We were using the EVGA GTX 260 SC in an SLI configuration with our BFG GTX 260. Both cards are the 216 CUDA versions which make them roughly the same when both are operated at the same clock speed and memory speed.
Unfortunately after years of use the thermal pads on the GTX 260 began to fail and the card was running far too hot. The SLI configuration was probably more than the old card could handle.
The GTX 260 has a larger dual slot 10½” cooler so it has more screws to remove to detach the assembly. Once it is removed it is clear that in addition to the GPU, the VRAM and regulators are also cooled by the assembly.
We cleaned the cooling assembly with isopropyl alcohol and then we carefully cleaned the card. We made sure all traces of the old pads were clean.
We applied thermal on the GPU, the regulators and the VRAM and reassembled the card. We then restored the card to service and powered it up. Immediately card showed much lower temperatures proving that the card’s thermal pads had failed.
The EVGA GTX 260 seems to have not fared well due to 196.75. Reports galore of dead cards are all over the NVIDIA forum. Most likely a lot of video card makers are going to fold over this fiasco.