EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 55nm Superclocked Edition Video Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     January 5, 2009

EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 55nm Superclocked Edition Video Card Review

Price: Click here to compare prices
Model Number: 896-P3-1257-AR
TechWiki Info: EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 55nm Superclocked Edition
Warranty: Lifetime

By now we all know that Nvidia is trying to transition their graphics cards to the 55nm manufacturing process. The transition began with the 9800 GTX+ and has made its way into a few hand-picked 9800 GT models which have yet to find their way to retail. Many of us have been waiting for the shrunken-down cores to eventually trickle down into the newer cards; namely the GTX 200 series. Letís be honest here for a second; the GTX 280 and 260 cards are power sucking monsters which are not only expensive for Nvidia to produce but also donít fit very well with the environmentally friendly aspect of todayís marketplace. Efficiency both energy-wise and production-wise is the name of the game these days and with ATI already having 55nm parts on the shelves for the better part of a year now, it was high time Nvidia made the transition as well. The consumers and their bottom line demanded it.

Has anyone else noticed that we have been seeing a large number of GTX 200-series card on sale as of late? The reason for this is that Nvidia is trying to get rid of their 65nm cores and starting immediately, we should see 55nm GTX 260 cards make their way to retailers. Just remember, distinguishing a 55nm card from a 65nm one can be a daunting task since we have heard that some board partners will not be advertising the new core on their packaging or PR materials. Even the name hasnít changed; this is still the GTX 260. The lack of a name change is due to a number of reasons but first and foremost among them is that the 55nm cores will not offer any performance increases over the older cores. Granted, all 55nm GTX 260 cards will feature 216 shaders but other than that, this is still the same card we have come to know and love.

While I can promise you that in the future we will see quite a few new products from Nvidia with 55nm cores, today we will be looking at a simple respin of the GTX 260. You may remember that a few months ago we took a look at the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition card and found it to be excellent competition for the HD 4870 cards. Once again before Christmas, this same card performed extremely well in our Games of Christmas í08 article. Why are we talking about the Core 216 Superclocked? Well, the first EVGA card out of the paddock with the 55nm core just happens to be the GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition sporting the exact same specs as the card we have been running for the past few months. While it may be a bit counter-intuitive to review a card which is nearly a mirror image of a previous one, this particular example should hopefully provide some pleasant surprises in terms of heat production and power consumption. To this end we will be seriously beefing up those two sections of the review while the comments to the general gaming benchmark results have been cut out.

As usual, EVGA offers their Lifetime Warranty and Trade Up program with the GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition but they also bundle in a full version of Far Cry 2 for a bit of added value. Pricing for this card hasnít quite settled yet and as thus is actually slightly higher than other 216 shader GTX 260s. Is this added cost worth it? We are about to find out.


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