MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

August 26th, 2009 by goldfries | Viewed 7845 times
MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Never thought my first experience on a GTX260 would be on such a high spec version. :)

The Appearance

A sleek looking black PCB card with brushed metal heatsink bezel and shiny heatpipes.

MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Here’s a closer view of it.

MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

The card requires 2x PCI-E power connector for power feed.

MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Notice also the heatsink fins in the photo above and also the heatpipes in the photo below.

MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

The card is ever-ready for SLI.

MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

PCI holder piece with MSI carved on it. :) The card comes with HDMI, DVI and VGA output – alright! No converters needed.

MSI N260GTX Lightning Black Edition 1792MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Generally it’s a beautiful card but how does it perform? And what about the heatsink?

The Bundle & Card Details

All the details are at the official product page.

Test Setup

The computer setup used for this review.

Processor Intel Core™2 Duo E7200 @ 3.6ghz
RAM Kingston HyperX 4GB Dual-channel Kit
Motherboard Jetway X-Blue P45
Cooler Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer Heatsink 92mm
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Power Supply Gigabyte Odin GT 550w
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit
Driver Version Forceware 190.38

The Performance

Since I don’t have any GTX275 around, I believe the closet comparison would be to the HD4890 card.

World In Conflict

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

MSI N260GTX

Card Average
39
Gigabyte Radeon HD4890 35

Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
MSI N260GTX 54.1
Gigabyte Radeon HD4890 55.9

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680 x 946

Card Snow (Average) Cave (Average)
MSI N260GTX 67.9 67.8
Gigabyte Radeon HD4890 64.6 60.6

Crysis

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
MSI N260GTX 18.47
Gigabyte Radeon HD4890 22.21

H.A.W.X.

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050, not using DX10.1 for mode.

Card Average
MSI N260GTX 54
Gigabyte Radeon HD4890 52

Furmark

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
MSI N260GTX 13
Gigabyte Radeon HD4890 42

Operating Temperature

Furmark was used for graphic card stressing.

Card Idle (°C) Load (°C) Stress (°C)
MSI N260GTX 43 52 68

Readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 23°C.

- Load, Furmark was run for 1 minute at 1680×1050 with 4xAA.
- Stress, Furmark was run under the Stress Test mode for 5 minutes.

Great temperature I must say, the customized heatsink is certainly worth the value.

Power Consumption

Please note that the numbers below indicate the wattage for the entire system, not the graphic card alone.

System Power Consumption Idle (w) Load (w)
MSI N260GTX 68 184

Readings taken with Gigabyte’s P-Tuner software.

Other Matters

Unlike the other articles, the MSI N260GTX review would be pointless if we missed the the goodies that come with the LIGHTNING!

First up – the AirForce Panel. I have no idea why it’s called AirForce panel, like whether it’s designed based on any particular component used in any AirForce.

Regardless, here’s the AirForce Panel in action. Take note of my annotations.

As you can see – it’s flimsy. The panel itself is great but the mounting was awful. 1 center piece to hold a panel? I thought the idea was good but it certainly doesn’t look “airforce” or “military” here. It’s touch-sensitive nature is not all that sensitive either, it’s difficult to know where you’re touching either since it’s all flat.. :( The semi-transparent screws MSI are tricky to keep track too, misplace it and it’s difficult to find.

And next, let’s have a look at the overclocking software – again, another good idea BUT it fades off too quickly. And to get that thing showing again, I had to press the panel and a few seconds later – it goes off again. I don’t recall any option was available to disable the FADE AWAY but it sure is annoying.

More details on the flaw of this software.

And lastly (just for fun) – a video showing how the panel could allow you to control screen brightness and contrast, which I think is pointless since people would have already done that via their monitor when they first purchased it.

Conclusion

The card itself is good, as you can see it stacks up very well against even the HD4890 which his supposedly to be GTX275 class.

As for the accessories – great ideas with bad implementation. :) Seriously, I couldn’t care if the panel was removable. I’d rather they made it “hold still” to the 5.25″ bay itself to be sturdy enough so I could at least touch it properly.

goldfries recommended





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