Friday, December 5th 2008

Zotac GeForce GTX 260² Pictured

NVIDIA will be releasing 55nm versions of the G200 graphics processor, which provides better thermal and power characteristics. What's more, NVIDIA could allow its partners to come up with their own designs or colour themes right away, at least from what can be seen with the Zotac GeForce GTX 260². The card uses a blue PCB, without a cooler shroud at the back of it. In the current iteration of the GeForce 200 series, memory chips are also located at the back of the card, requiring a heatspreader. In the newest iteration of the PCB, several changes are brought about :
  • Toned-down power circuitry overall, with 4 phase vGPU and 2 phase vMem
  • Aluminum support-brace surrounding the GPU
  • Memory chips located only on one side of the PCB, leaving nothing at the back-side of the PCB that requires cooling, hence no heatspreader

The GPU is marked G200-103-B2 indicating it has been manufactured under the 55nm node. The card's cooler has been reportedly designed by Cooler Master, it is a monolithic surface with copper contacts over crucial components, with thermal pads. The GPU uses a fluid thermal compound to make contact with the cooler. Below are pictures showing the differences between the current GeForce GTX 200 PCB and the one that the new GTX 260 will sport, among other details. The card is expected to hit retail channels by January.

Source: Expreview
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28 Comments on Zotac GeForce GTX 260² Pictured

#1
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
I liked the previous stock cooler's look though. With total coverage and all ^^
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Me too. The blue PCB somehow makes it look worse. Green and black are always the colors I'm used to seeing high-end NVIDIA PCBs in.
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#3
johnnyfiive
by: btarunr
Me too. The blue PCB somehow makes it look worse. Green and black are always the colors I'm used to seeing high-end NVIDIA PCBs in.
Yeah. I agree. It looked better covered entirely, and in black with green.
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#4
BigBruser13
Yada Yada.... How much more faster is it? If it doesn't get more frames per second I don't care
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#5
lemonadesoda
Are you SURE your title refers to the 55nm? (maybe the pictures do), but here is the confusion:

The Zotac GeForce GTX 260² is available in Europe already, and has a 182W power/thermal. This is the same as the older 192 and 216 shader models from them and from other companies.

I think the 2 in " GTX 260² " refers to 216 shader model, not the 55nm edition.

Didnt other info suggest the 55nm's would have a different number? Therefore the Zotac GeForce 55nm would be either GTX 260³ or GTX270.
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: BigBruser13
Yada Yada.... How much more faster is it? If it doesn't get more frames per second I don't care
It will. The newer fab process with step up clock speed headroom, leaving partners to sell it with higher clock speeds. You'll get your increased framerates.

by: lemonadesoda
Are you SURE this is the 55nm?

The Zotac GeForce GTX 260² is available in Europe already, and has a 182W power/thermal. This is the same as the older 192 and 216 shader models from them and from other companies.

I think the 2 in " GTX AMP² " refers to 216 shader model, not the 55nm edition.

Didnt other info suggest the 55nm would have a different number?
Yes, I'm sure. Look at what's on the cooler and on the GPU. I know GTX 260 AMP² is the 216 SP card. This is the 55nm GPU card.
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#7
rampage
the GTX 260² is the 55nm edition and the GTX 260+ is the 216 shaders
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Blame Zotac for the confusion. This card is called the GeForce GTX 260², uses the 55nm chip. Incontrovertible.
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#10

by: btarunr
Blame Zotac for the confusion. This card is called the GeForce GTX 260², uses the 55nm chip. Incontrovertible.
its supposed to be like that.

Nvidia doesn't want partners to give new names to 55nm cards, like what is happening with 9800GT 55nm/65nm stuff.

They want to clear their 65nm inventory
#11
SteelSix
I liked the armored effect the backplate offered too. They're obviously saving on manufacturing cost, won't just be Zotac, expect all cards to do the same, will prolly be green or black PCB though.

How do they clock.. that's what I wanna to know...
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#12
soldier242
damn i had haopes that they wouldn't change the PCB so i could reuse my fullcover block ... damn damn ... if this card won't be good at all i'll get an gtx 260 216
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#13
OnBoard
Now it looks almost like my 9800GTX+. Would be nice to see the cores them selves though. Wonder if they'll do a cut down 9900GT(S/X) 512MB version of that next year.
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#14
Assimilator
The die still looks to be the same size as the 65nm part, and it still requires twin 6-pin power connectors. In short, it doesn't look like much of an improvement to me; why didn't nVidia just slap the 55nm chip on the current GTX 260/280 PCB?

It seems to me that the only thing this new PCB will do is give waterblock manufacturers more business. Also, WTF is up with shaving the thin strip off the top of the PCB? That ensures you won't be able to SLI these new cards with an older 260 if you're using a rigid SLI bridge.

Of course, the proof will be in the clocks, but I really don't see the necessity of this new design.
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#15
OnBoard
by: Assimilator
The die still looks to be the same size as the 65nm part; why didn't nVidia just slap the 55nm chip on the current GTX 260/280 PCB?
It has the same heatspreader on top that's why. Yes, they could have just changed the die, but this isn't an NVIDIA reference board.

by: Assimilator
Also, WTF is up with shaving the thin strip off the top of the PCB? That ensures you won't be able to SLI these new cards with an older 260 if you're using a rigid SLI bridge.
It's not shaved, it has PCB added near the power plugs. SLI will work fine (if it is possible to mix & match, don't know).
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I can't say I am happy about the toned down power phases, this will certainly hurt overclocking. I'd be surprised if the new 55nm parts don't reach the about the same overclock speeds due to the lacking power phases.
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#17
SteelSix
by: newtekie1
I can't say I am happy about the toned down power phases, this will certainly hurt overclocking. I'd be surprised if the new 55nm parts don't reach the about the same overclock speeds due to the lacking power phases.
Was thinking the same thing. It's obvious the ass-kicking they took having to lower prices played a big factor in this design. My brand new $229 core 216's are looking very good right now..
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#18
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
by: newtekie1
I can't say I am happy about the toned down power phases, this will certainly hurt overclocking...
We all know what will happen if they wont do that ;)
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#19
Skillz
by: SteelSix
Was thinking the same thing. It's obvious the ass-kicking they took having to lower prices played a big factor in this design. My brand new $229 core 216's are looking very good right now..
Where did you get core 216 for $229, the lowest i see it for is around 240.

I was tempted to buy a XFX GTX260 black edition last night for 300 bucks and 40 rebate, but something told me to hold off a bit longer, i'm glad i did.

On the other hand i was thinking about getting one at the bay for $240 BIN with 25% cashback.
Posted on Reply
#20
SteelSix
by: Skillz
Where did you get core 216 for $229, the lowest i see it for is around 240.

I was tempted to buy a XFX GTX260 black edition last night for 300 bucks and 40 rebate, but something told me to hold off a bit longer, i'm glad i did.

On the other hand i was thinking about getting one at the bay for $240 BIN with 25% cashback.
Egg had them for $239 with free shipping and I had a $30.00 promo coupon, bought three of them! Just finished an X58 build, i7 920 purring at 3.7
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#21
DarkMatter
by: newtekie1
I can't say I am happy about the toned down power phases, this will certainly hurt overclocking. I'd be surprised if the new 55nm parts don't reach the about the same overclock speeds due to the lacking power phases.
Expreview:
Previous version of GTX260’s features 3+2 phase power module (The 3 CSP sealed Volterra VT1195SF MULTIPHASE chip would be most eye-catching).

Remark by one of AIC: the difficulty in purchasing Volterra has resulted in limits to mass production.

New P654 power modules has upgraded to 4+2 phase, equipping solid-state capacitor, magnetism shield inductance and MOSFET. Where the two 6Pin are connected features a large input inductance separately. Therefore, the reduced difficulties in design will bring down the cost.
Toned down in this case means simpler to make, as the new card will have one extra phase. Now I don't know a lot about these things, but I suppose 4 "simpler" modules are going to be better than the complex 3 phase Volterra chip.
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#22
tkpenalty
by: DarkMatter
Expreview:



Toned down in this case means simpler to make, as the new card will have one extra phase. Now I don't know a lot about these things, but I suppose 4 "simpler" modules are going to be better than the complex 3 phase Volterra chip.
I'd prefer standard phases over digital phases for several reasons, though normal phases could have vdroop. Digital = runs hot and drains more power.

Anyway this is good as it drops the GTX260's manufacturing cost down to around 9800GTX level which means lower prices.

Don't think that would do AMD any good however.
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#23
szulmizan
Prefer black PCB.. I dont think this is 55nm card..
55nm come out next January.. and GTX 295 will be first on it.
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#24
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
It's the other way round: single GPU cards before GTX 295.
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#25
Assimilator
by: OnBoard
[quote=Assimilator]Also, WTF is up with shaving the thin strip off the top of the PCB? That ensures you won't be able to SLI these new cards with an older 260 if you're using a rigid SLI bridge.
It's not shaved, it has PCB added near the power plugs. SLI will work fine (if it is possible to mix & match, don't know).[/quote]D'oh, didn't notice that. Still, I wonder why it requires a larger PCB than the cards it's replacing, if it's supposed to be a smaller manufacturing process and hence, run cooler. Perhaps it's due to the additional power phase they're adding, as well as the fact that the memory chips are all clumped together on one side of the card.
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