Final Words & Conclusion
So then you guys. As you have been able to see, today was the day that NVIDIA rebranded one of it's GPUs once more. Typically it would make sense that over time the product would be outdated. But rest assured, there is plenty of life left on the G92B series GPUs powering up the 9800 GTX+ and now the GeForce GTS 250. In it's evolutionary development path, it did get a tweak or two and certainly got faster over time with a couple of architectural and driver tweaks. Next to that power consumption went down; more importantly .. price went down.
All current and modern games can be played up-to 1600x1200 and then some more at 1920x1200 with fairly good image quality settings. That's really interesting.
For the money the GeForce GTS 250 is a bloody nice performer, what makes it golden comes from the pricing. The standard GeForce GTS 250 will launch with 512MB and 1GB models, at $129 and $149 respectively. This 2GB version likely $169.
The reality is that the price-level offers fabulous amount of value for money. As such I recommend the GeForce GTS 250 series very much.
Palit is .. well Palit and as such they had to come up with something original. The custom PCB, the really nice cooler, HDMI integrated all really fun and good stuff. The option to make 2048MB cards however is something that for you guys as an end user is not very important. In fact, you might as well get a 512MB version as the difference in-between 512MB and for example 1024MB already is really slim. Only in very framebuffer limited situations you would access and need the extra memory, it would help in the very highest resolutions and combined with complex AA settings, say over 8xAA. And fact is, the GPU itself is not powerful enough to handle that anyway.
Here's my thought on the memory configurations available: 512MB, very recommended, 1024MB .. if you want that little extra and 2048MB .. you just can't measure the results and thus benefits after 1024MB really, making this a bit of a gimmick. We do love the fact that there are manufacturers out there that go for that extra mile, and certainly appreciate a board with 2048 MB graphics memory, but make no mistake .. you do pay extra for it and the return of that investment is close to nothing when you relate that to your gaming experience. But sure, it's good to have choices. Other then that, we definitely like what Palit brings to the table and if you play around with it a little, you'll overclock it a little higher as well. Palit covers the product with a two year warranty. We loved the cooler, very silent ... heck in combo with that HDMI port, it might be an excellent HTPC graphics card as well. So there's really nothing rather negative about Palit's offering. Well .. the RED PCB color maybe :)
So then on retrospect, honestly .. I was ready to burn down the GTS 250 series to the ground when I heard NVIDIA would again make a respin product. I found it not at all classy and for a moment there, I think my neck hair grew back inward for a couple of seconds.
But my motto is simple, never draw a conclusion until you actually had a hands on experience with the product and then weigh out the positives and negatives. Then after testing the product, it started to make sense. The performance offered here is simply put, really good. You play Call of Duty 5 at 1920x1200 with 4xAA and HQ settings at 42 frames per second. When we take Fallout 3 at that same resolutions and apply no less than 8xAA to the game and select ULTRA image quality settings the GTS 250 still poops out 36 FPS on average. And that is just awesome.
The little extra's you get with an NVIDIA product are to be found with CUDA, think of PhysX, Photoshop acceleration or what I liked very much, x.264 acceleration over the GPU with software like CoreAVC. This year we'll see more and more applications out there supporting not just the processor, but the GPU for some generic functions. A very good development.
So compared to the GeForce 9800 GTX+, the GTS 250 might be, simply put, boring, but it's the price that is the big dealmaker. You can expect a 1024MB version of the GeForce GTS 250 for 150 USD and that is a very nice sweet spot for gaming. By doing so NVIDIA saves you another 50 to 75 USD placing the GTS 250 smack down in the middle of mid-range pricing. The result is a good and great gaming experience, for not a lot of money ... and as such, there's just absolutely nothing wrong with this product.
Though I'm not saying you should grab a 2048 MB or even 1024 MB model, the GTS 250 definitely comes recommended with this pricetag 129 USD for the 512MB versions. Think about it. We like to thank Sandy over at Palit for sending out this product with the speed of light.