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This second Zotac card features a beefed-up GTX 260 graphics chip. The most important differences from the original model include 216 stream processors instead of 192 and 55 nm GPU technology instead of 65 nm. The more dense GPU confers some nice benefits: under heavy 3D loads, the new model consumes 30 W less than the original model and runs 9° C/16.2° F degrees cooler. Clock rates adhere to Nvidia reference specs, which barely suffice to outdo ATI Radeon HD 4870 models. By comparison, the GeForce GTX 260 delivers a 4% performance increase. Although you'll see a small but positive difference if you compare unweighted values from the first overall performance chart, that difference increases if you look at the scores in the chart of weighted percentage values.
On average, a GeForce GTX 260 costs about $75 less than customized Radeon HD 4870 models. If you buy a first-generation GeForce GTX 260 card, you’ll save another $50 or so, because they’re currently going for $160 to $185 (refurbished units are available for under $150 if you look hard). The new Zotac GTX 260 uses the Nvidia reference cooler design, which covers two slots on the motherboard. At heavy load, this card heats up to 81° C/177.8° F but with noise readings of 41.2 dB(A), it runs fairly quietly. By comparison, original GeForce GTX 260 models mounted an auditory assault with impressive noise levels of 53.8 dB(A).
Accessories bundled with the card reflect careful thought. For those with older power-supply units (PSUs), Zotac includes two power adapters. There’s a cable splitter for component video TV-out, an HDMI adapter with an SPDIF cable for internal sound, the Racedriver Grid racing game, and a copy of the 3DMark Vantage Advanced Edition benchmark. The circuit board is nearly 10.62" (27 cm) long, and requires two six-pin PCIe power connectors, both edge mounted at the rear of the card. The GPU supports DirectX 10 and Shader 4.0.
- Give Up A Little Performance? Sure.
- Graphics Chips Compared Plus Test Configurations
- HIS H487QT1GP ICEQ4+ (Radeon HD 4870 1,024 MB)
- Sapphire HD4850 1G (Radeon HD 4850 1,024 MB)
- Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4870 2G (Radeon HD 4870 2,048 MB)
- Zotac GTS250 1 GB (GeForce GTS 250 1,024 MB)
- Zotac GTX 260 (GeForce GTX 260 896 MB)
- Benchmark Results: Fallout 3
- Benchmark Results: Far Cry 2
- Benchmark Results: F.E.A.R. 2
- Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead
- Benchmark Results: The Last Remnant
- Benchmark Results: Tom Clancy’s Endwar
- Benchmark Results: Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.
- Benchmark Results: 3DMark06 1280x1024 Default
- Overall Performance
- Power Consumption, Noise Levels, And Temperature Readings
- 3D Performance, Ranked By Resolution And AA Settings
- GeForce GTX 260: Small Price, Big Performance