Gigabyte GeForce GTX 260 SO review -
Final Words & Conclusion
With the SO edition graphics cards Gigabyte takes it up a notch and delivers graphics cards with the nicest components pre-overclocked for you. I definitely like the quality components used, the high-quality standard ensures that your product will last a long time. You won't hear any squeaky noises thanks to Ferrite core chokes and excellent capacitors but more overly, such a design will also help you with overclocking.
Next to being a fairly fast pre-overclocked product -- there is still room for a little more. Don't expect much without voltage mods or supercooling though. Performance wise the GTX 260 obviously is a fun card to own. It's a nice mid-range product offering good bang for buck. The SO edition however includes a more stringent QA selection, and that makes the product more expensive. Currently you can find the product here in the Netherlands for roughly 159,- and I'm afraid that's a little difficult to position anno Q4 2009. See this product performs roughly at GeForce GTX 275 level thanks to it's overclock. And if you throw in a few EURO extra then for 169 you can already pick up a GTX 275. And that product can be overclocked another 10% (easily) as well.
Yes the mid-range market is very complicated to be in. Personally I'd favor the GTX 275 without any doubt as that is a nice performer for the money. Another reality is that you can pick up a Radeon HD 4890 for less than 150 these days as well and face it .. that's tremendous value for money. Again .. the mid-range segment is complicated. I'll up it a notch as the DX11 ready Radeon HD 5770, though slower, can be found for 130 as well.
All that aside, we think that the SO series graphics cards from Gigabyte are very much warranted and do have a viable chance in an already saturated market. For the upcoming product line we do hope that the speed-bin for releasing the SO edition graphics cards will be faster as the original GTX 260 was released in June 2008. Should you be interested, Gigabyte also offers a GTX 275 OC edition.
All things considered, the GeForce GTX 260 SO is a inspiring product series, we do hope that pricing will come down and fall under 150 EUR, but we can definitely recommend a product like shown today.
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