PDA

View Full Version : What GTX 260 card is best?



blueshiftoverwatch
October 30th, 2009, 03:56 AM
What GTX 260 graphics card resellers (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=GeForce+GTX+260&x=0&y=0) have the best version of Nvidia's stock card?

All of the cards are within at least $30 of each other, most are within $20. The specs all look to be pretty similar, does spending more on what is basically the same card justify any real noticeable increase in performance?

Do certain video card brands work better with certain types of processors and motherboards? If yes, this card is going to be used in conjunction with an AMD Phenom II processor.

How much faster is GDDR3 than DDR3?

How much should a card's cooling capabilities be taken into account? For example: this card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125294&cm_re=geforce_gtx_260-_-14-125-294-_-Product) has slightly better specs. But this card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127426) looks like it has better cooling. Which is better?

handy
October 30th, 2009, 05:58 AM
Do a search at Tom's Hardware, you should get all the info' you need there, as they do good tests.

Basically, cards of the same spec' perform the same, cooling matters, as does what other accessories get thrown in with the card. If the card comes with games that you can run in Wine, that is nice, if there are games & you have windows, that's nice too.

I have had two expensive nVidia cards die on me, outside of warranty. Good cooling is about all we can do in that department (& keeping the cooling system clean from dust).

You could buy ATi, which have a better reputation as far as reliability is concerned, & the open-source drivers are progressing fast - the 2D is the best you will get, the 3D is on its way. The closed-source Catalyst packages are working well at the moment also.

Anyway, its all your choice. :)

Grifulkin
October 30th, 2009, 06:14 AM
I would say go with ATI as well, way more bang for your buck. They are usuing GDDR5 while NVidia is using GDDR3 I really wish I would have done more homework when I built this computer earlier this summer never would have bought NVidia. I would say ATI all the way besides you could have 1600 stream processors on one card of GDDR5 lets see NVidia top that as of now.

blueshiftoverwatch
October 30th, 2009, 05:00 PM
If the card comes with games that you can run in Wine, that is nice, if there are games & you have windows, that's nice too.
I have plan on attempting to run everything I can in WINE and if I can't or the performance isn't that good running it on virtual machine with Windows.

You could buy ATi, which have a better reputation as far as reliability is concerned, & the open-source drivers are progressing fast - the 2D is the best you will get, the 3D is on its way. The closed-source Catalyst packages are working well at the moment also.
If the open source drivers were just as good or only slightly worse than the proprietary drivers I'd use those. But if the open source drivers can't even do 3D graphics than I'd rather not use them. I prefer open source but I'm not Richard Stallman.

I would say go with ATI as well, way more bang for your buck.
I read an article earlier this morning (don't have the link anymore) that basically said that Nvidia's Linux support (using proprietary drivers) is only slightly better than ATI's currently. But I'm still a little apprehensive about buying non-Nvidia after years of hearing nothing but bad things about their Linux support.

Dimitriid
October 30th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Do a search at Tom's Hardware, you should get all the info' you need there, as they do good tests.

Basically, cards of the same spec' perform the same, cooling matters, as does what other accessories get thrown in with the card. If the card comes with games that you can run in Wine, that is nice, if there are games & you have windows, that's nice too.

I have had two expensive nVidia cards die on me, outside of warranty.

Because of both of these I went for the EVGA 260gtx superclocked:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130433

It should perform faster than most other 260 cards since its factory overclocked closer to a 275 and EVGA has lifetime warranty. The price difference might be a bit over the $30 or exactly that but when it comes to high performance cards drawing massive amounts of power, measuring like 11 inches weighting like 3 or 4 pounds and already overclocked, you want to have something like a lifetime warranty.

Dimitriid
October 30th, 2009, 05:10 PM
But I'm still a little apprehensive about buying non-Nvidia after years of hearing nothing but bad things about their Linux support.

I had both ATI and Nvidia cards in the past, the only card that I had actually die on me ( fan died and it was charcoiled in a few seconds before I could switch the rig off ) was an ATI branded 9800pro.

Most people have different experiences and I know some of the other card vendors that release ATI based cards are pretty good, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.

Skripka
October 30th, 2009, 05:44 PM
I would say go with ATI as well, way more bang for your buck. They are usuing GDDR5 while NVidia is using GDDR3 I really wish I would have done more homework when I built this computer earlier this summer never would have bought NVidia. I would say ATI all the way besides you could have 1600 stream processors on one card of GDDR5 lets see NVidia top that as of now.

Great silicon does not matter, if the drivers stink.


If you're gaming in Windows, I'd say get the ATi card. But for Linux usage I'd avoid ATi if you have any choice in the matter.

blueshiftoverwatch
October 30th, 2009, 05:44 PM
I have had two expensive nVidia cards die on me, outside of warranty.

I had both ATI and Nvidia cards in the past, the only card that I had actually die on me ( fan died and it was charcoiled in a few seconds before I could switch the rig off ) was an ATI branded 9800pro.
I've read so many reviews where one person says "X card died out on me, get Z card instead" and when reading the reviews of Z card someone saying the same thing vice versa that I'm not letting that influence my buying decisions. Sometimes things just crap out for no apparent reason.

handy
October 30th, 2009, 08:05 PM
Just to offer some clarification on the ATi open-source driver subject:

They are supporting 3D for some cards now, but you have to work for it, people are doing it in Arch & elsewhere too I'm sure.

My understanding is that with the .31* kernel, changes have started to be implemented that are leading to there being no external drivers for ATi (& other GPUs), there will end up being just the kernel & Mesa.

Before too long, ATi will become the darling of FOSS, as the drivers will become completely open with excellent 2D (already) & also excellent 3D (coming) performance.

Being completely open, will allow the drivers to be kept up to date with kernel & other changes happening in the GNU/FOSS world, as opposed to leaving the users of GPUs to the mercy of the priorities that motivate the proprietary forces.

Up until maybe as long as a couple of months ago, I would always recommend nVidia GPUs, (& I own both ATi & nVidia). If I were buying a new graphics card now, I wouldn't think twice, it would be ATi straight up. More bang for your buck, overall better reliability, & now with the FOSS system support for the ATi technology moving in the right direction & at a fast pace.

I'm not looking to start any arguments regarding the pro's & con's of this brand versus that, re performance, reliability or price.

Basically I'm stating that the driver situation is changing, big time.

AllRadioisDead
October 30th, 2009, 08:51 PM
Just to offer some clarification on the ATi open-source driver subject:

They are supporting 3D for some cards now, but you have to work for it, people are doing it in Arch & elsewhere too I'm sure.

My understanding is that with the .31* kernel, changes have started to be implemented that are leading to there being no external drivers for ATi (& other GPUs), there will end up being just the kernel & Mesa.

Before too long, ATi will become the darling of FOSS, as the drivers will become completely open with excellent 2D (already) & also excellent 3D (coming) performance.

Being completely open, will allow the drivers to be kept up to date with kernel & other changes happening in the GNU/FOSS world, as opposed to leaving the users of GPUs to the mercy of the priorities that motivate the proprietary forces.

Up until maybe as long as a couple of months ago, I would always recommend nVidia GPUs, (& I own both ATi & nVidia). If I were buying a new graphics card now, I wouldn't think twice, it would be ATi straight up. More bang for your buck, overall better reliability, & now with the FOSS system support for the ATi technology moving in the right direction & at a fast pace.

I'm not looking to start any arguments regarding the pro's & con's of this brand versus that, re performance, reliability or price.

Basically I'm stating that the driver situation is changing, big time.
Just because the ATI situation may look like it's getting better, doesn't mean the NVidia situation won't continue to improve. The ATI situation right now sucks, whether you like to admit it or not.

handy
October 30th, 2009, 09:39 PM
Just because the ATI situation may look like it's getting better, doesn't mean the NVidia situation won't continue to improve. The ATI situation right now sucks, whether you like to admit it or not.

In the last week, I've started checking out a variety of the current 122 games being handled natively by the DJL game package manager, in Arch.

I needed better 3D support than the current open-source ATi packages (not .git) provide for my HD2600pro GPU.

So I installed the Catalyst 9.10 packages & noticed that the 2D wasn't as good as the open-source (but still quite good) & the 3D does everything well on highest settings on a 1900x1200 24" screen.

So, tell me, what is wrong with that?

It is true that people who use Arch & whatever other distro's that are near or on the cutting edge, have been suffering due to the inconsistent nature of Catalyst upgrades & their inability to keep up with the GNU/FOSS speed of software/system development.

We have been experiencing a 1 step forward, 2 back, 2 forward, 1 back scenario for long enough that it has contributed to the motivation behind the implementation of a whole new approach.

Which is excellent news.

Because Ubuntu IS officially supported by AMD/ATi, the Catalyst 9.10 (interesting version number :)) was a good release, which many of us who don't use Ubuntu are thoroughly enjoying also.

There is no ATi vs nVidia thing going on here, it is all about getting completely functional GNU/FOSS support for all of our hardware. At the moment the ATi GPUs (amongst others) are getting a LOT of attention in this regard, & as this development progresses it is/will change things dramatically.

AMD have also been supporting the FOSS development by contributing technical information where they can, unfortunately due to the complexity of the interface between proprietary IP & the GNU licensing system it is often a very complicated process to figure out what can & can't be used.

You may think that the ATi situation sucks.

I have been following the situation closely for nearly 4 months (apart from having been using Arch since March 2008 & dealing with the fglrx/Catalyst upgrade situation) & I stand by my previous statement:

These days, I wouldn't think about buying any other GPU than one made by AMD/ATi, as they are soon to be free of the need for proprietary software.

cascade9
October 30th, 2009, 09:50 PM
What GTX 260 graphics card resellers (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=GeForce+GTX+260&x=0&y=0) have the best version of Nvidia's stock card?

How much faster is GDDR3 than DDR3?

Just to be pedantic, they are not resellers. nVidia sells the GPU chips to the hardware manufacturers, and they make their own boards and put RAM that they have bought from someone else onto the cards.

GDDR3 is based on DDR2 (as is GDDR4 and GDDR5). Nothing to do with the DDR3 standard.