Galaxy GeForce GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card

We have another look at a Galaxy card today; this time a GTX 260+ sporting 216 SPs and an overclock.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Mar 25 2009 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Galaxy

Introduction


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card



It was quite interesting that when the GTX 260+ launched, samples where a bit few and far between. This was most likely due to the fact that companies wanted to get rid of their older versions of the card.

Jump forward a few months, though, a GTX 260+ is one of the easiest cards to get a hold of. And like the GTS 250, because the card's been out for a while now many companies have decided to mix it up a bit, be it with aftermarket cooling, an overclock, or both.

Today we're looking at Galaxy's version of the card and it carries everything you want for a card that has been out for a while; a pretty mean looking cooler and an overclock that is going to give us a bump in performance.

Let's have a quick look at the package before we move onto the card and the exact clocks it carries.

The Package




Looking at the box, there isn't really anything new here and we see this design on most Galaxy cards. Across the top we have the company logo while to the right we have mention of the card being overclocked. Moving down, we have some information on the GPU and below that some information on Xtreme Tuner, which is Galaxy's in house overclocking software.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Going right down to the bottom, we have the model displayed; in this case the GTX 260+ which carries with it the important 216 stream processors. To the right we have some logos which make mention of PhysX, 3D Vision, SLI and more.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we have some information on the features that are present on the card. To the right of the box we have some information on what exactly is needed to get SLI up and running, while across the bottom we have some more information on Galaxy.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


With the box looked at, it's now time to dive inside. Apart from the standard manual and driver CD we have another disc that carries with it the Xtreme Tuner software. To accompany this we also have a user guide to the software so that you can use it to its full potential.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


In the cable department we have a heap going on here. Starting from the left, we have an S-Video cable, S/PDIF loop back cable to get sound through the HDMI port, two dual molex to 6-pin PCI-E connectors, DVI-to-VGA adapter, DVI-to-HDMI adapter and an S-Video to Component adapter.

The Card




Getting onto the card itself, it's easy to tell that Galaxy has moved away from the stock cooler this time around. We can see that the company has attached a massive Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo cooler to the card.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


This isn't the first time we've seen Galaxy use this cooler; earlier this month we saw the same one on the GTS 250. The cooler proved to handle the GTS 250 quite well, so let's see how it goes with the more powerful GTX 260+.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Like most GTX 260 cards, we don't see anything out of the ordinary when it comes to having a look around the card. Towards the top we have two 6-pin PCI-E connectors, while closer to the front of the card we have two SLI connectors which give us the ability to run up to three of these cards. That might be difficult, though, due to the nature of the cooler being so thick.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Looking at the I/O side of things, we have two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single TV-Out port to round off connectivity. The top half is taken up with some large vents that help the hot air escape.


Specifications

Like the other GTX 260+ cards we've seen recently, this particular model runs on the 55nm core. This helps keep temperature and power usage down when compared to the larger 65nm process. But in the end, it ultimately helps us achieve higher clock speeds, which in turn gives us more speed.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


As we mentioned, Galaxy has taken the time to overclock this card. We can see the core has moved from the stock 576MHz to 625MHz, the 1GB of GDDR3 from 1998MHz DDR to 2100MHz DDR and the shader clock bumped from 1242MHz to 1350MHz. This is a nice overclock from Galaxy and should translate into some notable performance gains.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit
Drivers: ForceWare 182.06, Catalyst 9.2


Today we'll be taking the time to see how the GTX 260+ from Galaxy we have here goes up against another Galaxy card, the GTS 250 and the current top single GPU card from ATI, the HD 4870, which is due to be replaced by the HD 4890 very soon.

Below our game benchmarks I've added something new; it's going to be a bit of a trial to see how it goes. What we've done is add the "Optimum Setup" and this will tell you with our testbed and the card we're using what the best configuration for the game we are testing would be. For example, if we have a game that gets a 32 FPS minimum at 1920 x 1200 and a 26 FPS minimum at 2560 x 1600, the "Optimum Setup" would be 1920 x 1200 with the settings that we're using.


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


It's no real surprise that the performance of the GTX 260+ comes out ahead under 3DMark Vantage.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Looking at PT Boats, we can see the GTX 260+ has a large jump on the ATI offering. Compared to the GTS 250, we can see that we're playable at 2560 x 1600 while the GTS 250 is only good for 1920 x 1200 and even that's a little struggle.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Under CINEBENCH we see the HD 4870 perform very well. As for the NVIDIA offerings, we see that both perform quite closely to each other.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


At these settings we can easily play at up to 1920 x 1200 with WIC. 2560 x 1600 is possible, but we would recommend that you do adjust the details.

Optimum Setup- 1920 x 1200 at very high is perfect.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


We can see that the performance of the GTX 260+ is a good jump compared to the GTS 250 and the ATI HD 4870.

Optimum Setup- With the poor coding in Warhead, 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1200 with a detail drop is the best you're going to do.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Again, the GTX 260+ sees some good gains over the GTS 250 and as you would expect, the best gains are of course seen in the higher resolution.

Optimum Setup- 1920 x 1200 at Very High is well and truly above that 30 FPS minimum we like to see, making the card perfect for this setup.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


We see that Clear Sky performance is all over the place. While faster than the GTS 250 by a good chunk, for the most part the overall results aren't anything magnificent.

Optimum Setup- Poor coding in Clear Sky does nothing for NVIDIA cards. You're going to be dropping resolution and detail to get a smooth experience at 1680 x 1050.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here




Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Under Left 4 Dead we see that the GTX 260+ and HD 4870 perform quite well with the GTX 260+ pulling out a win in two of the three resolutions.

Optimum Setup- Gaming at 2560 x 1600 with the GTX 260+ and settings at high isn't going to be a problem.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


We can see that the NVIDIA offerings smash the ATI ones under FC2 when the detail is cranked up. Unfortunately the minimum is just a bit too low for this setup to be considered playable.


World In Conflict

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


We again see the GTX 260+ perform very well here compared to the ATI card. But once again, the minimum is just a little bit too low for our liking, so we would probably stick to playing this game without AA and AF.


Left 4 Dead

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Both the HD 4870 and GTX 260+ perform well here, but we still find the average is a bit low. The minimum would be dipping below that crucial 30 FPS mark as well.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Under WIC we continue to see the GTX 260 perform well. With a small dip in settings we would easily get 2560 x 1600 playable with our test setup.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Under XP we see that both the HD 4870 and GTX 260 perform quite close to each other. With that said, though, we do see the GTX 260+ pull a win out every time.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


We see across the board performance for Clear Sky is quite poor. We can see it does perform significantly better than the GTS 250, though, but at the higher resolutions it struggles compared to the HD 4870.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


The meaty cooler does a good job of keeping temps down.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Noise levels from the Artic Cooling cooler is pretty reasonable with nothing too surprising.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Graphics Card


Power draw is slightly up when compared to the GTS 250, but as you can see it's a bit down compared to the HD 4870.

Final Thoughts




The GTX 260+ continues to be an excellent performer and is a great choice for people wanting to game at resolutions of up to 1920 x 1200. If you don't have a monitor that's capable of that resolution and you have something that outputs 1680 x 1050, the card is also a very good choice as you would be able to really crank up the detail and start turning on settings like AA and AF.

Galaxy has put together a really nice card here; the overclocks out of the box, while not the highest we've seen to date, really aren't that far away. The cooler choice is excellent; Arctic Cooling are a well respected company when it comes to VGA cooling and we know that any product that carries their cooler is going to do a good job in the temperature department.

While the bundle could have been a little bigger, we do ultimately have everything we need to get up and running along with a few extras. If you're new to overclocking as well and want to try it out, the software that Galaxy provides along with a little manual on how to use it is great.

We have a good card here that performs well and sits in a nice price bracket for people. But it will be interesting to see what happens over the coming weeks as we see new cards from ATI and NVIDIA surface.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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