Zotac GeForce GTX 260 AMPē! Edition
Zotac's GeForce GTX 260 AMPē! Edition is a pretty good card in many respects, because it delivers good performance across the board and you'll get class-leading performance in games like Crysis and there's also an increasing push from Nvidia on things like PhysX and CUDA - features that will enable you to use your graphics card for more than just graphics. However, the situation gets a little murkier once you move away from that particular title and although there are benefits to CUDA, they're not going to be appreciated by everyone - it's still very early days for CUDA and so it's hard to judge the value of it figuratively at this moment in time.
When it comes to gaming performance, it trades blows with the Radeon HD 4870 1GB - there are a few games where the Zotac GTX 260 AMPē! Edition outclasses the Radeon and vice versa. In the remaining titles, the two are fairly evenly matched at resolutions where the frame rate might become an issue when it comes to achieving playability.
Where the Zotac loses out to the Radeon is on price - the Radeon HD 4870 1GB is available for approximately Ģ200 (including VAT), while Zotac's GeForce GTX 260 AMPē! Edition is priced north of Ģ230 in the UK. That's an extra 15 percent more and there isn't 15 percent more performance available across the board. Interestingly, this price differential seems to fit in with the Crysis performance numbers we've recorded - it's as if Nvidia's partners are pricing their cards based on how they perform in Crysis and no other game. If we only looked at Crysis performance, then, the GTX 260 AMPē! Edition is a good buy, but we have to look at a wider spectrum.
It's when you look at that wider spectrum that you start to see some chinks in the armour, but it is ultimately going to come down to how important you think Crysis is now and whether it is a sign of future performance in next-generation games. Personally, I would opt for the Radeon HD 4870 1GB for now because it delivers more rounded performance characteristics in the selection of games we've tested, but there are definitely benefits to the Zotac GeForce GTX 260 AMPē! Edition and it's priced where we would have at least expected it to be.
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