ASUS ENGTX260 TOP 896MB (NVIDIA GTX260)
While the GTX280 may still be king of the latest gen when it comes to performance, ASUS have certainly closed the gap with the release of their pre-overclocked ENGTX260 TOP. Coming within only a few insignificant FPS in most games and showing good potential to take things even further with a bit of manual overclocking using nTune, the performance of the card is really quite stunning.
Shifting these FPS results over to our "Cost Per Frame" scale reveals that the ENGTX260, with its £220 retail price, does sit comfortably at the lower end of the scale, offering a good balance of performance to price. Ideally, we would have liked to place the card head-to-head with a pre-overclocked AMD HD4870 considering this card has been touted as its rival, but as supply of these cards is fairly thin on the ground for most AIB partners, this is something that is going to have to wait until a later date.
Everything else is pretty much what you'd expect from ASUS: a sturdy box with plenty of protection from clumsy couriers, added-value extras such as the mouse mat and CD wallet and all the other bits and bobs you need to get up and running. As mentioned earlier, the card does look slightly rancid in its camo attire and is most definitely subject to personal taste, but to be fair most of us probably won't see it once installed inside a PC. So we'll let ASUS have their fun just this once!
NVIDIA did a pretty good job with the stock cooling on the GTX200 series, and ASUS haven't seen any reason to change this. Under both idle and load conditions, the fan remains quiet and the GPU temperatures under control. Moving the fan slider past its stock setting of 40% does make things increasingly noisy, but at the same time gives extra headroom for further overclocking.
Overall a decent card with performance that can, in some games, come close to the results produced by a GTX280 thanks to ASUS' factory overclocked settings. While the card may be a bit more expensive than its AMD rival, the performance is there to back it up.
- Factory overclock gives performance not far off the GTX280.
- Price to Performance ratio is pretty well balanced.
- Mouse mat and CD wallet are a nice touch
- No freebie games to get you started.
The Downright Ugly
- Camouflage is so 80's you crazy foools
Thanks to ASUS
for providing the ENGTX260 TOP for review. Discuss this review in our forums
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