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Friday, 20 March 2009 16:21

Gainward GTX 260 GS Goes Like Hell tested

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: Goes Like Hell, overclocks like heaven

 

Gainward GTX260 896MB GS GLH is a faster version of the Gainward GTX260 896MB GS card, which we've tested few weeks ago, here. This time around however, you see two suffixes – GS, meaning Golden Sample, and GLH, which stands for “Goes Like Hell”. This suffix is used with only the fastest Gainward cards, and it goes a long way towards explaining how fast they are. GLH’s core runs at 650MHz+, which is 75MHz higher than reference GTX260. As far as memory goes, the GLH’s memory is overclocked by 200MHz (400MHz effectively), and now runs at 1200MHz+ (2400MHz effectively). The plus sign is there to denote that there’s room for additional overclocking, and that Gainward made sure it packs only the top components that can take it.

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The aforementioned GTX 260 GS card review revealed that Gainward ended up using its dual-slot cooling with two fans and a redesigned PCB.

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GTX260 GS GLH didn’t change much from its predecessor, as it still features the same design and general looks of GTX260 GS cards, with a slight color difference on the cooler. The GLH card has more black and less red on it, as you can see from the pictures below (the GLH is on the bottom picture).

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Apart from this, there are no visible changes on the cooler or below it.

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Seeing such high memory speed, we were wondering whether Gainward used different memory on this card, but we found the same Samsung 0.8ns memory underneath the cooler. The memory is rated at 1200MHz, and on this card it realizes its full potential. The GS model’s memory, on the other hand, runs at 1100MHz, but you’ll have no trouble overclocking it to 1200MHz+.

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Gainward’s cooling does a better job than reference cooling, keeping the temperatures around 67°C during operation (reference cooling 77°C) and at about 45°C in idle mode (about the same as reference). We quite liked the fact that the cooler stays quiet, both in idle and workload modes.

The cooler comes with two large 8cm diameter fans, connected via one cable to the 4-pin connector, so fan rpm regulation won’t be an issue. Note however that both fans run at same speeds.

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Underneath the hood, which at the same time supports the fans, is a large aluminum heatsink with 3 heatpipes.

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The heatsink leans on the processor, whereas another physically separate aluminum block cools the memory.

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Gainward uses non-reference PCB, with 4+1 phase PWM design. You’ll find a small black heatsink towards the end of the card, and its job is to cool the power circuitry regulators. As you can see, the memory power components have been moved to the opposite side.

GTX260 GS GLH’s packaging is not much different from the GTX 260 GS’ one, except for the Goes Like Hell addition. Inside, you’ll find the 3D Mark Vantage activation code.

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Last modified on Friday, 20 March 2009 20:02
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