ASUS ENGTX260MATRIX Video Card Review :: Features

05-18-2009 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Ben Sun
  • Super Hybrid Engine
  • Hybrid Cooler
  • iTracker
  • Auto Phase Switch
  • Advanced Dynamic GPU loading Detection
  • GamerOSD
  • Splendid HD
  • VideoSecurity
  • DirectX 10.0
  • Pixel Shader 4.0
  • Vertex Shader 4.0
  • PhysX
  • CUDA
  • PureVideo
  • 1400 Million transistors
  • 55 nanometer
  • 216 SPs
  • 487mm2
  • 28 ROPs
  • 80 Texture units
  • 896MB
  • 111.9GB/second memory bandwidth
  • 576MHz core
  • 999MHz memory
  • 1242MHz Shader clock
  • 16.1 Gigapixel Pixel fill rate
  • 36.9 Gigatexel texture fill rate

Brand Name ASUS
Part Number ENGTX260MATRIX
Graphics Chip GT200
Core clock 576
Shader Clock 1242
SPs 216
Fabrication Process 55nm
Transistors 1400million
Memory clock 1996mhZ
Memory bus 448-bit
Memory bandwidth 111.9GB/second
Memory Size 896MB
ROPs 28
Texture Filtering Units 64
Texture Filtering Rate 36.9Gigatexels/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes (via adapter)
Connectors Dual DVI-I, AV-Out
RAMDACs 400MHz
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors 2x 6-pin power

The ENGTX260MATRIX is based upon NVIDIA's GT200 chip which is manufactured on a 55nm process at TSMC in Taiwan. The card has 216 Stream processors, making it a GTX260 Core 216 card. The memory controller is a 448-bit controller. The ratio of SPs/TUs/ROPs is 216/80/28 on this card. When compared to the GTX285 the ratio is 240/80/32.

The card is outfitted with 896MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 999MHz. With the 448-bit memory controller, that provides this card with a maximum memory bandwidth of 111.9GB/second. The ENGTX260MATRIX is clocked at 576MHz for the core, which is the same as the reference GTX260 card, and 1242MHz for the Shader.

NVIDIA is really pushing PhysX as a differentiating factor between their cards and ATI cards. Games like Cryostasis, Mirror's Edge, Sacred 2 and any game with the Unreal Engine can take advantage of the hardware physics capabilities of cards like the GTX260 to give real-time special effects like destructible environment, realistic sparks when a bullet hits metal, glass that breaks realistically and stays on the ground and more.

Every NVIDIA based video card of the last three years supports DirectX 10.0. Pixel Shader 4.0 and Vertex Shader 4.0 allows for longer pixel Shader programs to be written, better effects and is an integral part of Microsoft Windows Vista's Operating System, as it can't be added to a computer with Windows XP or earlier. ATI of course has released cards with the ability to use DirectX 10.1, but only a few games support it currently. In any event, the matter is a bit moot as DirectX 11 is around the corner requiring DirectX 10.1 support as a minimum.

PureVideo HD is NVIDIA's trademarks for their high-definition video decodes and post processing hardware and software. The GeForce GTX260 has a programmable video processor that lowers CPU utilization and power consumption. PureVideo is HDCP capable meaning it meets the requirements to play back HDCP protected Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVDs. The PureVideo HD CODEC works well and the GTX260 has the chip installed.

ASUS, of course brings their own features to the new graphics card. iTracker is ASUS's overclocker utility. When used in combination with GamerOSD and ASUS's drivers the iTracker can monitor clock speed, voltage and fan speeds of the new video card. iTracker is split into Information, Profile and Configuration. It monitors all of the memory, GPU, Shader clocks and voltages, PSU 12V, 3.3V voltages temperatures of video card, PSU and ambient temperature and video card power consumption. One thing that should be noted is that the latest driver on NVIDIA's website is 185.85 while the latest on ASUS's website is 182.06. I always suggest using NVIDIA's latest Forceware drivers. If you want to use the iTracker use the 182.06 drivers. The Super Hybrid Engine has the clocks and voltages set according to load. Hybrid Cooler controls the GPU fans. When the card is idle, the fans can stop altogether. When a 3D application is launched, the fans spin up to the max setting.