It's a Question of Acoustics
Some users find loud video cards to be a turn off while ome users just want hell-bent gaming performance. The noise levels from the ENGTX260 Matrix was noticeable all throughout testing due to its stock overclocked frequencies and extra heat generated. Whether it was left to idle for a while or during benchmarks, the dual fans spun at only two speeds: fast and faster.
At idle, the fan noise measured about 31 dB which is much more noticeable than the GTX 275 with its 25 dB noise. When fully taxed, the fan noise jumped to 41 dB which drowned out the GTX 275. Again, the purpose of such a dual fan aftermarket cooler is to keep this particular revised factory overclocked GPU plenty cool at 42 C idle and 52 C at load. It's also very necessary as you start to overclock this black gem. So, it comes down to a question of acoustics or performance.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
If you're a gamer, there's simply one thing you can't do without: Graphics! When I'm getting my game on, stability has to be perfect and performance should be top notch. Nothing is more frustrating than a premium grade video card that just can't measure up to your favorite game titles. The ASUS ROG ENGTX260 Matrix GeForce GTX 260 Video Card is a very well tuned video card for just such users like myself that suffer from OCG: "Obsessive Compulsive Graphics"!
It would have been nice to have seen a decent game title accompany the ENGTX260 Matrix that could show off its abilities. It's a powerful beast and it just seems sad to come up short with a typical bundle. However, the bundle does offer some great overclocking and video making software that proved super easy and helpful when you want to show off your gaming skills. What it lacks in terms of bundle it makes up for in performance and overclocking.
While the performance of any two cards may vary when overclocking, this particular card was rumored to contain a much better lot of the GTX 260 GPUs. The only way that could be put to the test is to overclock it and see where it stops while keeping an eye on temps. In terms of overclocking, the ENGTX260 Matrix gets a 10 out of 10.
Regular GTX 260 overclocked cards $250 which leaves a lot of performance budget enthusiasts looking for something worth their hard earned money. If the ENGTX260 Matrix retails at the estimated $215 to $225 price tag, it'll be the ROG videocard of choice due to its out of box performance, higher stock frequencies, overclocking capabilities, and non-standard GTX design. At that price point, the Matrix certainly has you!
- Great factory overclocked settings
- iTracker overclocking software
- Great overclocker
- Above average performance
- Aftermarket, non-stock, GTX cooling
- Attractive video card
- Extreme performance (at the cost of fan noise)
- Software limited memory to only 2500 MHz *chuckles*
- Fan noise (at the cost of extreme performance)
- No game bundled
Overall Score: 8.75 / 10.0