The GTX 260 chip has never been an exciting graphics chip. It is an affordable alternative to the GTX 280 chipset, but is overshadowed by the slightly cheaper and marginally faster HD 4870 alternative. BFG's GeForce GTX 260 OC Maxcore 55 take on the GTX 260 improves on the original, but it still finds itself put in its place by a twist on the 4870 chip. And it remains a little more expensive to boot.

However, for those on a budget, the BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC Maxcore 55 is a very solid and realistic counterpoint to the excesses of the GTX 285 and upwards. And in many respects, it's an extremely workable card. It doesn't generate the extreme levels of heat created by the steaming GTX 295. Neither is it particularly loud. Indeed, in normal operation, this was one of the quietest £151-plus cards we tested this month. Even when we were chugging through Crysis, it was barely audible and this is arguably the most discreet card in this section.

We were also pleased to find that the BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC Maxcore 55's two power supplementary connectors are 6-pin versions. If you're looking to link up two or even three (this card supports three-way SLI) of these beauties, you won't experience the same problems finding a compatible PSU that you would if one of the connectors was an 8pin version.

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The BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC Maxcore 55 version of the 260 comes with 216 stream processors, and the 260's hardware is mostly very pleasing. 896MB of GDDR3 RAM is included, as is a 448bit memory interface. Indeed, since the GTX 295 works in a not dissimilar way to a pair of 260s stuck together, you can take satisfaction from the fact that you'll have much the same technology as those who've spent almost twice as much - even if they'll have considerably more of it than you.

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BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC Maxcore 55: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce GTX 260
  • 896MB GDDR3 RAM
  • 448bit memory interface
  • 590MHz core clock
  • 999MHz memory clock (1,998MHz DDR effective)
  • 111.9GBps memory bandwidth
  • 400MHz Ramdac
  • 216 stream processors
  • 2 x 6pin power connectors
  • PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.0
  • 2 x DVI
  • HDMI via adaptor
  • TV-out
  • includes Far Cry 2
  • noise levels: 46-48dB (normal), 47-48dB (running Crysis)
  • lifetime warranty
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 260
  • 896MB GDDR3 RAM
  • 448bit memory interface
  • 590MHz core clock
  • 999MHz memory clock (1,998MHz DDR effective)
  • 111.9GBps memory bandwidth
  • 400MHz Ramdac
  • 216 stream processors
  • 2 x 6pin power connectors
  • PCI Express
  • DirectX 10.0
  • 2 x DVI
  • HDMI via adaptor
  • TV-out
  • includes Far Cry 2
  • noise levels: 46-48dB (normal), 47-48dB (running Crysis)
  • lifetime warranty

OUR VERDICT

The BFG GeForce GTX 260 OC Maxcore 55 is a crisper and slightly faster version of the original 260. It’s good value for money except when compared with the 4870 – in our opinion a slightly superior card all round. Given that the BFG costs £17 more than the 4870, that’s enough to make it only a second choice.

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