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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.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

The original Half-Life 2 might have first seen the light of day close to four years ago, but it’s still arguably one of the greatest-looking games ever seen on the PC. Follow-up versions, including Episode One and Episode Two, do well to put the Source Engine upgrades to full use. While playing, it’s hard to believe that the game is based on a four+ year old engine, but it still looks great and runs well on almost any GPU purchased over the past few years.

Like Call of Duty 4, Half-Life 2: Episode Two runs well on modest hardware, but a recent mid-range graphics card is recommended if you wish to play at higher than 1680×1050 or would like to top out the available options, including anti-aliasing and very high texture settings.

This game benefits from both the CPU and GPU, and the skies the limit. In order to fully top out the available settings and run the highest resolution possible, you need a very fast GPU or GPUs along with a fast processor. Though the in-game options go much higher, we run our tests with 4xAA and 8xAF to allow the game to remain playable on the smaller mid-range cards.

The tradition continues here with the GTX 260/216 performing almost identically to the GTX 280 at higher resolutions. For some reason, the GTX 280 performs a little bit better at 1680×1050, but like our previous results, it’s a minor difference.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA, 16xAF
81.418 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA, 16xAF
62.184 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA, 16xAF
61.437 FPS
Palit HD 4870 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA, 16xAF
56.572 FPS
Palit 9800 GX2 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA, 8xAF
89.596 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX+ 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA, 8xAF
54.977 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA, 8xAF
51.272 FPS
ASUS HD 4850 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA, 8xAF
48.142 FPS
Gigabyte 9600 GT 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 0xAA, 8xAF
52.297 FPS

XFX’s nice overclock on this card helped push it up and over the GTX 280 by half a frame-per-second, totaling over 60 FPS for an absolute top resolution and ultra-high-end settings.


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