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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI vs NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI

► remove from comparison 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).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M

► remove from comparison NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M

The NVidia GeForce GTX 260M is a high-end graphics card of the 200M series based on the G92b core. Therefore, the 55nm chip is essentially a 9800M GTX with slightly higher clock rates (550/1375/950 vs. 500/1250/800). As a result, the 260M is more similar to the desktop 9800GT than the GTX 260.

As with all native DirectX 10 cards, the GeForce GTX 260M renders 3D images using "Unified Shaders". Dedicated pixel shaders and vertex shaders have been replaced with 112 stream processors in the 260M, which now take over most of the graphics workload. The shader units themselves are also clocked higher (1375 MHz) than the core chip.

In general, the performance of the GTX 260M is somewhat higher than the 9800M GTX due to the higher clock speed. For current DirectX 10 games such as Crysis, World in Conflict, Bioshock or Age of Conan, the 260M is sufficient for gameplay under medium to high detail settings. Meanwhile, older games should be able to run fluently under high resolutions and full details. VRAM can be up to 1024 MB GDDR3 at 950MHz  in MXM 3.0 or 800MHz in MXM 2.0.

The GeForce GTX 260M integrates the PureVideo HD video decoder. The GPU is thus able to assist the CPU in the decoding of H.264-, VC-1-, MPEG2- and WMV9 videos.

HybridPower is a Windows Vista-only technology that allows users to switch between the integrated and dedicated graphics core for power-saving purposes. In the future, Nvidia intends to evolve the software for automatic switching depending on the active application (now known as Optimus). GeForceBoost is not supported with the GTX 260M as there would be no performance gain from combining with the integrated GPU.

The high current consumption of up to 75 Watts (of the entire MXM board) means that the GTX 260M can typically only be found in larger notebooks with loud and powerful cooling systems.

Compared with Desktop graphics cards, the GTX 260M is most similar to the GeForce 9800 GT.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLINVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
GeForce GTX 200M Series
GeForce GTX 285M SLI compare 256 @ 0.58 GHz256 Bit @ 1020 MHz
GeForce GTX 280M SLI compare 256 @ 0.59 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 260M SLI 224 @ 0.55 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 285M compare 128 @ 0.58 GHz256 Bit @ 1020 MHz
GeForce GTX 280M compare 128 @ 0.59 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 260M 112 @ 0.55 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 285M SLI compare 256 @ 0.58 GHz256 Bit @ 1020 MHz
GeForce GTX 280M SLI compare 256 @ 0.59 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 260M SLI 224 @ 0.55 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 285M compare 128 @ 0.58 GHz256 Bit @ 1020 MHz
GeForce GTX 280M compare 128 @ 0.59 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
GeForce GTX 260M 112 @ 0.55 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
CodenameNB9E-GTXN10E-GT
ArchitectureG9xG9x
Pipelines224 - unified112 - unified
Core Speed550 MHz550 MHz
Shader Speed1375 MHz1375 MHz
Memory Speed950 MHz950 MHz
Memory Bus Width256 Bit256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR3GDDR3
Max. Amount of Memory2048 MB1024 MB
Shared Memorynono
APIDirectX 10, Shader 4.0DirectX 10, Shader 4.0
Power Consumption150 Watt75 Watt
Transistors1.5 Billion754 Million
technology55 nm55 nm
FeaturesHybridPower, PureVideo HD, CUDA, PhysX readyHybridPower, PureVideo HD, CUDA, PhysX ready
Notebook Sizelargelarge
Date of Announcement02.03.2009 02.03.2009
InformationMXM 3MXM 3
Link to Manufacturer Pagewww.nvidia.comwww.nvidia.com

Benchmarks

3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI
3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. total
8959 Points (3%)
3DM Vant. Perf. total + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
min: 4080     avg: 4953     median: 4901 (1%)     max: 5686 Points
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI
3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX
8764 Points (5%)
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
min: 3840     avg: 4316     median: 4207 (2%)     max: 5058 Points
3DMark 2001SE - 3DMark 2001 - Standard
30910 Points (32%)
min: 32699     avg: 34053     median: 34304 (36%)     max: 34905 Points
3DMark 03 - 3DMark 03 - Standard
min: 47633     avg: 49182     median: 49181.5 (26%)     max: 50730 Points
min: 27301     avg: 29794     median: 30595.5 (16%)     max: 30685 Points
3DMark 05 - 3DMark 05 - Standard
min: 12820     avg: 14510     median: 14509.5 (16%)     max: 16199 Points
min: 12669     avg: 14773     median: 15079 (17%)     max: 16611 Points
3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI
3DMark 06
min: 10794     avg: 11989     median: 11989 (16%)     max: 13184 Points
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
min: 9458     avg: 10167     median: 10064 (13%)     max: 11209 Points
3DMark 06 - Score Unknown Settings + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
3DMark 06
10370 Points (14%)
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x720 + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
3DMark 06
10075 Points (13%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Win7 Gaming graphics
6.8 Points (86%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Win7 Graphics
6.8 Points (86%)
Windows Vista Experience Index - Windows Vista Leistungsindex - Grafik (Spiele)
5.8 Points (85%)
Windows Vista Experience Index - Windows Vista Leistungsindex - Grafik
5.9 Points (87%)
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI
Cinebench R10 - Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit)
3995 Points (3%)
Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
min: 3702     avg: 3966     median: 3917 (3%)     max: 4425 Points
Cinebench R11.5 Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M
Cinebench R11.5 - Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64 Bit
28 fps (10%)

Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI → 100% n=7

Average Benchmarks NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M → 80% n=7

- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance
1 This benchmark is not used for the average calculation

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 detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Mafia 2

Mafia 2

2010
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
45  fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
43.8  fps
low 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
154  fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
47  fps
low 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
79.1  fps
med. 1366x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
54.8  fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
41.6  fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
23.2  fps
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
137.4  fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
59.1  fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
55.4  fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
40  fps
Risen

Risen

2009
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
51.3 80.3 ~ 66 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
41.3 50.5 ~ 46 fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
31.7 36.5 ~ 34 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
26.9  fps
Need for Speed Shift

Need for Speed Shift

2009
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
66.5  fps
high 1366x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
61  fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
39.1  fps
Colin McRae: DIRT 2

Colin McRae: DIRT 2

2009
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
92  fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
79.2  fps
high 1360x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
61.5  fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
35.3  fps
Anno 1404

Anno 1404

2009
low 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
125.2 133 ~ 129 fps
ultra 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
36.2 39 44 49.5 ~ 42 fps
Sims 3

Sims 3

2009
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
313  fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
105  fps
high 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
89  fps
F.E.A.R. 2

F.E.A.R. 2

2009
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
132 151.2 ~ 142 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
86.5 89 91.1 ~ 89 fps
high 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
63.8 65 67.4 73.4 77.4 ~ 69 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
41.8  fps
GTA IV - Grand Theft Auto

GTA IV - Grand Theft Auto

2008
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
57.9  fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
48  fps
high 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
36.7  fps
Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

2008
low 640x480
GeForce GTX 260M:
107 135.8 ~ 121 fps
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
69 85.8 103.3 111.7 ~ 92 fps
Racedriver: GRID

Racedriver: GRID

2008
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
105 111.9 ~ 108 fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
61.5 72 75.1 ~ 70 fps
high 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
52.7 53 56.2 59.1 ~ 55 fps
Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare

2007
low 800x600
GeForce GTX 260M:
211.3  fps
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
95.2 168.8 ~ 132 fps
high 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
52.8 67.3 77.8 88.5 ~ 72 fps
Supreme Commander - FA Bench

Supreme Commander - FA Bench

2007
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
53.4  fps
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
49.2  fps
Crysis - GPU Benchmark

Crysis - GPU Benchmark

2007
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GTX 260M SLI:
102  fps
106%
GeForce GTX 260M:
92 123.7 ~ 108 fps
med. 1024x768
100%
GeForce GTX 260M SLI:
64  fps
98%
GeForce GTX 260M:
56 57.2 76.9 ~ 63 fps
high 1024x768
100%
GeForce GTX 260M SLI:
51  fps
75%
GeForce GTX 260M:
31 38 38.4 39.3 41.9 ~ 38 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
12.2  fps
Crysis - CPU Benchmark

Crysis - CPU Benchmark

2007
low 1024x768
100%
GeForce GTX 260M SLI:
132  fps
91%
GeForce GTX 260M:
110 129.5 ~ 120 fps
med. 1024x768
100%
GeForce GTX 260M SLI:
65  fps
92%
GeForce GTX 260M:
49 52.6 76.9 ~ 60 fps
high 1024x768
100%
GeForce GTX 260M SLI:
52  fps
69%
GeForce GTX 260M:
30.7 35.5 37 37 39.2 ~ 36 fps
ultra 1920x1080
GeForce GTX 260M:
11.5  fps
World in Conflict - Benchmark

World in Conflict - Benchmark

2007
med. 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
47 72 ~ 60 fps
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
38 42 ~ 40 fps
Call of Juarez Benchmark

Call of Juarez Benchmark

2006
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
22.7 26.6 27.2 ~ 26 fps
Half Life 2 - Lost Coast Benchmark

Half Life 2 - Lost Coast Benchmark

2005
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
158  fps
Quake 4

Quake 4

2005
ultra 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
62  fps
World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

2005
high 1280x1024
GeForce GTX 260M:
51.8  fps
Counter-Strike Source

Counter-Strike Source

2004
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
121 270 ~ 196 fps
Doom 3

Doom 3

2004
ultra 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
178  fps
Quake 3 Arena - Timedemo

Quake 3 Arena - Timedemo

1999
high 1024x768
GeForce GTX 260M:
575  fps

Average Gaming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLI → 100%

Average Gaming 30-70 fps → 100%

Average Gaming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M → 89%

Average Gaming 30-70 fps → 84%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260Mlowmed.highultraQHD4K
Mafia 24543.8
StarCraft 215447
Battlefield: Bad Company 279.154.841.623.2
CoD Modern Warfare 2137.459.155.440
Risen66463426.9
Need for Speed Shift66.56139.1
Colin McRae: DIRT 29279.261.535.3
Anno 140412942
Sims 331310589
F.E.A.R. 2142896941.8
GTA IV - Grand Theft Auto57.947.9736.74
Left 4 Dead12192
Racedriver: GRID1087055
Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare211.313272
Supreme Commander - FA Bench53.449.2
Crysis - GPU Benchmark108633812.2
Crysis - CPU Benchmark120603611.5
World in Conflict - Benchmark6040
Call of Juarez Benchmark26
Half Life 2 - Lost Coast Benchmark158
Quake 462
World of Warcraft51.8
Counter-Strike Source196
Doom 3178
Quake 3 Arena - Timedemo575
< 30 fps
< 60 fps
< 120 fps
≥ 120 fps

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M SLIlowmed.highultraQHD4K
Crysis - GPU Benchmark1026451
Crysis - CPU Benchmark1326552
< 30 fps
< 60 fps
< 120 fps
≥ 120 fps


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