe configuration on the MSI N260GTX OC pays off huge dividends when it comes to GPU cooling. FurMark is one of the most GPU-stressful applications and with the MSI N260GTX OC, fan speed can be forced within the 40%-50% range for quiet operation.
GPU Temperatures in FurMark
The above temperature readings are shown using EVGA Precision while executing FurMark under the mixed-vendor SLI configuration. In this configuration GPU1 is the EVGA GeForce 260 216 Superclocked (91°C) and GPU2 is the MSI NX260GTX OC (77°C) with the fan speed forced at 40%.
Should you be in the market for a GeForce GTX 260, the MSI NX260GTX OC is a graphics card that you can really be excited about. In fact, MSI offers the "Twin Frozr" on their GeForce 275 and GeForce 285 models. Overclocked out-of-the-box and with the ability to maintain a default fan speed of 40% during heavy gaming sessions, the MSI NX260GTX OC earns our Grand Slam Hardware award.
Although not published, testing also reveals that a GeForce GTX 260 GTX Core 216 in SLI met or exceeded the performance of the expensive and elusive GeForce GTX 295. Those tests consisted of the Cryostatis Tech Demo, Lost Planet, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky. Those that have an SLI capable motherboard and power supply, a couple of NX260GTX OC's would make for an ideal configuration around $400.
Unfortunately, prices of the NX260GTX have increased slightly during the past few weeks, but had been available for $179.99 with a $20 dollar rebate. This turns out to be a pretty good deal for a quality overclocked graphics card with a premium cooling solution. Right now the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 offers the gamer the "best bang for the buck."