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Was GTX 260 Core 216 the wrong choice?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Gtx
  • Core
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 12, 2009 8:08:38 AM

After seeing the results of Part 1 of the Balanced PC article, I feel that all my research on video cards was a waste of time and I made the wrong choice. Now that I have the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216, I wonder if getting another for an SLI setup would correct my wrong or just waste more money?

My system:
I7 - 920 2.66 MHz
ASUS P6T MOBO
12 Gig of Corsair DDR3 1333 RAM
2x 750 GB WD Black Hard Drives
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Video cards
Corsair 750 Watt PSU
2x Plextor 24x DVD RW
Zalman 9500 CPU cooling unit.
All in a Sigma Phantom WB Black Mid Tower case w/ 4x 120mm fans.
Running Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit…soon to be Windows 7.

More about : gtx 260 core 216 wrong choice

November 12, 2009 8:15:40 AM

larrys640 said:
After seeing the results of Part 1 of the Balanced PC article, I feel that all my research on video cards was a waste of time and I made the wrong choice. Now that I have the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216, I wonder if getting another for an SLI setup would correct my wrong or just waste more money?

My system:
I7 - 920 2.66 MHz
ASUS P6T MOBO
12 Gig of Corsair DDR3 1333 RAM
2x 750 GB WD Black Hard Drives
EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Video cards
Corsair 750 Watt PSU
2x Plextor 24x DVD RW
Zalman 9500 CPU cooling unit.
All in a Sigma Phantom WB Black Mid Tower case w/ 4x 120mm fans.
Running Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit…soon to be Windows 7.

November 12, 2009 8:17:50 AM

larrys640 said:
After seeing the results of Part 1 of the Balanced PC article, I feel that all my research on video cards was a waste of time and I made the wrong choice. Now that I have the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216, I wonder if getting another for an SLI setup would correct my wrong or just waste more money?

My system:
I7 - 920 2.66 MHz
ASUS P6T MOBO
12 Gig of Corsair DDR3 1333 RAM
2x 750 GB WD Black Hard Drives
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Video cards
Corsair 750 Watt PSU
2x Plextor 24x DVD RW
Zalman 9500 CPU cooling unit.
All in a Sigma Phantom WB Black Mid Tower case w/ 4x 120mm fans.
Running Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit…soon to be Windows 7.


I made an error in "My system" it shows 2 Video cards, when I only have 1, now.
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a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 8:39:37 AM

In a perfect world, all games would utilize the entire system to it's max capacity. We don't live in that world. There are titles that are very CPU dependent, just as there are titles that are very GPU dependent. A perfectly balanced system would be the only way to go in a perfect world, but since this isn't the case, the real test is how it feels to play. Limitations are always present in every build, but depending on what you do with your rig, those limitations might be invisible, or completely irrelevant.

Play the games you like. If you are not happy with the performance, and don't mind investing in an upgrade, have at it. Just don't have buyers remorse over a single article, in the end it is all about the experience you have with your computer, and nothing at all to do with how your machine lines up with some charts.
November 12, 2009 10:03:47 AM

JofaMang said:
In a perfect world, all games would utilize the entire system to it's max capacity. We don't live in that world. There are titles that are very CPU dependent, just as there are titles that are very GPU dependent. A perfectly balanced system would be the only way to go in a perfect world, but since this isn't the case, the real test is how it feels to play. Limitations are always present in every build, but depending on what you do with your rig, those limitations might be invisible, or completely irrelevant.

Play the games you like. If you are not happy with the performance, and don't mind investing in an upgrade, have at it. Just don't have buyers remorse over a single article, in the end it is all about the experience you have with your computer, and nothing at all to do with how your machine lines up with some charts.


Thanks for the philosophical response. I don't mean that in a rude way. When I spec'd out the parts to build my system, my intention was to arrange for video editing, which it does OK. I really wanted to go with the XFX 4870 w/1 Gb, but I have a long standing relationship with nVidia. I could not afford the 275, 285, or 295, so I went with the new 260. I am really not unhappy with the build, and will most likely add another 260 in SLI. My brother built the same system, by coincidence, except he used 2x 4870 and 1600 Corsair RAM, and a single 1 TB HD.

Happy gaming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a c 130 U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 10:12:39 AM

You should never base your purchase of cards buy your relationship with a company. Buy whichever card gives you the best performance for your money, which, in this case, would be ATI.

If I were you, I'd sell the GTX260, and buy an HD4890. There's one on Newegg for $160, which is cheaper than the GTX260, and the performance of the card is phenomenal.
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 10:16:09 AM

Enjoy, I am sure your setup will give you great joy!
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 10:24:19 AM

What resolution do you game at? Do you like to enable some level of AA? What games do you play? Those will all make a big difference on your graphics needs.

Sure less money into the Mobo/CPU/RAM would amount to more left over for graphics. Especially if you are willing to OC a bit. In turn this would equate to a more balanced gaming system capable of better handling high resolutions. But, You have started with a solid foundation and have a PSU & Mobo capable of adding a second GTX 260 (or swapping to a next gen card). If you did add a second GTX 260, you'd be up near the GTX 295 in those charts, and likely happy you have such a powerful CPU. Don't feel remorse, it's a solid build with serious potential for handling upgrades. Had you spent more on a CPU than the i7 920, then you'd have reason to kick yourself. :) 
November 20, 2009 6:51:56 PM

pauldh said:
What resolution do you game at? Do you like to enable some level of AA? What games do you play? Those will all make a big difference on your graphics needs.

Sure less money into the Mobo/CPU/RAM would amount to more left over for graphics. Especially if you are willing to OC a bit. In turn this would equate to a more balanced gaming system capable of better handling high resolutions. But, You have started with a solid foundation and have a PSU & Mobo capable of adding a second GTX 260 (or swapping to a next gen card). If you did add a second GTX 260, you'd be up near the GTX 295 in those charts, and likely happy you have such a powerful CPU. Don't feel remorse, it's a solid build with serious potential for handling upgrades. Had you spent more on a CPU than the i7 920, then you'd have reason to kick yourself. :) 


Thanks, pauldh. I think that I will add a second GTX260. I am not a game player, yet. My video editing takes most of my free time, when I am not working my 9 to 5.
November 20, 2009 6:54:53 PM

shadow187 said:
You should never base your purchase of cards buy your relationship with a company. Buy whichever card gives you the best performance for your money, which, in this case, would be ATI.

If I were you, I'd sell the GTX260, and buy an HD4890. There's one on Newegg for $160, which is cheaper than the GTX260, and the performance of the card is phenomenal.


Thanks, shadow187. If I was to sell my GTX 260, what would be my best approach? I have never sold any PC parts that were in good shape. My computers are usually old when I give them to a friend who rebuilds them for neighborhood kids.
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2009 7:06:52 PM

Don't sell anything, that would be ridiculous since you will endup losing money in the long-run.

Why do you think that you need a second GPU? Is it strickly for video editing?
November 20, 2009 7:38:33 PM

OvrClkr said:
Don't sell anything, that would be ridiculous since you will endup losing money in the long-run.

Why do you think that you need a second GPU? Is it strickly for video editing?


That was my main reason for building my "Dream" computer. Up until this point, I have always bought off the shelf, and made small changes. Of course I learned that is the easy way to spend too much money for so little results. I spent 6 months researching parts and compatability, and ended up with this. In answer to your question, I felt that just 1 GPU would be the bottle neck, and slow the rendering process. That is why I wanted a second GTX 260. What are your thoughts for video editing, if you have some knowledge to share? I have learned a long time ago that you have to learn something every day, or you are backing up.

My first computer that was built for me ran at 5 Mhz, and you could push the "turbo" button to increase the speed to 8 Mhz. A real screamer!!! 256K RAM and a 20 MB hard drive. Running DOS 5.0. 5 1/4" floppy drive.

Larrys640
a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2009 7:53:23 PM

Well my suggestion would be a second 260. You will see a significant boost in performance without breaking the bank. I am looking forward to adding a second 260 as well since nobody knows when Fermi will be released. Im just tired of waiting so that will be my x-mas present.

The reason I stated not to sell your GPU is due to you will not see a MAJOR performance increase if you decide to sell the 260 for a 4890. Now let's say that you had a buyer for the 260 and you were ok with switching to ATI, you could easily get 2 5770's and that WOULD be a MAJOR performance increase over the single 4890. But again only recommended if you are ok with spending 180.00$ on each 5770.

Botton line, if you have cash to burn, you can go ahead and buy any available GPU that you desire. If this is not the case the get a second 260 and save yourself a headache.
November 20, 2009 11:22:36 PM

I'd go with the 5770's like Ovr said,
they scale a little better than the 260's and currently based on some benchmarks are running faster or equal to a single 260 in 90% of games *out now*
and drivers always increase performance by about 150% each time so i can't see them staying in the same range as the 260 right now when the 5770 is 6 months old or even 3 months old.
November 20, 2009 11:54:29 PM

Ok, good discussion, but some stupid advice being given.

You have a good set up and for the most part you are correct the GPU is slower than the CPU but thats not always a bad thing.

Selling the 260 to get a 4890 is just silly. The 260 = 4870, and the 4890 is just a OCd 4870.

Your best bet by A LONG SHOT is to get a 2nd 260 and SLI them.

for the cost of 2x260s (£125 each) u cant beet the performance per pound (or doller if you prefer)

750w power supply will cope easilly as each card draws a maximum of 181w.

Not that you can do 3x260 (750w PSU) but that costs around the same as a 285 or 295, and the 3x260s will destroy them in performance.
November 21, 2009 2:41:40 AM

I have SLI GTX 260 C216s and They are great. They were relatively inexpensive for the performance they give, and they stay cool as well. I had an ATI 4850 that would stay in the upper 80Cs. The only reason I went with Nvidia over ATI was the better reference cooler on the 260 vs the 4870. Although now I wish I would have chosen 2 GTX 280s instead for the large frame buffer. You made the right choice. I'm happy with mine, be happy with yours.

PS. If it makes you feel better, in 3DMARK06, which is a synthetic benchmark that doesn't exactly replicate gaming results, I have scored just under 25K points and could probably get over 25K if I really pushed it.
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2009 3:13:08 AM

Does anyone actually pay attention to what the OP is asking?

If you are not gaming, a second 260 would be completely useless. Video editing and rendering will not take advantage of the second GPU, and overclocking your i7 would give much larger gains.
November 21, 2009 4:25:32 PM

OvrClkr said:
Well my suggestion would be a second 260. You will see a significant boost in performance without breaking the bank. I am looking forward to adding a second 260 as well since nobody knows when Fermi will be released. Im just tired of waiting so that will be my x-mas present.

The reason I stated not to sell your GPU is due to you will not see a MAJOR performance increase if you decide to sell the 260 for a 4890. Now let's say that you had a buyer for the 260 and you were ok with switching to ATI, you could easily get 2 5770's and that WOULD be a MAJOR performance increase over the single 4890. But again only recommended if you are ok with spending 180.00$ on each 5770.

Botton line, if you have cash to burn, you can go ahead and buy any available GPU that you desire. If this is not the case the get a second 260 and save yourself a headache.


Thanks, again. I am going to get a second 260, as soon as I get a price break. I got the first one for $159 and no shipping, from Newegg. I have notified EVGA that I am looking for a second 260 and would like another price break like the last. Of course, I have had no response from them. I also have it listed on my Newegg watch/wish list. Right now $189 is the best I can get. I will be patient, and hope for a Christmas sale or year end price drop.

Larrys640
a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2009 1:44:48 AM

Are you gaming?

Your above statements make it sound like you are doing mainly video editing, with little to no gaming. If that is the case, don't waste your money. A second GTX 260 would do little or nothing for video editing, since it is primarily a CPU-bound process.
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