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Back With More Stream Processors - Leadtek WinFast GTX 260 Extreme+
By Kenny Yeo
Category : Graphics
Published by Vincent Chang on Wednesday, 12th November, 2008

Back with More Stream Processors

When NVIDIA launched their GeForce GTX 200 series of cards, they were confident that nothing from ATI could possibly rival it. Boasting over a billion transistors, it was indeed ground-breaking stuff. And for a while, it looked like NVIDIA would once again dominate the graphics card market. But that was until ATI responded with their Radeon HD 4800 series of cards.

The new Radeons offered great performance at competitive prices. NVIDIA was taken aback and was quickly forced to drastically slash prices of their newly released GeForce GTX 200 cards. If you can recall, prices of the GTX 280 was lowered by a staggering amount, from US$649 to US$499, whereas the GTX 260 was also brought down from US$399 to US$299. Such dramatic price cuts clearly signaled NVIDIA's surprise at how competitive ATI's latest cards were.

However, this was not the end of NVIDIA's woes. Shortly after, ATI introduced the Radeon HD 4870 X2, dubbed as the world's fastest single card and soon, in the next few weeks to come, ATI is expected to unleash the HD 4850 X2, set to go head to head with the GTX 280.

With ATI making further incursions into the high-end graphics card segment, NVIDIA had to respond and their reply came in the form of this - the GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 - so-called because of its 216 stream processors.

Priced at US$279, it is essentially a GeForce GTX 260 with one extra texture processing cluster enabled, thereby giving it 24 more stream processors. With the resulting 216 stream processors, it is now just 24 shy of the top-of-the-range GTX 280. Hence, although it shares the same clock speeds (core: 576MHz; memory: 1998MHz DDR; shaders: 1242MHz) as the regular GTX 260, we're expecting the GTX 260 Core 216 to put in significantly better numbers than the regular variant in our benchmarking tests.

The GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 and Competing SKUs
Model NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 896MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1GB Radeon HD 4870 512MB Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Core Code GT200 GT200 GT200 RV770 RV770
Transistor Count 1400 million 1400 million 1400 million 965 million 965 million
Manufacturing Process 65nm 65nm 65nm 55nm 55nm
Core Clock 576MHz 576MHz 602MHz 750MHz 625MHz
Stream Processors 216 Stream Processors 192 Stream Processors 240 Stream Processors 800 Stream processing units 800 Stream processing units
Stream Processor Clock 1242MHz 1242MHz 1296MHz 750MHz 625MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 72 64 80 40 40
Raster Operator units (ROP) 28 28 32 16 16
Memory Clock 1998MHz GDDR3 1998MHz GDDR3 2214MHz GDDR3 3600MHz GDDR5 2000MHz GDDR3
DDR Memory Bus 448-bit 448-bit 512-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 111.9GB/s 111.9GB/s 141.7GB/s 115.2GB/s 64GB/s
PCI Express Interface PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin Yes (6-pin, 8-pin) 2 x 6-pin 6-pin
Multi GPU Technology SLI SLI SLI CrossFireX CrossFireX
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDCP Output Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Street Price ~US$279 ~US$299 ~US$420 ~US$289 ~US$179

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