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Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I Geforce GTX 260 Videocard Review

Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I Geforce GTX 260 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: While stock Geforce GTX 260 have a 576MHz core clock and a 1242MHz Shader Clock, the GV-N26SO-896I is factory overclocked up to a 680MHz core clock and 1466MHz shaders.
 96% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Oct 13 2009   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I

NVIDIA GT200B GPU and the Geforce GTX 260

nVidia Geforce GTX260 / GT200 GPU

While the original Geforce GTX 260 videocard has a stock core clock of 578MHz, with shaders at 1242MHz and GDDR3 memory at 1998MHz, Gigabyte has chosen to overclock the GV-N26SO-896I for a little extra power.

The GPU on the GV-N26SO-896I videocard comes from the factory running at 680Mhz, with shaders at 1466MHz. The 896MB of GDDR3 memory has been move up to a dual-pumped 2350MHz.

To understand where all this power comes from, we need to take a look at the nVidia GeForce GTX260 GPU - a massive monolith of an IC sheathed behind its heatspreader. Code named 'GT200', this graphics processor is actually the second revision nVidia has made to its new next-generation graphics processors.

The nVidia GT200 GPU chip is designed with 240 total shader processors. Each one is a tiny processor that can compute either pixel or vertex mathematical operations. The processors are designed to operate on graphical information simultaneously, with each shader processor is operating on a single pixel per cycle.

These shader processors are broken up into clusters of 24, called Texture/Processor Clusters. In addition to the shader processors, the clusters also include a texturing array and a geometry controller. While the high end nVidia Geforce GTX 280 graphics card has all 10 of the GT200's TPCs enabled, the original Geforce GTX 260 had only 8 of the 10 TPCs enabled, the remaining two are either disabled or had defects that caused them to fail in nVidia's quality assurance testing.

NVIDIA GT200 vs ATI R700 Videocards

Models

Core clock

Stream processors/Clock

Memory Clock/Interface

Memory capacity Market
Radeon HD 4870X2 750MHz 1600/750MHz 3600MHz/256-bit 2048MB Flagship
Radeon HD 4890 850MHz 800/850MHz 3900MHz/256-bit 1024MB High-end
Radeon HD 4870 750MHz 800/750MHz 3600MHz/256-bit 1024MB Mainstream
Radeon HD 4850 625MHz 800/625MHz 1986MHz/256-bit 512MB Mainstream
Geforce GTX 295 576MHz 480/1242MHz 2000MHz/448-bit 1792MB Flagship
Geforce GTX 285 648MHz 240/1476MHz 2484MHz/512-bit 1024MB High-end
Geforce GTX 280 602MHz 240/1296MHz 2214MHz/512-bit 1024MB High-end
Geforce GTX 275 633MHz 240/1404MHz 2268MHz/448-bit 896MB Mainstream
Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I 680MHz 216/1466Mhz 2350MHz/512-bit 896MB Mainstream
Geforce GTX 260 576MHz 216/1242MHz 2000MHz/448-bit 896MB Mainstream

The Gigabyte Geforce GTX260 Core 216 videocard that PCSTATS is tested today actually has an additional TPC enabled, so there are 9 clusters of 24 shader processors, for a total of 216 shader processors. This translates into a bit of extra shader muscle and texturing savvy. The GT200 GPU is oriented around shader processing and calculation, designed for games that utilize intense special effects like high dynamic range lighting, geometry distortion and dynamic reflections.

Given the size of the naked nVidia GT200b GPU, it's not so surprising that to hear it contains 240 stream processors and 1.4 Billion transistors. Thanks to a 55nm die-shrink NVIDIA is able to pack these transistors into a smaller package. While the die of the original NVIDIA GT200 was 576mm2, the GT200b has been brought down to approximately 425mm2. Still, nVidia is in desperate need of a 40nm, or 32nm die shrink.


The videocard has two SLI connectors so it can be paired with either one or two additional Geforce GTX260 videocards.

It's easy to hook up the Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I videocard in two or three-way SLI, as long as you have an appropriate SLI motherboard. The Geforce GTX260 can be configured in SLI mode with each videocard splitting the graphics load between them to increase frame rates when more graphical options are turned on. To run in SLI mode, you need a motherboard based on a compatible nVidia nForce chipset or an SLI-certified version of Intel's X58 chipset, and a pair or trio of Geforce graphics cards based on the same GPU.

PCSTATS will see if it's possible to push the GV-N26SO-896I videocard even further than its factory overclocks in a minute, but for now let's take a look at some power consumption numbers...

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I Geforce GTX 260 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — NVIDIA GT200B GPU and the Geforce GTX 260
 Pg 3.  Videocard Power Consumption / Overclocking
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: STALKER
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 9.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 10.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry 2
 Pg 12.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 13.  Gigabyte N26SO-896I - faster than a Geforce GTX260!

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