BFG GeForce GTX 260 896MB Video Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     July 27, 2008

Under the Heatsink

Please note that removing the heatsink on this card will void your warranty.

Let me put this quite honestly for you: if you have no idea what you are doing, DO NOT attempt to remove the heatsink on one of these cards. Due to the fact that both the front and the front and back of the heatsink interlocking at several places, getting the two apart can quickly seem like a lesson in futility. If you are determined, make sure you take your time, donít force anything apart and make sure you donít damage anything.

Once the heatsink is removed we can see that this card has a wonderful black PCB and has a massive GPU core IHS smack in the middle which is surrounded by the ram modules. There is also a small NVIO input / output chip closer to the backplate which is used for the handling all the signals that go to and from the card. Meanwhile, the back of the card is a bit uneventful other than the fact that it carries additional ram modules.

Due to the extremely high heat generated by the core, Nvidia decided to place and IHS (internal heatsink) over the G200 core in order to evenly distribute the heat it generates before it hits the underside of the actual cooler. While the benefits or lack thereof of this approach can be discussed until the cows come home, one thing is quite apparent: this IHS is absolutely massive.

The memory used on this card consists of two banks of 64MB x 7 Hynix H5RS5223CFR-N0C GDDR3 memory for a total of 14 ICs. This memory is rated to run at 1000Mhz (2000Mhz effective) with 2.0V and a latency of 0.8ns. This is a bit different from the 280ís 2400Mhz-rated N2C modules but they should overclock quite good.

When comparing the 260 on the left and the 280 on the right it is quite obvious that there are quite a few differences between the power distribution sections. The 260 has a few of the inductor soldering points left blank and there are some VRMs missing as well since its core doesnít have the same insane power requirements as its big brother and there isnít as much ram installed either.

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