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Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card

Palit has decided to strap 2GB of memory onto the new GTS 250 to make it stand out from the pack. We see what exactly this does for the model today.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Sun, Mar 8 2009 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:04 PM CST
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Palit

Introduction


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card



We recently saw Palit announce that they would be offering the GTS 250 in three forms, 512MB, 1GB and the model we have here today, 2GB. I have to say, this amount of memory sounds quite excessive for a graphics card that barely makes it into the higher end spectrum of the market.

As games become more intensive there is no doubt that more memory is going to be handy. The problem is that the gains are best seen at the highest resolution. While this doesn't sound like a bad thing, the problem you have is that instead of getting a minimum 20 FPS, you might end up with a minimum of 22 FPS.

What this ultimately means is that while we do see an increase in performance, it doesn't make a difference to your overall gaming experience as the minimum is still too low. Today we want to find out exactly what this extra memory is doing for the new GTS 250, but before we do that we need to have a closer look at the package that Palit has put together along with a peek at what exactly Palit has done with the card itself.

The Package




Palit has decided to mix it up a bit and add a new box design for the GTS 250. Of course, Frobot is still present and takes up a large portion of the box. Across the top we have the Palit logo while across the bottom we have some more logos.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


In the bottom right corner we have a sticker that lets us know some of the major details on the card like the model, amount of memory it comes with and some of the main features including Dual-link DVI, HDMI and more.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


On the back of the box we have some more details of the features that are implemented in the graphics card. We also see a bit of information on PhysX and GPU Accelerated Video Transcoding.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Moving inside the package, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that there isn't a whole lot going on. Palit has included a quick install guide and driver CD to round up one part of the package, while in the cable department we find a dual molex to 6-pin PCI-E convertor, DVI to HDMI connector and a loop-back S/PDIF cable.

The Card




Looking at the card for the first time, we can see that Palit has opted for its own cooler design that we haven't seen before. Towards the center of the card we can see the fan and behind that we can see the aluminum heatsinks. If you look carefully you can also see the copper heat-pipes that are also present.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


We can see the rest of the card is covered. It's worth noting, though, that this is only a cover. It's not connected to any of the components on the card and is designed purely for aesthetics.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Taking the time to have a quick look around the card, we can see that towards the back we have our two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors that are needed for the card to power up. Next to this we can also see a white connector; this is used in conjunction with the included S/PDIF loop-back cable so that you can get sound if you're using a HDMI cable.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Closer to the front of the card we can see our SLI connectors. The two of course mean that we can run up to a maximum of three of these cards together. Here we can also see part of the heat-pipe that is sticking out the top of the card.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Looking at the I/O side of things, we can see that we have a VGA connector, Dual-Link DVI connector and a HDMI connector. If you do need dual DVI connectivity, though, it's worth remembering that Palit has included a HDMI to DVI connector.


Specifications

Palit has decided to bump the core and shader just slightly. We can see that the core is at 745MHz which is 7MHz up from default, while the shader is up to 1848MHz which is 12MHz up from default.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit hasn't done anything with the memory clocks, though. The 2GB of GDDR3 memory carries the stock 2200MHz DDR clock that we saw on our Galaxy GTS 250 we looked at recently.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit
Drivers: Forceware 182.06, Catalyst 9.2


Today we'll be having a look at the Palit GTS 250 against a number of cards. The main card we want to compare it against is the Galaxy GTS 250, which while carrying a clock speed a few MHz lower than the Palit in both the Shader and Core department, the main difference is the fact that we see an extra 1GB of memory on the latter card.


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


In our first test we can see that out of the two GTS 250 cards the Palit offering does come out with a win at both our settings.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Across the board we can see the Palit GTS 250 comes out on top again. The overall difference isn't huge, but it's a win nonetheless.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Under CINIBENCH we can see that the extra memory and MHz seen on the Palit card does nothing for the overall score.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Across the board we can see that the Palit offering gives us a little boost in performance in most of our tests.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Here we see very little movement; out of six results Palit gets a 1FPS increase in three of them.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


We can see that across the board performance is again slightly up on the Palit offering. The gains here are very small, though, and are probably only higher thanks to the small bump in clock rates.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


We continue to see the Palit offering win out, but it doesn't come as any surprise that the overall performance under Clear Sky is poor for the NVIDIA offerings.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here




Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Compared to the Galaxy we can see the Palit offering shows just a small increase here.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Between the two GTS 250s we can see that one is faster in the minimum and the other in the average department. This is nothing to get excited about, though.


World In Conflict

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


We can see that both cards perform very closely to each other.


Left 4 Dead

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


In our last HQ test we see that both of the GTS 250 cards again perform very similar.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Here we can see that both cards perform exactly the same across all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


We continue to see that the Palit offering is slightly faster. It's probably more so from the slight MHz increase versus the extra memory, though.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


In Clear Sky we can see the GTS 250 from Palit gets a little boost. But again the NVIDIA offerings don't do great under this game.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


As far as heat goes, the cooling option that Palit has chosen to use offers very similar temperatures to the Galaxy.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Noise levels on the Palit card are a bit higher compared to most of the other cards we have here.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


Palit GeForce GTS 250 2GB Graphics Card


Power draw is slightly up on the Palit GTS 250 2GB when compared to the Galaxy offering.

Final Thoughts




The first thing we have to talk about is the amount of memory. Does the 2GB of memory make a difference? - Not really. What I can say, though; it's not going to affect the card from selling. It doesn't matter what you say, some people think that more memory is better. And while it's not really a bad thing, it is going to hit the hip pocket a bit harder.

We can see across the board performance is consistently up when compared to the Galaxy card, but this is probably due more so to the fact that Palit has taken the time to round up the clocks. While we wouldn't personally recommend the 2GB model of the card, we would highly recommend the Palit GTS 250 on a whole. The 512MB version is going to cost you less and offer almost identical performance.

We understand that it doesn't sound quite as cool as saying "I have a graphics card with 2GB of memory", but the smart shopper will know that you could have saved some money by buying one with less.

We ultimately have a good card here that performs well and offers some good features. And while 2GB of memory won't be for everyone, if you do want a huge amount then it's a great card. On the other hand, if you're looking for a GTS 250 for less, you're better off buying the 1GB version or even a 512MB one if you want to save even more dollars.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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