GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card

GIGABYTE pump the GTX 260 full of steroids and launch the companies new Super Overclock series, we check it out.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Sep 25 2009 11:12 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction




GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 29 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES


At over 12 months old it's surprising to say the least that we still see companies release models under the GTX 260 naming scheme. And while the model has gone through a few changes over the past year, NVIDIA would usually add a new name. To be honest, I'm surprised we didn't see a GTX 263 and GTX 265 as the minor improvements came to the model.

Today we're looking at a pretty special GTX 260 from GIGABYTE. Carrying with it the new Super Overclock naming scheme, we hope that there's something pretty exciting about the card in store. While GIGABYTE managed to talk the card up a bit to me, most companies talk up their product so it remains to be seen how well it really goes.

What had me concerned, however, was that a "Super Overclock" to GIGABYTE might not be all that much of a Super Overclock to everyone else. What we'll do before we have a closer look at the card and it's specifications is check out the package. From there we will have a closer look at the card before checking out the clocks of the card and then getting into the benchmarks.

The Package




A new series brings with it a new box design. To be honest, looking at the front doesn't give us a whole lot of information. Across the top we have the GIGABYTE logo, while moving down gives us the Super Overclock name with a bit of a motto underneath.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 30 | TweakTown.com


Moving below the motto, we have something new we haven't seen before which is a GPU Gauntlet Sorting logo next to the Ultra Durable VGA one. Across the very bottom we have the model, in this case the GTX 260. Next to that there's a bit of an idea on how the card compares to a stock GTX 260.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 31 | TweakTown.com


Turning the box over, we have a fair bit of information in relation to the GPU Gauntlet Sorting and Ultra Durable logo. The whole GPU Gauntlet Sorting side of things is pretty exciting. We'll talk about it in a bit more detail in our Final Thoughts.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 32 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 33 | TweakTown.com


In the paperwork department we have just a manual. Alongside that we have our typical driver CD. As far as cables go, we've got two duel molex to 6-Pin PCI-E connectors, S/PDIF loopback cable along with two convertors; one a DVI to VGA and the other a HDMI to DVI.

The Card




Looking at the card itself, it's surprising to find that GIGABYTE haven't changed the cooler which is something that we tend to see with most companies who offer larger overclocks. The GTX 260 cooler has never been that bad, but we've seen cards with better options which we thought GIGABYTE would choose to follow.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 34 | TweakTown.com


With the cooler taking up the whole PCB, there isn't a whole lot to see. We've got the fan on the right with a little GIGABYTE sticker sitting in the middle. On the left side of the card we have another sticker which again gives us the GIGABYTE logo along with the model and mention that this card is part of the Super Overclock series.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 35 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 36 | TweakTown.com


Looking around the card, thanks to the default cooler there isn't really anything new to look at. We've got two 6-Pin PCI-E connectors towards the back of the card while closer to the front we have two SLI connectors which give us the ability to run up to three of these cards.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 37 | TweakTown.com


In the I/O department it's nice to see that GIGABYTE have chosen to mix it up a bit. We've got a dual-link DVI and VGA connector along with a native HDMI port. Above these we have our vents which help push the hot air out the back of your PC.


Specifications

This is where it begins to get interesting. The first thing we're looking at is the 680MHz core. this is way up and we mean WAY UP. With the stock core being 576MHz the Super Overclock model from GIGABYTE comes in at a whopping 104MHz higher.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 28 | TweakTown.com


The increased core clock has meant that our shader has headed way north as well, moving from 1242MHz all the way up to 1500MHz. While the card carries with it the same 896MB of memory, that's also headed way north, moving from 1998MHz DDR to 2500MHz DDR.

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: Catalyst 9.8, ForceWare 190.62


GIGABYTE say that the GTX 260 Super Overclock will outperform the GTX 275. With that in mind it was the first card that we had to add to our comparing cards list today. For good measure we've included the pre-overclocked HD 4890 from ASUS that came under the Formula series, while also looking at how it compares to the Matrix version of the GTX 285 from the same company.


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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 01 | TweakTown.com


In our first benchmark we see big numbers from the GTX 260. As you can see, we're ahead of both the GTX 275 and the HD 4890 in both the X and P presets.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 02 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 03 | TweakTown.com


Looking at PT Boats we paint the same picture. We're seeing that the GTX 260 is beating out the GTX 275 again and the HD 4890.

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).

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 04 | TweakTown.com


We can see the GTX 260 falls behind the HD 4890 here under CINEBENCH, but it does sit in line with our other NVIDIA cards.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 05 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 06 | TweakTown.com


We see some big numbers here from the GTX 260 with at some points sneaking ahead of the GTX 285; very impressive.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 07 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 08 | TweakTown.com


We continue to see the GTX 260 perform very strongly. It really only just falls behind the GTX 285 which is not just one model up from the GTX 260, but two.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 09 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 10 | TweakTown.com


We see strong numbers in the minimum department from the GTX 260 with it continuing to outperform the GTX 275. The most interesting number we see here is the fact that the GIGABYTE GTX 260 is able to break that 30 FPS minimum at the ultra high 2560 x 1600 resolution.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 11 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 12 | TweakTown.com


In typical fashion we see the NVIDIA cards struggle under Clear Sky. We do continue to see the GTX 260 offer better numbers than the GTX 275.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 13 | TweakTown.com


We see the same picture we've seen all along with the GTX 260 coming in only second to the GTX 285.

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

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 14 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 15 | TweakTown.com


We can see the GTX 260 gets a small jump on the GTX 275 under these intensive settings.


World In Conflict

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 16 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 17 | TweakTown.com


We see some good numbers under WIC. As you can see, we're able to hit that 30 FPS minimum which is the most important.


Left 4 Dead

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 18 | TweakTown.com


Under L4D we continue to see the GTX 260 from GIGABYTE perform very strong.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 19 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 20 | TweakTown.com


Moving to XP continues to show the GTX 260 offer good numbers with it sitting ahead of the GTX 275 at the higher resolutions.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 21 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 22 | TweakTown.com


We see at all resolutions the GTX 260 from GIGABYTE is offering higher FPS than the stock clocked GTX 275.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 23 | TweakTown.com


GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 24 | TweakTown.com


Here we see that there's little difference between the GTX 275 and GTX 260.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 25 | TweakTown.com


The GIGABYTE GTX 260 manages to run a bit warmer than the other cards we've got here today.


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).

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 26 | TweakTown.com


Noise levels are fortunately more impressive, sitting below all the other cards here.

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.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock Video Card 27 | TweakTown.com


Like the temperature, power draw seems to be up on this GTX 260 with it offering a higher idle than the GTX 285 and only slightly less draw at load.

Final Thoughts




The first thing I want to talk about is this GPU Gauntlet Sorting logo that we're seeing. GIGABYTE says this is the world's #1 cherry-picking process for GPUs. While it does sound like a bit of marketing talk, the clocks this card offers seems to tell us there's more to it than just a fancy title. The good news is that the GTX 275 has just received the Super Overclock treatment so it will be interesting to see what this model offers.

Performance on this GTX 260, in a word is just NUTZ! The card just absolutely flies along. That's not really a surprise, though, considering the clocks that are on offer here. We don't doubt that it's going to be on the expensive side of things, but since the card hasn't really hit the retail market it's hard to say just what the value of the model is going to be like.

The good news is that GIGABYTE have always been pretty strong with pricing. They're not going to price themselves out of the market which for the consumer is a pretty good thing. It's also nice to see that they have decided to mix it up in the I/O department by offering native HDMI.

Cherry picking which is something that's generally been reserved for the more hardcore overclocker has made its way into the mainstream market. The good news is that GIGABYTE started with the GTX 260 and has begun to work its magic on the GTX 275, which means they're moving in the right direction. Hopefully as time goes on we see GIGABYTE add more models into the Super Overclock series including not only NVIDIA models, but hopefully ATI ones.

That's the future, though, and today we're talking about the GTX 260 Super Overclock. The card absolutely flies along and excites us because we didn't think that GIGABYTE were capable of doing this with graphics cards. Once the card hits the market it should be a popular option.

What do TweakTown.com awards mean? Click for details!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

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.

Newsletter Subscription

Similar Content

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.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles