Nice! With the GeForce GTX 260 Sonic SP216 edition Palit brought a very mature product to the market. Admittedly, I have a bit of a weak spot for diversity in products, especially graphics cards these days ... I mean they are all just the frickin same. Seeing a product like this is very refreshing.
We like the customizations very much. The cooling solution for example, it isn't necessarily more silent than the reference design cooler; that's roughly equal we think. However thermal management is really good. With the GPU stressed for a while we notice that the temperatures are regulated very well.
The one deficit we spotted was the fact that the boards power states did not kick in. Thus in idle / desktop mode, a GeForce graphics would normally clock down to say 300 MHz on core and memory, to preserve energy. Palit might want to look into that. This being an early review sample is something that likely would not end up in the final product.
So the cooler works great, and remains at normal levels in terms of noise. It cools well, and as such we noticed a really awesome overclock as you have been able to read. That's instantly another 10% performance you can squeeze out of the product.
Should you choose not to overclock, the core frequency is already clocked at 625 MHz, the memory at 2200 MHz, the shader processors at 1350 MHz, combine that with the extra shader processors totaling up towards 216, and you just have a very fast performing pre-overclocked product.
Far Cry 2 at 8xAA, 16xAF at 1920x1200 returned an average frame rate of ~40 FPS. And that was with high image quality settings enabled in DirectX 10 mode. The experience was great, no stutters. Just a fantastic experience.
A title like Call of Duty 5 will return ~50 FPS at 1920x1200 with image quality settings completely maxed out, high quality textures and 4xAA. It's really a great experience. So gaming wise it surely is all good and the card will last you a while for sure, most certainly until DX11 is released.
Being an NVIDIA product you also reap the benefit of PureVideo HD, decoding blu-ray movies assisted by your graphics card. Next to that, CUDA ... you'll gain PhysX capabilities yet also GPU assisted functionality to be found in video transcoding (Badaboom) or in the upcoming Photoshop releases, certain functions being accelerated over the GPU. Think of it as having an extra processor in your PC helping you out when and where it can. Good stuff.
Though pricing is a little vague right now, the product will likely be introduced at a 250 - 275 USD pricetag. That's 25% to 30% cheaper than a GTX 285, yet only 15% slower ;)
We feel that with the GeForce GTX 260 Sonic SP216 edition, Palit brought a very exciting product to the market. We feel it is an impressive product with heaps of performance, features and potential. As such it comes highly recommended by Guru3D.com
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