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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.

Need for Speed: ProStreet

Where the racing genre is concerned, there are few games like Need for Speed. The first title launched in 1994, and since then, the series has done well to stick to its roots by offering an exciting racing experience that doesn’t hinge on being a simulator, like Gran Turismo or Forza. Instead, it delivers close to an arcade-like experience, which seems to be preferred by most people. EA has also kept incredibly regular with the series, having released sixteen different versions in a fourteen year span. That’s impressive.

What wasn’t impressive was ProStreet, however, as it took the franchise and turned it upside down. Sometimes reinventing a series is a good thing, but with concern to this game, EA should have left things as they were. The developers realized they goofed though, and the upcoming Undercover game (slated for a Nov. 17 release) looks to bring the series back on track. On release, we’ll replace ProStreet with Undercover in our testing.

ProStreet offers a wide-range of graphics options, allowing you to intricately tweak the game to work on your machine, regardless of what hardware you have. However, even when using maxed out detail settings, the game is still playable enough to complete a reliable benchmarking run, so we take that route. We also enable anisotropic filtering and 4x anti-aliasing.

What’s the difference between a stock GTX 280 and XFX’s GTX 260/216? Not much, according to almost all of our results thus far!

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
Palit 9800 GX2 1GB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
111.112 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
94.916 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
93.939 FPS
Palit HD 4870 512MB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
81.253 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX+ 512MB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
70.844 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX 512MB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
66.830 FPS
ASUS HD 4850 512MB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
64.861 FPS
Gigabyte 9600 GT 512MB
1920×1200 Max Detail, 4xAA
52.189 FPS

Thanks to the fact that we are stuck with 1920×1200 being our top-end resolution here, all of our cards can run the game using identical settings. It does scale well as you increase your graphics power, though, as easily seen by our table above.