Nvidia seems to be keen on tweaking its GeForce GTX 260 to compete more effectively with AMD's Radeon HD 4870. Shortly after the GTX 260's launch in late June, Nvidia decided to cut pricing from around $400 to $300. Today, the same graphics card retails for as little as $269.99—roughly in the same ballpark as the 4870.
Chinese tech site Expreview now claims new-and-improved GTX 260s with more stream processors will quietly hit stores in mid-September. These cards will supposedly feature nine thread processing clusters (TPCs) instead of eight, which should work out to 216 stream processors and 72 texture units (up from 192 SPs and 64 TUs on the current model). For reference, the top-of-the-line GeForce GTX 280 sports 240 SPs and 80 TUs.
Expreview goes on to say the new GTX 260 will retain the same 65nm GT200 GPU, clock speed, memory interface width, and memory capacity as its predecessor. We won't hazard a guess as to exactly how the extra TPC will impact performance, but the move should still narrow the gap between the GTX 260 and the 4870. Right now, the Radeon HD 4870 has a slight performance edge and tends to sit between the GTX 260 and GTX 280 in many benchmarks.