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Nvidia GeForce GTX 250: Its Origin and Technical Parameters

Nvidia had an appropriate PCB design since late 2007, actually. We mean the GeForce 8800 GT/GTS 512 series. But they did not use it for some reason, choosing to develop a new PCB for the GeForce GTS 250 from scratch. The point of this decision is unclear for us because developing a new PCB is costly and the company might avoid the expense.

Perhaps Nvidia wanted to avoid critical remarks from its opponents, but even the new PCB does not make the GeForce GTX 250 a unique product. It is in fact a GeForce 8800 GTS 512 with increased clock rates and a double amount of memory (in one version)! Nvidia hasn’t offered anything new. It is just an old thing in a new wrapper. We won’t criticize this fact because the GeForce 8/9 architecture copes well enough, but the GTS suffix provokes some confusion. We guess Nvidia should go ATI’s way and abandon alphabetic suffixes altogether, but perhaps they just serve the purpose of separating G200- and G92-based solutions: GTX for the former and GTS for the latter. We won’t be surprised to see a GeForce 9800 GT coming out under the name of GeForce GTS 240 or 230.

So, how does the GeForce GTS 250 stand against its opponents from the “red” camp?

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As we have said above, the GeForce GTS 250 is not a new solution save for the increased amount of memory (from 512 to 1024MB) in one of its versions. We can’t expect any performance breakthroughs from it although the more expensive version may get faster due to its 1GB of onboard memory. Nvidia’s innovations like CUDA or PhysX support are implemented on the software level, i.e. in the driver.

However, having the same technical parameters as the GeForce 9800 GTX+, the GeForce GTS 250 is not inferior to the Radeon HD 4850 except in non-gaming aspects (it has a less advanced video-processor which does not offer full hardware acceleration for VC-1 format and also lacks an integrated HDMI audio core).

The new card was announced to come out at a recommended price of $149 for the 1GB version and $129 for the 512MB version. Besides, a $169 version is mentioned as having 2 gigabytes of onboard memory. We don’t think the latter will be popular because modern games cannot utilize so much memory, especially in an entry-level mainstream solution. Theoretically, such a card might be installed into an inexpensive GPGPU system but Nvidia’s current architecture has problems with double-precision floating point (FP64) performance whereas single-precision (FP32) computing is often not enough for serious applications.

We will introduce the GeForce GTS 250 to you in an unusual version provided by Palit Microsystems.

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