Inno3D i-Chill GeForce GTS 250 with AC Twin Turbo Pro

The GTS 250 might be feeling a bit old, but companies are still mixing it up. We have a look at Inno3Ds version today.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Wed, Aug 5 2009 6:12 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:03 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Inno3D

Introduction


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card



It really does seem weird to be looking at models which are considered quite old now. The funny thing is that while the GTS 250 might have been out for a while, it's still a very current model. A few years ago this wouldn't have been much of a surprise, but with the recent releases of so many cards over the past 18 months it just seems funny that the GTS 250 is still a very current model.

Today we'll be looking at a card from Inno3D and like most companies they've really been able to mix it up because of the age of the card. The biggest advantage to working with cards that have been around for a while now is that there are plenty of options when it comes to cooling. We also find that a lot of companies know where they're at when it comes to overclocking, so if they choose to go down that path a good few MHz can be extracted out of the core and memory.

We won't be doing anything out of the ordinary today when it comes to the Inno3D GTS 250. Before we have a closer look at the card and its cooling let's find out what's going on in the package department and if Inno3D can do something that helps the company stand out from the pack.

The Package




Inno3D has got a pretty black and silver design going on. This isn't really anything new when it comes to the iChill series. The overall color setup is pretty much the same as other iChill models we've seen from the company in the past. Also in the middle we can see that this particular model is part of the Freezer X Series.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Moving to the bottom of the box, we have a number of logos including both the Inno3D and NVIDIA one. We also have a bit of information on CUDA, while above this we have mention of some of the extras included in the package. To the left we have the model and all the other important details that you might be interested in.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Turning to the back, we really see very little information here. We've got the Inno3D logo along with the iChill logo and again a mention that this card is part of the Freezer X Series.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Having a look in the package we've got a bit going on, as far as paperwork goes we've got a user manual and a quick start guide which also holds the driver CD. Also included is a full version copy of Warmonger and Far Cry 2.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


In the cable department there isn't really any surprises. We've got an S-Video to Component out dongle, S-Video to RCA cable, duel molex to 6-pin PCI-E and a single DVI to VGA connector.

The Card




Checking out the card for the first time, we can clearly see that it's part of the iChill series with the massive cooler on the front. We can see there's a fair bit going on with it. Instead of the standard 80mm fans that most coolers use, the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro unit actually consists of two 92mm ones.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Behind the two fans we can see a number of fins and across the top we have a couple of heat pipes that protrude from the core itself into all the fins. We can also see that Inno3D has placed their logo and the iChill one on the middle of both fans, while we see the Arctic Cooling one and the fan model in the middle of the cooler.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Having a look around the card there isn't anything that we haven't seen before. Towards the back of the card underneath the cooler we can see a single 6-Pin PCI-E connector. Closer to the front of the card we have two SLI connectors, but using them might be a bit of a problem due to the massive cooler on the card.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


The I/O department doesn't hold any surprises. We've got a single TV-Out port along with two Dual-Link DVI connectors. We can see that like a lot of other Inno3D cards the company has opted for the gold setup which looks a bit classier. Mind you, once the card is in your system the chances that you'll see it are pretty slim.


Specifications

Inno3D has come out and overclocked the card which is always a nice bonus. We can see the core has been bumped from the stock 740MHz to 760MHz. With that said, the shader is still at the default 1836MHz clock.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Also moved is the memory. We've gone from the stock 2000MHz DDR clock to a very impressive 2240MHz DDR clock.

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 186.18


Today we'll be seeing how the Inno3D GTS 250 iChill model goes against the stock clocked ECS GTS 250 we looked at the other week. We'll also see how the card compares against the higher clocked GTX 260+ 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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


In our first test we can see that the extra MHz the Inno3D offers over the stock ECS card gives us a nice performance increase.

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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Moving to PT Boats, we see those gains are continued, especially at the lower resolution.

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).


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Across the board we can see performance is pretty similar with all cards.

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).

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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Across the board we can see a bump in performance at all resolutions.

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.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Like our other tests, we can see across the board the Inno3D GTS 250 gets a little bump in performance at all resolutions.

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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Like we've seen in a few of our tests, the best gains for the Inno3D GTS 250 are at the lower resolutions.

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.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Again, across the board we can see a bump in performance at all resolutions.

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.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Left 4 Dead gives us some good gains at all resolutions.

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

Gigabyte GTX 285 2GB OC Graphics Card


Gigabyte GTX 285 2GB OC Graphics Card


Here there's very little difference between the two GTS 250 cards.


World In Conflict

Gigabyte GTX 285 2GB OC Graphics Card


Gigabyte GTX 285 2GB OC Graphics Card


We again see a small bump in performance with the extra MHz on offer, but nothing to get too excited about.


Left 4 Dead

Gigabyte GTX 285 2GB OC Graphics Card


Left 4 Dead again sees some good gains with the overclocked GTS 250 from Inno3D.

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.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Performance is a bit up and down here with the two cards.

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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Across the board we see some good performance with the Inno3D GTS 250.

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.

Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


We see a little bit of movement here from the Inno3D, but nothing too exciting.

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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


The big cooler does an excellent job of keeping temperatures down.


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).


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Noise levels with the Twin Turbo Cooler are pretty good with it giving similar levels to the other coolers 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.


Inno3D GTS 250 TwinTurbo Pro 1GB Graphics Card


Power draw on the Inno3D GTS 250 is up, but nothing too serious.

Final Thoughts




As we said in our introduction, the GTS 250 is feeling a bit long in the tooth these days. With that said, though, Inno3D has been able to give a fresh look and feel to the model thanks to the decision to move to a nice meaty cooler while also taking the time to make use of it by overclocking the core and memory.

If this wasn't enough to bring a smile to our face, it's great to see that the company has also decided to include two full version games in the package with one of them being the higher profile Far Cry 2.

For a mid $100 card the GTS 250 packs some serious punch for people wanting to game at resolutions of up to 1680 x 1060 on a regular basis. If you want to do a bit of gaming at 1920 x 1200, though, and don't want to spend big dollars and if you're happy to move to medium settings in your games, the GTS 250 won't have any dramas. If you were going to do a fair bit of gaming at 1920 x 1200 we would suggest the move to a GTX 260+ or perhaps even a GTX 275.

Inno3D has put together a nice fresh card that performs well and offers a really good bundle. When it comes to buying a new graphics card there isn't really much more you could ask for.

If you're looking for a good performing GTS 250 that offers a good bundle and a mean looking cooler, the Inno3D GTS 250 iChill GTS 250 Twin Turbo Pro is a great card.

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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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