Asus ENGTX260: A Quiet Graphics Card for Gamers?

Graphics Cards
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ATI cards with dual slot coolers usually have translucent housing you can see into, but the ENGTX260 is solid black all the way around except for the decorative camouflage. There isn't a whole lot to see as very little of the PCB;s surface is actually exposed.

Power ports.

Typically, the 6-pin power connectors requried to drive modern graphics cards are at the end of the PCB. With the cables in place, it increases the card's effective length. Since the GTX 260 is already quite long, they've placed these connectors on the side instead. In addition there is a small port covering the S/PDIF pass-through connector for HDMI connectivity. As this particular model does not officially support HDMI, we're not sure if the port has been disabled, or if they simply haven't bundled a S/PDIF cable and HDMI adapter.

The fan.

The card's blower fan is typical for a stock dual slot video card cooler, resembling a water/hamster wheel. They are usually quite loud, though we hope this is not the case here.

The back of the card.

The heatsink is held to the back of the card with 8 screws. There are two more near the exhaust point which keeps the back panel attached. Normally we would remove the cooler to see exactly what's under the hood, but this proved to be problematic. The cooler is divided into two pieces, top and bottom, and they need to be pried apart like a clamshell package. Doing so required more force than we were comfortable exerting for fear of damaging the card. If you'd like to see what's inside, check out the review at Hardware Canucks — they took apart the BFG GTX 260 cooler. Both the BFG and Asus versions seem to use the same reference cooler design.


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