Graphics card test on PC Games Hardware

Geforce GTS 250 2GB: Test of the Palit graphics card

With the Palit Geforce GTS 250 2GB PC Games Hardware Online presents a new format: the performance letter. That is a short test of a graphics card with all important details and a short benchmark part including selected comparisons.
The Palit Geforce GTS 250 in the performance letter of PC Games Hardware Online (18)
The Palit Geforce GTS 250 in the performance letter of PC Games Hardware Online (18) [Source: view picture gallery]
Today's performance letter: The Palit Geforce GTS 250 2GB - a graphics card with 2 GiByte video memory, G92b GPU (55 nm) and a cooling system which differs from the reference design.

Explanation: Performance letter
The performance letter enables us to put the comprehensive tests PC Games Hardware runs with graphics cards, CPUs and other hardware online for the short term. On a single page you get to know everything important about a product - in a brief overview. Of course, we do not miss out any measured data, but there are no benchmark orgies any more that you are used to with comprehensive chipset tests. We therefore offer selected comparisons with two other graphics cards that fit the tested product.

Palit Geforce GTS 250 2GB
The name of the Palit graphics card with Nvidia's G92b GPU and DirectX 10 support indicates that the Geforce GTS 250 stands out from the crowd through its 2 GiByte video memory. The memory is distributed in 16 chips on the front and back side of the graphics card and comes from Hynix. The 1 GBit GDDR3 chips from the N2C series are specified for 0.8 ns and 1,200 MHz.

The Palit Geforce GTS 250 in the performance letter of PC Games Hardware Online (15)
The Palit Geforce GTS 250 in the performance letter of PC Games Hardware Online (15) [Source: view picture gallery]
The cooler of the 2 GiByte graphics card differs from the reference design thanks to its 76 millimeter radial fan. Two 6-pin ports of the power supply energize the card. Two SLI connectors allow the interconnection of up to three Palit graphics cards to 3-way SLI.

The card offers a Dual Link DVI port as well as a HDMI output for single cable connections for HD fans (the audio signal must be supplied internally via a separate cable) and a D-Sub 15 connector for analog monitors.

Link to the manufacturer website

The most important technical data can be found in table below:

The equipment of the card is reduced to what is absolutely necessary: Concerning hardware the card comes with an additional HDMI-to-DVI adapter, a two-core cable for supplying HD audio data and transferring them via HDMI and a breakout cable which generates a 6-pin port for PCI Express cards from two 5.25'' ports. Apart from that only a driver CD and a Quick Install Guide are provided.

Loudness and cooling performance of the Palit card can be drawn from the following table:

Please note that the real power consumption of the graphics card was measured alone - with three different scenarios: Desktop operation under Windows XP as well as with the extreme stress test Furmark and with the 3DMark 03 which presents an average demand for the graphics card. The noise measurement was done at a distance of 50 centimeters and is therefore not comparable with our measurements from last year.

Benchmark tests of the Palit Geforce GTS 250 2GB
All important data in a short overview - that is the aim of the performance letter of PC Games Hardware Online. We tested the graphics card performance in four of the currently most important and most popular games. For comparison we offer the regular Geforce GTS 250 with 1 GiByte memory and the Radeon HD 4850 (also 1 GiByte) from a similar price segment. For more benchmarks please refer to our last chipset test of the Geforce GTS 250.

Overclocking the Palit Geforce GTS 250 2GB
Due to the powerful cooling the expectations for possible overclockings of the GTS 250 are rather high. During the performance test with Crysis we measured stable 828/2,106/1,215 Megahertz which corresponds to FPS ratings of 14/15.9 (Min./Avg.) to 16/17.5 frames per second. That is a 14 percent increase with the minimum FPS and a plus of 10 percent with the average FPS. We almost had the same results with Race Driver Grid. The good results are only weakened by the low memory overclocking - due to the 1,200 MHz RAM blocks we actually expected a little more.

Conclusion: Palit Geforce GTS 250 2GB
With the memory of 2 GiByte you are on the safe side. The cooling performance of the axial flow fan in combination with the aluminum block and the two heatpipes is convincing, too - however at the expense of the loudness. The power consumption is rather high but with two Gigabyte we did not expect anything different.

In our tests the benchmarks with the official Geforce driver 182.08 WHQL do not reveal any advantages of 2 against 1 GiByte memory - not even while using HD texture packs. Also the Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GiByte and current drivers has a minimally better performance than our Palit card.

Taking everything into consideration it is a question of price. If Palit offers the card with only little extra charge to 1 GiByte models you potentially buy a bigger piece of guaranteed future. However, the current performance does not increase and therefore the Radeon HD 4870 1GB and Geforce GTX 260-216 which meanwhile cost less than 200 Euro could be an alternative.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Carsten Spille (Mar 13, 2009)

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