BFG GTX 260 MAXCORE 55

714jpobxxl-_sl1500_The BGF GTX 260 MaxCore 55 (BFGEGTX260MC896OCDE) is the one bin down from the GTX 280. The GTX 260 is a strong gaming class video card that supports up to DirectX 10. BFG offered a lifetime warranty but the 196.75 driver defect caused them to become insolvent when the number of returned cards greatly exceeded their expected return rates. In 2010 BFG closed their operations.

This card is now in legacy support, 341.95 WHQL is the last driver released for the GTX 260.

The GTX 260 a very strong performer for DirectX 10 class games and Windows Vista.

Today there is a wide range of games that support the DirectX 10 features. Games still generally support DirectX 9 for XP users.

The Tesla GT200 GPU is  the biggest chip that NVIDIA has ever built, with 1400M transistors. By comparison the 8800 series had 700 million transistors. The die for the BFG GTX 260 is 22×22 mm making a yield of about 130 devices on a 300 mm wafer using 55 nm. This compares to the 24×24 mm size of the original GTX 260 on the 65 nm line. This is a typical die shrink that NVIDIA/TSMC use to increase yields.

The new GTX GPUs embed new technology but for the end-user nothing really changed other than raw performance and power management. The features are 98% similar to the last gen-products, which also means the lack of DirectX 10.1, though not that important we do wish it would have been implemented. Especially in this price-range.

BFG GTX 260 MAXCORE 55 GPU-Z SLI
The clock frequencies for the BFG GTX 260 are 576MHz GPU, 999MHz memory and 896MHz GDDR3. On a 448-bit memory interface. Why this weird number you ask? It has everything to do with the way the architecture is arranged. Each memory controller in the GPU accumulates the memory bus width.

Standard with the BFG GTX 260 is the dual-link DVI that is common with NVIDIA gaming grade cards. NVIDIA also supports HDCP content protection for use with HDCP complaint displays. Adapters for VGA and HDMI are included. Also included is a cable to connect the S/PDIF motherboard header to the card. 2-way and 3-way SLI bridges are also included.

The GTX 280 has eight 64-bit memory controllers, 8x 64-bit = 512 Bit. Then if the GTX 260 has a 448-bit interface, you can divide by 64-bit, and now we can easily see that the 260 is missing one memory controller opposed to daddy GTX 280, thus 7 active memory controllers. The power for the GTX 260 is fed by two six-pin connectors. Power consumption for this 10.5-inch board is 182W maximum. A 650W PSU would be ideal for the GTX 260.

The BFG GTX 260 has 216 active cores which is half-way between the original GTX 260 and the GTX 280. Made on a 55 nm line, the BFG GTX 260 power draw is slightly better than the original GTX 260 at 65 nm and has 24 more cores. This means there are 2 kinds of GTX 260 with nontrivial differences. NVIDIA should have used GTX 265 to describe the 55 nm part to avoid confusion.

The GTX 260 is able to SLI with one card equipped with 192 CUDA cores and one with 216 CUDA cores. Use the 216 card as the primary in this situation.

FEATURES

  • Idle/2D power mode: approx. 25W
  • Blu-ray DVD playback mode: approx. 35W
  • Full 3D performance mode: varies – worst case TDP 236W for GTX 280
  • Full 3D performance mode: varies – worst case TDP 182W for GTX 260
  • HybridPower mode: effectively 0W
  • 10½” length, 4⅜” full height, dual slot
8800 Ultra 9800 GTX 9800 GX2 GTX 260 BFG GTX 260 GTX 280 GTX 285
Shaders 128 128 128×2 192 216 240 240
Core Clock (MHz) 612 675 600 576 590 602 648
Shader Clock (MHz) 1512 1675 1512 1242 1296 1296 1476
Memory Clock (MHz) 1080 1100 1000 999 999 1053 1242
VRAM Size 768 MB 512 MB 512 MB x2 896 MB 896 MB 1024 MB 1024 MB
VRAM Width 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit 448-bit 448-bit 512-bit 512-bit
Feature Size 90 nm 65 nm 65 nm 65 nm 55 nm 65 nm 55 nm

At idle you can expect a temperature of 45-50°C but once pushed to 100%, the temperatures will rise to ~75°C.
GT200 architecture

AS TESTED

CHASSIS Corsair Carbide 300R
MB Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0
CPU AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4 GHz
HSF Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
RAM 12288MB DDR3-1600 dual channel
GPU BGF GTX 260 MaxCore 55
PSU Corsair TX850V2
MON Asus PA238QR (1920×1080 60Hz)
KB/M Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 & Wacom Bamboo Capture
HD Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST2000DM001
OS Windows 8.1 x64 Professional

PERFORMANCE

All of the benchmarks are available here.

VIDEO CONVERSION

We use video conversion tools as part of the creation of game video files. Using a CUDA enabled converter with H.264 can be as much as 5x faster.

CONCLUSION

The BFG GTX 260 is not cheap, but if you want to beat up on games this card will deliver.

COMPARATIVE GPU PERFORMANCE CHART