NVIDIA's transition to a 55nm process seems to be coming along nicely. Hot on the heels of the GeForce GTX 295 and GeForce GTX 285, Palit Microsystems has today launched one of the first 55nm GeForce GTX 260s.
The card, dubbed the Palit GeForce GTX 260 Sonic, takes NVIDIA's board (in what appears to be AMD red, whoops) and adds a custom dual-fan cooling system. We've been pretty impressed with NVIDIA's reference cooler for the GeForce GTX 260, and we're therefore assuming that Palit finds the dual-fan system to be mighty impressive and a worthy upgrade.
Thanks to improved all-round efficiency, from both the 55nm shrink and custom cooling, Palit has been able to comfortably raise frequencies without breaking a sweat. The GeForce GTX 260 Sonic's GPU is raised from 576MHz to 625MHz, its 216 stream processors climb from 1,242MHz to 1,348MHz and its 896MB of GDDR3 memory is clocked at an effective 2,200MHz - up from the reference 1,998MHz.
Connectivity hasn't changed - the card sticks to dual-DVI and TV-out - but sweetening the deal that little bit more, Palit tells us that both fans are PWM-controlled and connected to a three heat-pipe system that should keep things cool, and importantly quiet when not under load.
There's no mention of pricing, but based on current 65nm GeForce GTX 260 stock, we'd venture to guess at under £250 - a price point it'll need to beat in order to make any sense against the GeForce GTX 280.
Official press release: Palit launches the FIRST 55nm custom designed NVIDIA graphics card: Palit GTX260 Sonic 216SP