Tuesday, March 03, 2009

NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 Debuts With Reviews

I've often mentioned in the past my disappointment over NVIDIA's naming schemes. The company takes old tech GPU's rebrands them with a new flashier name, ups the price and sells you something you could have had for less a few weeks ago. The "new" GTS 250 is another in a long line of recent releases that fits that bill.

Today NVIDIA officially announced the GeForce GTS 250, a mainstream card with a price point to place it in line with the ATI Radeon 4850 and 4870's. The new GPU will is based on Nvidia’s 55nm G92 core, featuring 128 processor cores, clock speeds of 738MHz with the stream processors running at 1,836MHz.

If those number sound a bit familiar that would be because the GTS 250 is and exact replacement for the old GeForce 9800 GTX+. Both GPU's are based on the exact same chip with precisely the same clock speeds. The only slight differences being that NVIDIA is also introducing an official 1GB edition of the card as standard, and increasing the stock memory clock from 1GHz (2GHz effective) to 1.1GHz (2.2GHz effective). Yes you can buy a 1GB GeForce 9800 GTX+ card but this make the 1GB an official spec.

Geforce GTS 250 Reviews


Reading through the reviews the conclusions all seem to be the same, the GTS 250 is a fine card (as is the 9800GTX). Performance wise it was slightly slower than the ATI Radeon 4870 and slightly faster than a 4850. Power consumption on the new card seemed to be down from the older version, as was the size of the card. Making the card an ideal candidate for someone looking for something to fit into a smaller case.

There seems to be a little confusion on the exact price point. Several of the reviews put this card in the $160-200 range, which would be slughtly higher than its predesecor and in line with an ATI Radeon 4870. However a couple of the sites put the price point slightly lower at the $120-160 range, just below the current pricing of the 4850. At that price point the card would definitly be the best in terms of price to performance, again we just aren't sure where it will land.

One thing is clear if you currently own the 9800 GTX and are looking to upgrade then this isn't the card for you. Yes there are a few slight improvements however most of the benchmarks show none of the show up in terms of actual performance. There also seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not this card will SLI will the 9800 GTX. A couple sites said yes a couple said no, so for now at least I'd hold off on trying that.

AMD is reportedly lowering the prices on the HD 4870 and HD 4850, if that happens and we don't see a highly attractive price point for these new cards then the 4870 suddenly becomes the clear winner.

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