XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on July 25, 2008


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

GeForce GTX 260 is the most affordable solution from the most high-end GPU family from NVIDIA, GeForce GTX 200, especially now that NVIDIA is promoting a massive price cut. XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX is an overclocked version of GeForce GTX 260. How does it compare to the standard GTX 260 and to its main competitors? Is it worthwhile paying a little bit more and getting this version instead of the standard GTX 260? Read on.

GeForce GTX 260 standard clocks are 576 MHz for the GPU, 1,242 MHz for the shader processors and 1 GHz (2 GHz DDR) for the memories. The main difference between GTX 260 and the top-of-line GTX 280 is the number of shader processors (192 vs. 240), memory interface (448-bit vs. 512-bit) and memory size (896 MB vs. 1 GB), besides the clock rates, of course.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX runs at 640 MHz (hence the “640M” on the model name) with its shader processors running at 1,363 MHz and memories running at 1,150 MHz (2,300 MHz DDR), clock rates that are higher than GTX 280’s (this GPU runs at 602 MHz, with shaders at 1,296 MHz and memories at 1,107 MHz or 2,214 MHz DDR). But, as mentioned, this GPU has less shader processors and a narrower memory interface. During our review we will compare this overclocked card from XFX with a GeForce GTX 280.

If you want to learn more about the architecture used on GeForce GTX 200 family, read our GeForce GTX 200 Series Architecture article.

We will talk more about the differences between GeForce GTX 260 and other current high-end video cards, but before let’s take an in-depth look at XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
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Figure 1: XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
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Figure 2: XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
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Figure 3: XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX.

This video card requires the installation of two 6-pin auxiliary power connectors, see in Figure 4. The product comes with one adapter for you to convert a standard peripheral power plug into a 6-pin power plug if your power supply doesn’t provide two of them.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Auxiliary power connectors.

Introduction (Cont’d)

We removed the video card cooler to take a look. As you can see in Figure 5, the cooler base is made of copper, using several copper heat-pipes to connect the base to the aluminum fins.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
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Figure 5: Video card cooler.

In Figure 6, you can see the video card without its cooler. It uses fourteen 512-Mbit Hynix H5RS5223CFR-N0C GDDR3 chips, making its 896 MB memory (512 Mbits x 14 = 896 MB). These chips can officially work up to 1 GHz or 2 GHz DDR. On this video card the memories were running at 1.15 GHz or 2.3 GHz DDR, so the memory was working overclocked, 15% over its official maximum clock rate.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
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Figure 6: XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX with its cooler removed.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
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Figure 7: GeForce GTX 260 chip.

In Figure 8, you can see all accessories and CDs/DVDs that come with this video card. This video card comes with the full version of Call of Duty 4, a USD 50 value. With the accessories that come with this card you can convert the video output to VGA and component video, plus the DVI and S-Video connectors already present on the product.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX
click to enlarge
Figure 8: Accessories.

Now let’s compare the XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX specifications to its main competitors.

More Details

To make the comparison between XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX and the other video cards we included in this review easier, we compiled the table below comparing the main specs from these cards. If you want to compare the specs from the reviewed card to any other video card not included in the table below, just take a look at our NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table and on our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table.

GPU

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Processors

Memory Clock

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Price

GeForce GTX 280

602 MHz

1,296 MHz

240

1,107 MHz

512-bit

141.7 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 430-475

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX

640 MHz

1,363 MHz

192

1,150 MHz

448-bit

128.8 GB/s

896 MB GDDR3

USD 330

GeForce GTX 260

576 MHz

1,242 MHz

192

1,000 MHz

448-bit

112 GB/s

896 MB GDDR3

USD 290-320

GeForce 9800 GX2

600 MHz

1,500 MHz

128

1,000 MHz

256-bit

64 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 370-500

GeForce 9800 GTX

675 MHz

1,688 MHz

128

1,100 MHz

256-bit

70.4 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 185 – 325

Radeon HD 4870

750 MHz

750 MHz

800

900 MHz

256-bit

115.2 GB/s

512 MB GDDR5

USD 285

Radeon HD 4850

625 MHz

625 MHz

800

993 MHz

256-bit

63.5 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 175

Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 X2

857 MHz

857 MHz

320

927 MHz

256-bit

59.3 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

Radeon HD 3870

776 MHz

776 MHz

320

1,125 MHz

256-bit

72 GB/s

512 MB GDDR4

USD 125 - 180

It is important to note that this table reflects the current prices for the listed video cards, which are lower than the prices we published in other reviews, since prices tend to drop every day. NVIDIA is now pushing their partners to sell GeForce GTX 280 for USD 500 (from the original USD 650 MRSP), GeForce GTX 260 for USD 300 (from the original USD 400 MRSP) and GeForce 9800 GTX for USD 199.

With these new prices the main competitor to GeForce GTX 260 is Sapphire HD 4870, even though video cards based on this AMD GPU can be found costing a little less. The reviewed model from XFX costs, on average, 10% more than the standard GTX 260 since it is an overclocked model.

The only high-end video card not included in our comparison is GeForce 9800 GTX+, which is basically an overclocked GeForce 9800 GTX. Click here to read the full story.

Some important observations regarding this table:

Before going to our tests let’s recap the main features from XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX.

Main Specifications

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX main features are:

* Researched at Shopping.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
  • Service Pack 1

Driver Versions

  • nForce driver version: 15.17
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.5
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.6 + hotfix (8.501.1.0, 6/21/2008) (Radeon HD 4850, HD 4870)
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 175.16
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 177.34 (GeForce GTX 260, GTX 280)
Software Used

Resolutions and Image Quality Settings

Since we were comparing very high-end video cards, we ran all our tests under three 16:10 widescreen high resolutions: 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. We always tried to run the programs and games in two scenarios for each resolution, one with low image quality settings and then maxing out the image quality settings. The exact configuration we used will be described together with the results of each individual test.

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark06 Professional

3DMark06 measures Shader 3.0 (i.e., DirectX 9.0c) performance. We run this software under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with no image quality enhancements enabled – results we call “low” on the charts and tables below –, then setting 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. See the results below.

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2162609.29%
GeForce 9800 GX2156235.01%
GeForce GTX 280149040.17%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)14878 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870142154.66%
GeForce GTX 260137018.59%
GeForce 9800 GTX1275916.61%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48501184225.64%
Radeon HD 38701069439.12%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX21554713.23%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21548912.81%
GeForce GTX 280142153.53%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)13730 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870130175.48%
GeForce GTX 260126688.38%
GeForce 9800 GTX1163118.05%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48501069128.43%
Radeon HD 3870945445.23%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX21301518.57%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21231512.19%
GeForce GTX 280117667.19%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)10977 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870101598.05%
GeForce GTX 260989410.95%
GeForce 9800 GTX874325.55%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850807735.90%
Radeon HD 3870682360.88%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21626038.94%
GeForce 9800 GX21390018.77%
GeForce GTX 280121573.88%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)11703 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870110635.79%
GeForce GTX 2601061710.23%
GeForce 9800 GTX898130.31%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850888131.78%
Radeon HD 3870691569.24%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21548947.35%
GeForce 9800 GX21221316.18%
GeForce GTX 280109914.56%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)10512 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870100144.97%
GeForce GTX 260945011.24%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850797231.86%
GeForce 9800 GTX781134.58%
Radeon HD 3870611471.93%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21231550.83%
GeForce 9800 GX2982920.38%
GeForce GTX 28087046.60%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)8165 
Sapphire Radeon HD 487075508.15%
GeForce GTX 260728512.08%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850589638.48%
GeForce 9800 GTX577441.41%
Radeon HD 3870431989.05%

3DMark Vantage Professional

3DMark Vantage is the latest addition to the 3DMark series, measuring Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supporting PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Notice that we didn’t upgrade the PhysX to the latest version, which would make the physics calculations for CPU Test 2 to be made by the GPU instead of the CPU on NVIDIA video cards (since we aren't considering CPU or 3DMark scores this change wouldn't produce any increase in our results anyway).

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. First we used the “Performance” profile, and then we used the “Extreme” profile (basically enabling anti-aliasing at 4x, anisotropic filtering at 16x, and putting all detail settings at their maximum or “extreme” value. The combination of 2560x1600 resolution with extreme settings didn’t produce reliable results according to the program, so we aren’t going to add them here. The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1680x1050 - PerformanceScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280769513.03%
GeForce 9800 GX269902.67%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)6808 
Sapphire Radeon HD 487061939.93%
GeForce GTX 260589815.43%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2565120.47%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850479741.92%
GeForce 9800 GTX380578.92%
Radeon HD 38702977128.69%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1920x1200 - PerformanceScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280610614.88%
GeForce 9800 GX253791.20%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)5315 
Sapphire Radeon HD 487048808.91%
GeForce GTX 260458216.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2433622.58%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850372542.68%
GeForce 9800 GTX289183.85%
Radeon HD 38702269134.24%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 2560x1600 - PerformanceScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280354915.68%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)3068 
GeForce 9800 GX229105.43%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870272812.46%
GeForce GTX 260264016.21%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2238228.80%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850205049.66%
GeForce 9800 GTX155797.05%
Radeon HD 38701244146.62%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1680x1050 - ExtremeScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280600512.90%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)5319 
GeForce 9800 GX248589.49%
GeForce GTX 260453117.39%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870436022.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2356749.12%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850344554.40%
GeForce 9800 GTX270396.78%
Radeon HD 38701855186.74%

Sapphire HD 4870

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1920x1200 - ExtremeScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280473212.99%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)4188 
GeForce GTX 260357617.11%
GeForce 9800 GX2350819.38%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870349020.00%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850275352.12%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2266956.91%
GeForce 9800 GTX2038105.50%
Radeon HD 38701439191.04%

Call of Duty 4

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was put on the maximum values on the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the game internal benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo for downloading here if you want to run your own benchmarks. The game was updated to version 1.6.

Sapphire HD 4870

Call of Duty 4 - 1680x1050 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX2106.27.60%
GeForce GTX 280105.36.69%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)98.7 
Sapphire Radeon HD 487093.45.67%
GeForce GTX 26091.08.46%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X275.730.38%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485072.436.33%
GeForce 9800 GTX69.142.84%
Radeon HD 387043.0129.53%

Sapphire HD 4870

Call of Duty 4 - 1920x1200 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX294.511.44%
GeForce GTX 28091.78.14%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)84.8 
GeForce GTX 26077.19.99%
Sapphire Radeon HD 487076.410.99%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X261.338.34%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485059.143.49%
GeForce 9800 GTX57.746.97%
Radeon HD 387035.4139.55%

Sapphire HD 4870

Call of Duty 4 - 2560x1600 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX264.811.53%
GeForce GTX 28064.811.53%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)58.1 
GeForce GTX 26053.58.60%
Sapphire Radeon HD 487048.120.79%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X240.643.10%
GeForce 9800 GTX38.351.70%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485036.758.31%
Radeon HD 387022.4159.38%

Crysis

Crysis is a very heavy DirectX 10 game. We updated this game to version 1.2.1 and used the HOC Crysis Benchmarking Utility to help us collecting data. Since we don’t think the default demo based on the island map stresses the video card the way we want, we used the HOC core demo available with the abovementioned utility. We ran this demo under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with image quality set to “low” and then with image quality set to “high.” Since all video cards achieved a number of frames per second below 10 at 2560x1600 with image details set to “high,” we are not including this test as the results aren’t reliable. We ran each test twice and discarded the first result, as usually the first run achieves a lower score compared to the subsequent runs since the game loses time loading files. The results are below, in frames per second (FPS).

Sapphire HD 4870

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X212514.68%
GeForce GTX 28012514.68%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)109 
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701017.92%
GeForce GTX 2609910.10%
GeForce 9800 GTX8429.76%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48508429.76%
GeForce 9800 GX27545.33%
Radeon HD 38707153.52%

Sapphire HD 4870

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 28011519.79%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X210812.50%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)96 
Sapphire Radeon HD 48708414.29%
GeForce GTX 2608315.66%
GeForce 9800 GTX6939.13%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48506743.28%
GeForce 9800 GX26352.38%
Radeon HD 38705865.52%

Sapphire HD 4870

Crysis 1.2.1 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2809553.23%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X27114.52%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)62 
Sapphire Radeon HD 48705316.98%
GeForce GTX 2605219.23%
GeForce 9800 GTX4440.91%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48504344.19%
GeForce 9800 GX24247.62%
Radeon HD 38703577.14%

Sapphire HD 4870

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2804210.53%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)38 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870372.70%
GeForce GTX 2603218.75%
GeForce 9800 GTX2931.03%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48502931.03%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X22646.15%
GeForce 9800 GX22552.00%
Radeon HD 387019100.00%

Sapphire HD 4870

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2803413.33%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)30 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870300.00%
GeForce GTX 2602615.38%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48502330.43%
GeForce 9800 GTX2236.36%
GeForce 9800 GX22142.86%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X22050.00%
Radeon HD 38701687.50%

Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament 3 is the latest installment from this famous first person shooter franchise, supporting DirectX 10 graphics when installed on Windows Vista with a DX10 compatible card. We upgraded Unreal Tournament 3 to version 1.2 and benchmarked it with the help of HOC UT3 benchmarking utility using the “Containment” demo, maxing out image quality settings (image quality at “high” and anisotropic filtering at x16). It is important to note that we haven’t applied the PhysX mod to this game, which would transfer PhysX processing from the CPU to the GPU on NVIDIA cards. The results are below, in frames per second (FPS).

Sapphire HD 4870

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1680x1050 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX1123.70%
GeForce 9800 GX21080.00%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)108 
GeForce GTX 2601061.89%
GeForce GTX 2801043.85%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701043.85%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48509612.50%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X28428.57%
Radeon HD 38708330.12%

Sapphire HD 4870

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1920x1200 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX1081.89%
GeForce 9800 GX21060.00%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)106 
GeForce GTX 2601032.91%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870988.16%
GeForce GTX 2809116.48%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48508919.10%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X27835.90%
Radeon HD 38707541.33%

Sapphire HD 4870

Unreal Tournament 3 - 2560x1600 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX928.24%
GeForce 9800 GX2928.24%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)85 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870788.97%
GeForce GTX 2607611.84%
GeForce GTX 2806237.10%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48506041.67%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X25166.67%
Radeon HD 38704780.85%

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Half-Life 2 is a popular franchise and we benchmark the video cards using Episode Two with the aid of HOC Half-Life 2 Episode Two benchmarking utility using the “HOC Demo 1” provided by this program. We ran the game in three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, under two scenarios. First with quality set to maximum, bilinear filtering and anti-aliasing set to x0. This configuration we are calling “low” on the charts and tables below. Then we maxed out image quality settings, enabling x16 anisotropic filtering and 16xQCS anti-aliasing. This configuration we are calling “high” on our charts and tables. We updated the game up to the June 9th 2008 patch.

Sapphire HD 4870

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870170.07.59%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850164.94.37%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2160.41.52%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)158.0 
GeForce GTX 260157.00.64%
GeForce GTX 280156.31.09%
GeForce 9800 GTX153.82.73%
Radeon HD 3870145.78.44%
GeForce 9800 GX2136.815.50%

Sapphire HD 4870

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870165.05.10%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)157.0 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2156.70.19%
GeForce GTX 280156.30.45%
GeForce GTX 260153.02.61%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850149.84.81%
GeForce 9800 GTX146.96.88%
GeForce 9800 GX2135.216.12%
Radeon HD 3870120.130.72%

Sapphire HD 4870

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280145.15.91%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)137.0 
GeForce 9800 GX2130.64.90%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2129.75.63%
GeForce GTX 260124.010.48%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870117.017.09%
GeForce 9800 GTX107.926.97%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485093.945.90%
Radeon HD 387072.888.19%

Sapphire HD 4870

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870144.07.46%
GeForce 9800 GTX137.92.91%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)134.0 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2126.16.26%
GeForce 9800 GX2125.46.86%
GeForce GTX 260121.010.74%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850116.215.32%
GeForce GTX 28089.350.06%
Radeon HD 387068.396.19%

Sapphire HD 4870

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870124.09.73%
GeForce 9800 GTX116.32.92%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)113.0 
GeForce 9800 GX2111.11.71%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2106.56.10%
GeForce GTX 260101.011.88%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485097.216.26%
GeForce GTX 28070.360.74%
Radeon HD 387056.898.94%

Sapphire HD 4870

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 487075.08.70%
GeForce 9800 GTX71.33.33%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)69.0 
GeForce GTX 26061.013.11%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485058.418.15%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X250.636.36%
GeForce 9800 GX237.584.00%
GeForce GTX 28035.594.37%
Radeon HD 387034.997.71%

Quake 4

We upgraded Quake 4 to version 1.4.2 and ran its multiplayer demo id_perftest with SMP option enabled (which allows Quake 4 to recognize and use more than one CPU), under the same three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with image quality settings configured at “low” and then with image quality settings configured at “ultra.” You can check the results below, given in frames per second.

Sapphire HD 4870

Quake 4 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2285.3018.42%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870278.4615.58%
GeForce GTX 280268.8011.57%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850241.380.19%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)240.92 
GeForce GTX 260234.452.76%
Radeon HD 3870227.755.78%
GeForce 9800 GTX225.526.83%
GeForce 9800 GX2220.489.27%

Sapphire HD 4870

Quake 4 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2266.2312.06%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870248.134.45%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)237.57 
GeForce GTX 280235.920.70%
GeForce GTX 260220.967.52%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850207.5814.45%
Radeon HD 3870188.4026.10%
GeForce 9800 GX2174.0636.49%
GeForce 9800 GTX158.8749.54%

Sapphire HD 4870

Quake 4 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2197.8215.69%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)170.99 
GeForce GTX 280168.811.29%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870158.997.55%
GeForce GTX 260149.2814.54%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850128.0033.59%
Radeon HD 3870116.0147.39%
GeForce 9800 GTX114.3449.55%
GeForce 9800 GX2100.0770.87%

Sapphire HD 4870

Quake 4 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280246.391.22%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)243.41 
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870242.320.45%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850241.910.62%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2237.982.28%
GeForce GTX 260222.329.49%
GeForce 9800 GX2218.8011.25%
GeForce 9800 GTX194.6525.05%
Radeon HD 3870167.2645.53%

Sapphire HD 4870

Quake 4 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280224.440.97%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)222.28 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2218.621.67%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870214.743.51%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850207.577.09%
GeForce GTX 260200.2810.98%
GeForce 9800 GX2158.3540.37%
GeForce 9800 GTX158.1840.52%
Radeon HD 3870144.8053.51%

Sapphire HD 4870

Quake 4 - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2177.3617.89%
GeForce GTX 280168.4311.95%
XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX (OC)150.45 
GeForce GTX 260149.800.43%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870140.387.17%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850127.8817.65%
GeForce 9800 GTX102.0447.44%
GeForce 9800 GX294.6858.90%
Radeon HD 387094.4059.38%

Conclusions

With so many results presented in the previous page, we will make a summary of how is XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX against the standard GeForce GTX 260, GeForce GTX 280 (as this XFX model runs at a higher clock rate) and Sapphire HD 4870, which is today the main competitor to the standard GTX 260.

XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX was up to 19% faster than the standard GeForce GTX 260, depending on the program and video configuration. You will achieve, on average, a 10% performance increase with this overclocked model from XFX, which is quite interesting, as it costs around 10% more than the standard GTX 260. Paying ten percent more to have ten percent more performance looks very attractive, especially when you think that price and performance usually don’t increase at the same proportion.

GeForce GTX 280, on the other hand, was up to 20% faster than this overclocked model from XFX, but on some games like Unreal Tournament 3 and Half-Life Two: Episode Two the reviewed card was in fact faster than GTX 280. This overclocked GTX 260 from XFX runs with clocks higher than the ones used on GTX 280, so on games that clock plays a more important role the reviewed card will be faster. On the other hand, on games that more memory bandwidth and more streaming processors play a more important role (Crysis and Call of Duty 4, for example), GTX 280 will be faster.

The reviewed video card from XFX was up to 22% faster than Radeon HD 4870, depending on the video configuration used. In some scenarios (some configurations of Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Quake 4) both card achieved similar performance, with HD 4870 being faster on some configurations of Quake 4 and Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Here are some thoughts about XFX GeForce GTX 260 640M XXX, keeping in mind that this video card is targeted to users that have USD 300 to spend on a video card.

If you are planning on buying Call of Duty 4, then this video card is a terrific option, as it comes with this game. Since this game costs around USD 50 you are in fact paying USD 280 for this video card (USD 330 – USD 50).

If you had already decided to buy a GeForce GTX 260, then this model from XFX can be an interesting option. For 10% increase in price you get a 10% increase in performance, on average. Not a bad deal.

But if you are a looking for a high-end video card with a good cost/benefit ratio and don’t give a damn about Call of Duty 4, then you will probably be better off buying a Radeon HD 4870.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/XFX-GeForce-GTX-260-640M-XXX-Video-Card-Review/590


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