EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 (216 SP) Superclocked Edition Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     September 15, 2008

EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 (216 SP) Superclocked Edition Review

Manufacturer Product Page: TBD
Product Number: 896-P3-1267-AR
Availability: Now
Warranty: Lifetime
Price: Approx. $299

I am sure that for many of you the title of this review comes as a bit of a shock since you were not expecting a revised GTX 260 for the next little while at least. Some people say that competition speeds development but in this case ATI’s introduction of their new 4800-series has prompted a lightning-quick response from Nvidia. Not only have they drastically cut the price of their GTX 280 and GTX 260 cards but it seems like they are now allowing manufacturers to release "upgraded" versions of the GTX 260. This card will be meant to shore up the GTX 260’s performance against ATI’s HD 4870 in the short term with an extra 24 Stream Processors to give it a helping hand.

Beginning today you will start seeing new GTX 260s emerge bearing some unique names but please remember that there will be plenty of regular cards at etailers. To give you some examples, all EVGA cards with the extra shaders will be using the “Core 216” name, BFG’s will be called the Max Core and Palit’s will have the SP216 moniker. Confused yet? This is what happens when a company (be it Nvidia, ATI, Intel or whomever else) uses existing technology and makes minor revisions to it instead of releasing a brand new technology so while it is confusing and somewhat frustrating, it is par for the course. Even though at first we wanted to call Nvidia out for adding yet another oddly named card to an already loaded lineup, in the end it is the customer who benefits so who are we to question anything when that happens? Lower prices suits us just fine thank you very much.

Speaking of pricing, preliminary information given to us shows that the stock GTX 260 with 216 shaders will retail for around $279 which is actually below the suggested retail price for the “old” GTX 260 and that of the ATI HD 4870. Expect prices of the older non-216 SP cards to dip slightly below the $260 mark which will make it an amazing value versus the HD 4870. We have said it once and we will say it again: competition is good.

Now that we have covered a bit of the background, let’s focus a bit on the product being reviewed today: the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition. Even though its name is a mouthful, this card carries with it all the usual reasons to buy EVGA which includes a lifetime warranty and access to their Trade-Up Program. Since it is a pre-overclocked card it also carries with it a slightly increased price over a stock GTX 260 216 at $299. All things considered, this is the same price as some HD 4870 cards are still going for so it should be very interesting if the overclocked core and the extra Stream Processors are able to give it an edge.


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