[ad#review971-top]The current graphics card market is a little confusing and hard to keep up with what’s going on. Both ATI and nVidia are releasing modified versions of their successful GPUs from last year to fill in gaps between models and both have released beefed up versions of their top GPUs to create new top end models for their lineups. At the same time, some nVidia and ATI partners are adding new features to last year’s popular cards to generate new interest in them.
In light of the current global economic situation, I think that this is probably the best way for the two GPU manufacturers and their partners to go. In these uncertain times, releasing a new generation of VGA cards probably wouldn’t be in their best interest. I have no inside information whatsoever, I do watch what is going on in the financial world, and pay attention to the indicators such as unemployment statistics, and use a little common sense, I wouldn’t expect to see a new generation of GPUs from either company until maybe late this year, depending on what happens for the next couple of quarters.
Our friends at Asus have been at work improving some of last year’s popular cards with upgraded heatpipe coolers and intelligent hardware/software technology. Marketed under their Republic of Gamers line as the “Matrix” series, Asus calls them “The world’s most intelligent graphics cards.” With the ability of overclocking and overvolting GPU, memory, and shaders on the fly for 3D graphics, and underclocking for 2D mode, along with different cooling setups for each mode, they very well may be. Read on to find out about Asus’ Matrix version of the geForce GTX 260!
Model: ENGTX260 MT/HTDP/896MD3/A
Interface: PCI-E 2.0 x 16
GPU: nVidia geForce GTX 260
Core Clock: 576mHz
Shader Clock: 1.242gHz
Stream Processors: 216 Processor Cores
Memory: 896MB GDDR3 Memory
Memory Clock: 1.998gHz
Memory Interface: 448-bit
Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600
Ports: 2 x DVI, 1 x HDTV
Power Connectors: 2 x 6-pin PCI-E
– HDMI via Adapter
– HDCP Ready
– Dual-Link DVI Supported
Minimum PSU: 550 watts
Warranty: 3 years limited
As all nice Asus video cards, the ENGTX260 Matrix comes in a sleeved box. Not that it really matters, but as other ROG products I’ve had, the box is designed vertically rather than horizontally, and the graphics are a little different from non-ROG products.
There are no real specifications listed on the box, but the features of the Matrix series are described on a panel on the inside of the front of the box.
Remove the sleeve and we are greeted by a simple black box with Asus’ logo.
Inside, the card is well protected by foam and cardboard dividers, and is enclosed in a static-proof sleeve. The cardboard box and interior cardboard has the feel of recycled cardboard, which is always good for the environment.