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XFX GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition
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by Rob Williams on October 31, 2008 in NVIDIA-Based GPU

No matter your need for graphics power, the choice of GPUs right now is fantastic. Where high-end gamers are concerned, two popular options are the HD 4870 1GB and the GTX 260/216. We’re taking a look at XFX’s latest release of the latter, which features such an impressive factory overclock, it manages to keep up to the GTX 280.

Crysis Warhead

As PC enthusiasts, we tend to be drawn to games that offer spectacular graphics… titles that help reaffirm your belief that shelling out lots of cash for that high-end monitor and PC was well worth it. But it’s rare when a game comes along that is so visually-demanding, it’s unable to run fully maxed out on even the highest-end systems on the market. In the case of the original Crysis, it’s easy to see that’s what Crytek was going for.

Funny enough, even though Crysis was released close to a year ago, the game today still has difficulty running at 2560×1600 with full detail settings – and that’s even with overlooking the use of anti-aliasing! Luckily, Warhead is better optimized and will run smoother on almost any GPU, despite looking just as gorgeous as its predecessor, as you can see in the screenshot below.

The game includes four basic profiles to help you adjust the settings based on how good your system is. These include Entry, Mainstream, Gamer and Enthusiast – the latter of which is for the biggest of systems out there, unless you have a sweet graphics card and are only running 1680×1050. We run our tests at the Gamer setting as it’s very demanding on any current GPU and is a proper baseline of the level of detail that hardcore gamers would demand from the game.

On the introduction page to this review, I mentioned that XFX’s pre-overclocked GTX 260/216 might compete nicely with the GTX 280, but as we can see, there is no “might” about it. In each one of our resolutions here, XFX’s card keeps up to our stock-clocked GTX 280, and in some cases, surpasses it.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Gamer, 0xAA
31.382 FPS
Palit 9800 GX2 1GB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
50.550 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
46.038 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
45.940 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX+ 512MB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
34.319 FPS
Palit HD 4870 512MB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
32.973 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX 512MB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
30.840 FPS
ASUS HD 4850 512MB
2560×1600, Mainstream, 0xAA
26.530 FPS
Gigabyte 9600 GT 512MB
1920×1200, Mainstream, 0xAA
31.979 FPS

Like the GTX 280, “Gamer” isn’t likely to be chosen when using 2560×1600 as your resolution of choice. That particular setting is a lot more playable at 1920×1200, but when maxing out what your 30″ display is made of, you’ll want to scale down to “Mainstream”, which still delivers a gorgeous experience at a comfortable 45FPS.


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