Since that Radeon HD 4870 was a tough nut to crack for NVIDIA as pricing wise this thing just does wicked things, NVIDIA had to adapt and counter-act ATI's strategy; the GeForce GTX 260 can now be purchased for the same price as the Radeon HD 4870. But in a lot of scenarios, the HD 4870 is simply a tad faster. So NVIDIA introduced the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216. What is the core 216 version of the product range you ask?
Well, when you look at the GTX 200 series GPU there are ten shader clusters (each with 24 sp units) inside that GPU totalling up to 240 shader units for the GeForce GTX 280.
So with the knowledge that the GTX 280 has 10x3x8= 240 Shader Processors (stream processors) you can also understand that a standard GTX 260 has 8x3x8= 192 SPs (thus has eight SP clusters enabled).
Now with the info above that I just mentioned, you can do the math with me real quick. The regular GeForce GTX 260 has 8 shader clusters and thus 192 shader processors which you can utilize for gaming... or computing other stuff. The GTX 260 216 then? Well, 24x9=216 shader processors. Meaning the core 216 has one more shader cluster enabled opposed to the regular GTX 260.
GeForce 8800 Ultra
GeForce 9800 GTX
GeForce GTX 260
GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
GeForce GTX 280
Stream (Shader) Processors
Core Clock (MHz)
Shader Clock (MHz)
Memory Clock (MHz) x2
Two Dual link DVI
The clock frequencies for the GTX 260 and Core 216 version remain the same, 576MHz on the GPU, and 999MHz on the memory.
So the Core 216 version is an SKU based on the GTX 200 chip that sits exactly in-between the GTX 280 and GTX 260 when you look at the number of shader processors.
By the way, this is why I never understood why NVIDIA assigned the hugely confusing name. They just should have named the product GeForce GTX 270 or GTX 265. The card still has a 448-bit (7x64-bit) wide GDDR3 memory bus with 896 MB of framebuffer/memory. It comes with 1.0 ns memory chips, unless you stumble into OC models from different board partners.
Speaking of board partners, the card we are using today was submitted by Point of View graphics. It's their all new "premium edition" bundle that comes with a stackload of value, let me show you, look at the photo above.
So you receive the GeForce GTX core 216 version of the GeForce GTX 260 and then get the usual suspects like HDMI converter, VGA converter, cabling, drivers but then there's more... as you get to receive Far Cry 2 (full game) and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (full game) for free. These two titles offer a value of up-to 120 USD / 100 EUR alone. That's easy money right there in your pocket. Keep that in mind.
Let me show you a photo of the card active in our test system.