by Rob Williams on October 6, 2009 in Graphics & Displays
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 260 is not a new card. In fact, it’s been available for over a year in its 216 Core form. So is it even worth a look at today? Where Gigabyte’s “Super Overclock” version is concerned, yes. Although it costs less than a stock GTX 275, this new card beat it out in almost every single game and setting we put it through.
To test our graphics cards for both temperatures and power consumption, we utilize OCCT for the stress-testing, GPU-Z for the temperature monitoring, and a Kill-a-Watt for power monitoring. The Kill-a-Watt is plugged into its own socket, with only the PC connect to it.
As per our guidelines when benchmarking with Windows, when the room temperature is stable (and reasonable), the test machine is boot up and left to sit at the Windows desktop until things are completely idle. Once things are good to go, the idle wattage is noted, GPU-Z is started up to begin monitoring card temperatures, and OCCT is set up to begin stress-testing.
To push the cards we test to their absolute limit, we use OCCT in full-screen 2560×1600 mode, and allow it to run for 30 minutes, which includes a one minute lull at the start, and a three minute lull at the end. After about 10 minutes, we begin to monitor our Kill-a-Watt to record the max wattage.
The GTX 260 Super Overclock shared a top temperature of 92C with the GTX 275, although the former had a slightly higher temperature at idle. The room temperature was admittedly 0.8C higher, but I’m not entirely sure if that’d result in a 4C difference for the GPU. As far as power consumption goes, the Super Overclock, not surprisingly, uses much more power at full load over the stock card, but surprisingly, it falls behind the GTX 275, despite having improved performance.