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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M SLI is a combination of two Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M graphics cards for laptops linked together in SLI mode. The combination can be up to 40% faster than a single GTX 260M if given the proper game or driver support. In fact,some games may even run slower under SLI than with a single 260M if driver support is poor. Regardless, current consumption is twice as high as a single 260M. Notably, Nvidia drivers support the deactivation of SLI to save power. This is in contrast to the Catalyst drivers of the 4870 X2 at the time of our review.

The graphics memory of both cards can't be added and compared to single cards, as each card stores the same information. Therefore, a GTX 260M SLI with 2x512 graphics memory only counts as 512 MB for games.

As all SLI combinations, the GeForce 260M SLI may suffer from noticeable micro stuttering at frame rates between 20 to 30 fps. This is due to the inconsistent delays between subsequent frames being rendered and shown onscreen. As a result, an SLI combination may need higher frame rates for fluent gameplay.

Similar to other cards with DirectX 10 capabilities, the GeForce GTX 260M SLI combination renders 3D images using "Unified Shaders". Dedicated pixel shaders and vertex shaders have been dropped in favor of 2x112 stream processors for rendering graphic work that would have normally been done by specialized pixel and vertex shaders. Furthermore, the shader units are higher clocked than the chip at 1375 MHz.

The performance of the GTX 260M SLI is in the region of a single GTX 260M, but can be about 40 percent higher depending on application and driver support. A single GTX 260M is only a bit faster than a 9800M GTX due to the higher clock speed. For current DirectX 10 games like Crysis, World in Conflict, Bioshock or Age of Conan, the performance of this graphics card is sufficient with medium and high details. Older games and less demanding ones run fluently with high resolutions and full details. The memory component is up to 2x1024 MB GDDR3 with speeds up to 950MHz in MXM 3.0 boards or up to 800 MHz in MXM 2.0 boards.

An advantage of the GeForce GTX 260M SLI is the integrated PureVideo HD video processor. As a result, it is able to decode/encode H.264-, VC-1-, MPEG2- and WMV9 video material that would have otherwise been processed by the CPU. This ultimately allows the CPU to concentrate more on other tasks and programs simultaneously.

Both chips also support PhysX and CUDA applications. A single GTX 260M can also be used to calculate PhysX effects if supported by the game or application.

HybridPower is a technique to choose between the integrated (if available) and dedicated graphics core for power-saving purposes. So far, this works only in Windows Vista. Up to now, the user had to use a tool to switch between the GPUs. In the near future, Nvidia intends to be able to switch GPUs automatically in the drivers (now known as Optimus Technology, which is not supported by the GTX 260M SLI). GeForceBoost is not supported with this card as there would be no performance gain if one were to combine the integrated GPU with the dedicated 460M SLI.

The current consumption of up to 2x75 = 150 Watts (including the MXM board and VRAM) allows the use of the SLI cards only in laptops with a strong cooling system. Therefore, the GTX 260M SLI can be found only in heavier and larger desktop replacement (DTR) notebooks.

Compared with desktop graphics cards, the performance of the GTX 260M SLI is about on par with the GeForce 9800 GT SLI (600/1500/900).

ManufacturerNVIDIA
GeForce GTX 200M Series

GeForce GTX 285M SLI

256 @ 576 MHz256 Bit @ 1020 MHz

GeForce GTX 280M SLI

256 @ 585 MHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 260M SLI 224 @ 550 MHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz

GeForce GTX 285M

128 @ 576 MHz256 Bit @ 1020 MHz

GeForce GTX 280M

128 @ 585 MHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz

GeForce GTX 260M

112 @ 550 MHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
CodenameNB9E-GTX
ArchitectureG9x
Pipelines224 - unified
Core Speed *550 MHz
Shader Speed *1375 MHz
Memory Speed *950 MHz
Memory Bus Width256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR3
Max. Amount of Memory2048 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 10, Shader 4.0
Power Consumption150 Watt
Transistors1508 Million
technology55 nm
FeaturesHybridPower, PureVideo HD, CUDA, PhysX ready
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement02.03.2009
InformationMXM 3
Link to Manufacturer Pagehttp://www.nvidia.com/object/product_gef...
* The specified clock rates are only guidelines for the manufacturer and can be altered by them.

Benchmarks

3DMark Vantage - P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 8764      avg: 8764 (17%)     median: 8764 (17%)     max: 8764 Points
3DMark Vantage - P Result no PhysX 1280x1024
0% 100%
min: 8959      avg: 8959 (19%)     median: 8959 (19%)     max: 8959 Points
3DMark 06
0% 100%
min: 10794      avg: 11989 (31%)     median: 11989 (31%)     max: 13184 Points
3DMark 03 - Standard 1024x768
0% 100%
min: 47633      avg: 49181.5 (33%)     median: 49181.5 (33%)     max: 50730 Points
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailled information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Crysis - GPU Benchmark
low 1024x768
102  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
64  fps      Compare
high 1024x768
51  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
Crysis - CPU Benchmark
low 1024x768
132  fps      Compare
med. 1024x768
65  fps      Compare
high 1024x768
52  fps      Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.

For more games that might be playable and a list of all games and graphics cards visit our Gaming List

#0 Did not recreate cache, as it is less than 5 days old +0.001s ... 0.001s

#1 min, max, avg, median took 8.2731246948242E-5s +0.154s ... 0.155s

#2 Before gaming benchmark output +0s ... 0.155s

#3 return log +0.104s ... 0.259s

No reviews found for this graphics card.

» Comparison of GPUs
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» Benchmark List
Sortable and restrainable list of all GPUs with benchmarks (e.g. 3DMarks).

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Class 1
GeForce GTX 590
GeForce GTX 580
Radeon HD 6970
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Radeon HD 5850
Radeon HD 7770
Radeon HD 7770
GeForce GTX 460 768MB
Radeon HD 6790
Radeon HD 5770
GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Class 2
GeForce GTS 450
Radeon HD 4850
Class 3
Radeon HD 5670
GeForce GT 240
Radeon R6 M255DX
GeForce GT 430
Radeon HD 5570
GeForce GT 220
Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
Class 4
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
Mali-T760 MP6
Class 5
Radeon HD 4350
GeForce G 107M *
Chrome9HD *
Class 6
Mali-T760 MP2
unknown *

* Approximate position of the graphics adapter

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > FAQ / Tips / Technics > Comparison of Laptop Graphics Cards > NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI
Author: Klaus Hinum (Update: 2013-01-17)