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TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card

We have a look at another GTS 250, this time the XT OC version from TwinTech. We see if it has the ability to stand out from the pack.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 9:38 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: TwinTech

Introduction


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card



It's been a bit few and far between seeing cards from TwinTech, but today we've got a new one that sits in with their XT series of overclocked cards. The particular model we're looking at today is the GTS 250 XT OC 1GB. Since the GTS 250 is nothing more than a rebranded 9800 GTX+, companies have been able to attack the "new" model quickly and swiftly with modifications in regards to its cooling and clock speeds.

TwinTech in true XT fashion has chosen to mix it up in both the clock speed department and the cooling one, but before we see how the card performs we'll quickly take the time to have a closer look at the cards package before checking out the card itself and the clock speeds it carries with it.

The TwinTech card really does have a bit of competition when it comes to the GTS 250; we've seen a few companies already ramp up the clocks and modify the cooling so we'll have to see today if TwinTech can stand out from the pack with their 1GB GTS 250 XT OC.

The Package




Having a look at the package we can see that TwinTech have taken the time to add a window to the front of the box so that we can see the card. This is always nice as it's good to see what exactly you're buying. To the left we see mention that the card comes with 1GB of GDDR3 memory along with some of the main features like Dual Dual-Link DVI and HDMI.

TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Moving upwards we can see some NVIDIA logos along with the XT OC Edition one and the model; in this case the GTS 250 as we've already mentioned. Moving to the top of the box we have the TwinTech logo and a bit of a picture happening.

TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Turning the box over, there isn't a whole lot of information. Just about everything relates to NVIDIA cards in general and we don't really see anything that is specific to the GTS 250 card. We do of course have the TwinTech logo here towards the top of the box and in the bottom corner we have the URL for their website.

TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Inside the package there isn't a whole lot going on. We have the normal manual along with a driver CD, while the cable department consists of a DVI to VGA connector, S/PDIF loopback cable and a single dual molex to 6-Pin PCI-E power connector.

The Card




Having a look at the card we can see that TwinTech have opted for the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo which is quickly becoming quite a popular cooler for mid-range NVIDIA cards. Across the bottom we can see four heat pipes that come straight out from where the core is and then move into a heap of fins.

TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Behind the two fans we can see all the aluminum fins and if you look carefully you can see two heat pipes behind each fan. We can see that TwinTech have placed a sticker above each fan to let us know the brand while we also have the model of the cooler in the middle.

TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Having a quick look around the card, there isn't anything we haven't seen on other GTS 250s; the back of the card gives us two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors, while closer to the front we have our two SLI connectors. We can see that TwinTech have also chosen to use a support bracket across the top of the card. From a practical stand point this prevents the card from bending; we have to say, though, it does make the card look a lot cooler as well.

TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Looking at the output side of things we can see that TwinTech have mixed it up a bit. While not only including the HDMI connector, they have still included two Dual-Link DVI connectors and quite often we see companies ditch a DVI connector and add a VGA one instead.


Specifications

Being a part of the XT series the card is of course overclocked as we've already mentioned. While TwinTech haven't gone crazy with the clocks, they've given the card a slight bump which should warrant a little performance increase.

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


The core has moved from 738MHz to a more rounded 750MHz, while the shader clock has remained at the same 1836MHz. As for the 1GB of GDDR3 memory, that's moved from 200MHz DDR to 2250MHz DDR; not a huge overclock, but an overclock none the less.

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 182.50


With the overclock in hand on offer from the TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC, we'll see how it compares to the stock clocked Galaxy card. Let's get stuck straight into it and see what kind of performance increase the overclock gives us against the stock clocked model from Galaxy.


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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Straight away we can see the extra boost in MHz gives us a nice little boost in performance in both the Extreme and Performance presets.

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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Into PT Boats and we see the performance gain continue to be seen with the extra MHz helping us break over the 30 FPS barrier at 1920 x 1200.

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).


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Under CINEBENCH we see that the overclock does nothing for performance which doesn't come as a surprise.

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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Across the board we see a slight bump in performance when compared to the stock clocked Galaxy card.

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.

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


We continue to see a slight bump in performance for the TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC.

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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Checking out Far Cry 2 we see a little performance increase at all resolutions, but nothing to get excited about.

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.

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


While we don't have the most attractive FPS here we do again see that little performance improvement that we've become accustomed to.

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.

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Like we've seen all along, the GTS 250 from TwinTech again gets another boost in FPS thanks to the extra MHz on offer.

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

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


With AA and AF turned on we again see that small bump in performance.


World In Conflict

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Here we see a tiny bit of movement, but nothing spectacular.


Left 4 Dead

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


In our last AA test we again see a small jump in performance thanks to the help of the extra MHz on the core and memory clock.

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.

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Here we see absolutely no change in performance with all results being exactly the same between the two.

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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Under Far Cry 2, like Vista, we again see that little boost in performance.

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.

TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


We finish up with Clear Sky and while the overall performance isn't great for NVIDIA cards we do again see that bump in performance we've seen all along.

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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


With the same cooler used we have similar temperatures between the two cards.


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).


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


The same can be seen in the noise department with both cards performing similarly.

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.


TwinTech GeForce GTS 250 XT OC 1GB Graphics Card


Power draw between the two cards is similar, but the TwinTech is a little lower in both the idle and load.

Final Thoughts




The TwinTech GTS 250 is an excellent card to add to the XT OC series from the company. What we've got here is a card that performs well up to 1920 x 1200 in its stock form which now performs slightly better thanks to a slightly higher core and memory clock, which is what we always love to see.

While the bundle is a bit on the light side, we do have everything we need to get up and running and of course the most important part, the graphics card is included. Apart from the overclock the other stand out feature is the cooler which does a good job of keeping the card cool while also keeping noise levels down.

If you're looking for a GTS 250 and want to mix it up a bit, the TwinTech GTS 250 XT OC 1GB card is a good option. We've got a nice little boost in performance and a good cooling solution that keeps the core temperature at bay while not generating too much noise.

While we would have liked to have seen something extra in the bundle, games being included are becoming more and more uncommon and we don't need a DVI to HDMI connector in the bundle thanks to TwinTech implementing it directly onto the PCB. What we also like is that TwinTech has chosen to include two Dual-Link DVI connectors on the card alongside the HDMI port instead of changing one over to a VGA.

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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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