Galaxy GeForce GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card

While the GTX 260 might feel a bit old, it continues to offer some very good performance. We check out the latest version from Galaxy today.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Jul 8 2009 11:29 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Galaxy

Introduction


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card



At 12 months old the GTX 260 name would have to be one of the longest lasting models we've seen from NVIDIA in a long time. A company that has a tendency to release new models almost quarterly has kept the GTX 260 around for over 12 months and while it's known as the GTX 260+ these days due to the improvements we saw on the model a bit back, it still follows the same principal.

The model was really designed to offer some serious bang for buck and it did that 12 months ago. Even today it still does that, continuing to offer some serious performance in today's games.

What we also see with models that have been around for a while is that companies know the product and are able to really mix it up. Today we've got the latest incarnation of the GTX 260+ from Galaxy. Not only is it packing a nice little overclock, it's also carrying a pretty mean looking cooler that we'll look into more shortly.

The Package




Looking at the overall box design there isn't really anything that we haven't seen before from the company. Starting from the top we can see the Galaxy logo while to the right we have mention that the card is overclocked. Just below this we have a sticker that lists some of the main features like CUDA and DirectX 10.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


From the middle we have the Xtreme Tuner logo which is Galaxys overclocking software. Next to that we can see a spider and its web which is something that we see on a few of the Galaxy boxes. Across the bottom we have the model, which is the GTX 260+ along with some of the main features like 896MB of GDDR3 memory on a 448-bus. Across from this we have a bunch of logos ranging from HDMI to PhysX.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we've just got a standard run down on what the GTX series of graphics card offers along with a bit of a blurb. To the right we have a bit of information on SLI and TRI-SLI along with what's needed to take advantage of the technology.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Looking at the paper work we can see from the left a bit of a step by step guide on what Xtreme Tuner is and how you use it. We also have a HDMI Installation Guide along with a quick setup guide. As far as CDs go we've got a driver one along with another which has the Xtreme Tuner overclocking software.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


The cable department is pretty full on with a fair bit included. From the left again we have an S-Video cable, followed by a S/PDIF loop back cable, two duel molex to 6-Pin PCI-E connectors along with a few convertors which include DVI to HDMI, DVI to VGA and S-Video to Component.

The Card




Having a look at the card now and the first thing you have to notice is the massive heatsink that Galaxy has implemented which manages to cover just about every speck of PCB. What's worth noting is that this particular tri-fan cooler isn't the same one we've seen from the company in the past; it's a bit smaller as far as fans go and it doesn't take up three slots like the other one, making it more suited for this model which doesn't sit as high up as the GTX 295 and GTX 275.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


If we look closely at the front we can see the aluminum fins in the background along with a bunch of copper that helps move the heat away from the core as quick as possible. Looking across the top of the card we can also see the six heat pipes exiting and entering the card.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Looking at this angle of the card we can see two 6-pin PCI-E connectors located at the back. Next to these connectors we can also see a spot for the S/PDIF loopback cable in the event you want to make use of HDMI.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Closer to the front of the card we have our two SLI connectors. Here we can also see a black bar, designed to prevent the PCB from bending. It does a good job of making the card look a bit meaner as well.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


In the I/O department we can see some big holes at the top which help the hot air escape. Below that we can see that Galaxy has mixed it up a bit. Apart from just including the standard TV-Out port and Dual-Link DVI connector we can also see the company offers a HDMI port native to the card, which is always nice.


Specifications

As we've mentioned Galaxy has chosen to overclock the card. What we can see is that the core has moved from the stock 576MHz to 625MHz which has in turn moved the shader clock from 1242MHz to 1350MHz.

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


We can also see that the 896MB of GDDR3 memory has moved from 1998MHz DDR to 2100MHz DDR. It's nice to see that Galaxy has chosen to not only include an upgraded cooler, but increase the clocks of the card as well.

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 186.16


Today we'll be seeing how the GTX 260+ from Galaxy fares against some of its other NVIDIA counter parts. We'll have a look and see what kind of performance improvement the card offers over the cheaper GTS 250 and see just how far away the card sits when compared to the more expensive GTX 275 as well.


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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Under Vantage we can see that there's a serious performance boost over the GTS 250. Compared to the GTX 275, though, the card doesn't sit that far behind.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


PT Boats paints a similar picture. With the GTS 250 getting just over 30 FPS at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, we can see here that the GTX 260+ from Galaxy is getting over 30 FPS at 2560 x 1600. Compared to the GTX 275 there is again not much of a difference with both cards offering playable results at all resolutions.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


CINEBENCH shows all the cards performing pretty close together under OpenGL testing.

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).

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Unlike the GTX 250 the GTX 260+ is able to break that 30 FPS minimum at 1920 x 1200. And like the GTX 275, it isn't able to get there at 2560 x 1600.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


We continue to see the GTX 260+ from Galaxy perform significantly better than the GTS 250, while compared to the GTX 275 there isn't a whole lot of difference.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Falling just short of 30 FPS at 2560 x 1600 the GTX 260+ still manages to offer some serious performance in intensive games like Far Cry 2.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


In typical Clear Sky fashion we find the cards fumble to this ATI favored game. As for performance it's really much of the same old with the card performing close to the GTX 275 while continuing to have a nice jump on the GTS 250 for the most part.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


We can see under L4D that performance on the GTX 260+ continues to be strong compared to the other cards we have here.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


While below the 30 FPS minimum we want, performance between the GTX 260+ and the GTX 275 is very similar in this intensive setup.


World In Conflict

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Like FC2 we see that with the AA and AF cranked up performance between the GTX 275 and GTX 260+ is very similar once again


Left 4 Dead

Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Leaving our Vista testing with L4D, we can see again that the top two cards perform very similar while the lower end GTS 250 does fall behind a good chunk.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Just under that 30 FPS minimum we want to see at 2560 x 1600, a small detail change would get us there. It's worth noting, though, that the GTX 275 was able to get there.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Like our other FC2 tests we can see that the GTX 260+ and GTX 275 perform very close to each other with not a whole lot separating the two.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


Galaxy GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card


We again see the NVIDIA cards fumble about in Clear Sky, but as for the results they continue to follow what we've seen all along.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


With all the cards using aftermarket cooling it's good to see that the Galaxy offering sits in line with other cards.


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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


It's great to see that the cooler Galaxy has opted for manages to be a fair bit quieter than the one that was present on the GTX 275.

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 Tri-Fan Graphics Card


At load we can see similar results to what we've seen all along. The two top cards perform very similar while the GTS 250 doesn't need quite as much juice. The idle numbers are different with the GTX 260+ sucking up the least amount of power at idle.

Final Thoughts




The GTX 260+ continues to be a great performing card and it's clear that performance compared to the GTX 275 is quite similar even though the card is newer and more expensive.

The thing worth noting, however, is that the GTX 275 we tested wasn't overclocked which meant in an OC vs. OC environment the GTX 275 would have a greater lead. That doesn't take anything away from the GTX 260+ from Galaxy, though, as an overclocked GTX 275 would cost more money again.

The cooler might not be as mean as some of the other Tri-Fan ones we've seen from Galaxy, but it's perfectly suited for this card. It doesn't take up that extra slot like the other Tri-Fan coolers we've seen the company use and manages to still do a very good job of keeping temps down without a whole lot of noise.

Even after 12 months you can't write the GTX 260 off and while the GTX 260+ has got improvements over the original part, it's still very much based on the original model offering similar performance.

All in all we've got a nice card here from Galaxy and if you're after something that looks good and is still able to pack quite a punch this incarnation of the GTX 260+ is one worth looking at.

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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.

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