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MSI N260GTX V.3 Print
Written by Brook Moore   
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
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msi-8.JPGMSI N260GTX V.3

The next generation of nVidia's GT200 class of GPU is out, MSI has put their own little spin on it, is it enough to open up your wallet?


Not all that long ago, determining what was a mid-range video card and a high end one was pretty easy. Besides a naming scheme you could decipher (6600 vs 6800) there was a large delta (meaning empty space in your wallet) when you reached for the top of the line. Apparently, that line has become more and more blurred. Not only is the performance of the mid-tier very high, the price point of the high end is relatively low. We saw a melding of the two with the 8600 VS 8800 lineup, fold into that equation the fact that the current generation (250 VS 260 VS 280), well, is not the current generation for all that long, you end up with a conundrum of what to purchase for what purpose?

Viperlair has in our grubby little hands a video card that not to long ago was considered, well, lets say for arguments sake, middle tier; while nV marketed the 260 as a higher end card, the performance just wasn't there. The release of the current generation of 260 is much more of a high end solution then the previous, add to that a little better cooling (nV's downfall on this lineup was heat) and some extra clock cycles, you have the making of what I am holding in my hands, the .

Is it a mid-range solution, a high end solution or something in-between those two? The is certainly priced where a mid-range card would be, hell, its under $200 now. Its performance, however, (on paper anyway) is that of a step above. While a 280GTX this is not, if budget is tight, that extra $75 to $100 that a 280 series card garners might just point you in the direction of the . Lets look at what packs along for the ride:


  • MSI N260GTX (GT200 - 55nm @ 655MHz / nV spec is 576MHz)

    • 216 Shaders

      • Support for MS DirectX 10.0 Shader Model 4.0

      • 32-bit floating point texture filtering

      • 16x full screen antialiasing

      • 16x angle independent anisoptric filtering

      • Full speed frame buffer blending

      • Read/write multi-sample surfaces with shaders

      • Advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture and z-data

    • Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point HDR

  • nVidia™ 3Way SLI Multi-GPU Technology

  • 896MB High-Speed GDDR3 memory (@ 1050MHz / nV spec is 999MHz)

  • MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding

  • PhysX™

    • parallel processing capability of the GPU, PhysX™ will provide an exponential increase in physics processing power and will take gaming to a new level delivering rich, immersive physical gaming environments

    • Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris

    • Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction • Spectacular new weapons with incredible effects

    • Cloth that drapes and tears naturally

  • nVidia Pure Video HD

    • provides unsurpassed Blu-ray and HD DVD movie picture quality

  • MSI DOT Express Technology

    • Dynamic Overclocking Technology enables supreme Overclocking ability with de-noise performance.

  • OpenGL 2.1

  • RoHS - MSI products are the first to be in conformity of the EU's RoHS(Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulations, reducing heavy metals and toxic materials in the products. This is an effort made for the Earth, and essentially for a clean future.

As you can see in the first line above, MSI sends this to the end user clocking higher then nV spec's out. They accomplish this with an advanced cooler architecture that is also pleasing to the eye and begs to be fitted to a windowed case, but lets not get ahead of ourselves, first things first...


Packaged nicely with all of the pertinent information easily identified. Lets open up the box and see what the includes are...


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