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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).

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 compare 112 @ 0.55 GHz256 Bit @ 950 MHz
Pipelines224 - unified
Core Speed550 MHz
Shader Speed1375 MHz
Memory Speed950 MHz
Memory Bus Width256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR3
Max. Amount of Memory2048 MB
Shared Memoryno
APIDirectX 10, Shader 4.0
Power Consumption150 Watt
Transistor Count1.5 Billion
technology55 nm
FeaturesHybridPower, PureVideo HD, CUDA, PhysX ready
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement02.03.2009
InformationMXM 3
Link to Manufacturer


3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total +
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX +
3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06
min: 10794     avg: 11989     median: 11989 (16%)     max: 13184 Points
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

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.

Crysis - GPU Benchmark

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

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.
Crysis - GPU Benchmark1026451
Crysis - CPU Benchmark1326552
< 30 fps
< 60 fps
< 120 fps
≥ 120 fps




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Class 2

Radeon PRO W6600M *

Class 3

UHD Graphics 32EUs
UHD Graphics 750

Class 4

Class 5

* Approximate position of the graphics adapter