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Power Consumption, Noise, Temperature, Overclockability

Although the Palit GeForce GTS 250 1GB has a nonstandard design of the PCB and power circuit, we measured its power consumption on our special testbed:

  • Intel Pentium 4 560 CPU (3.6GHz, LGA775)
  • DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G mainboard (ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset)
  • PC2-5300 SDRAM (2x512MB, 667MHz)
  • Western Digital Raptor WD360ADFD HDD (36GB)
  • Chieftec ATX-410-212 PSU (410W)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 32-bit
  • Futuremark PCMark05 Build 1.2.0
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 Build 1.1.0

The 3D load was created by means of the first SM3.0/HDR test from 3DMark06 running in a loop at 1600x1200 with 4x FSAA and 16x AF. The Peak 2D mode was emulated by means of the 2D Transparent Windows test from PCMark05, which is important since Windows Vista’s Aero interface uses 3D features. We got the following results:

As we said above, it is a shame that this graphics card has two power connectors: its power consumption is never higher than 81W even in 3D mode. Having a load capacity of 75W, these connectors work at a load of only 28-29W. So, this solution only makes the life more difficult for people who have inexpensive PSUs equipped with only one 6-pin graphics card connector.

Notwithstanding its questionable design, the cooler delivers good performance:

The GPU temperature is no higher than 65°C under load, which is 5°C lower than the GPU temperature of the reference GeForce 9800 GTX+ cooler. The cooler is also good in idle mode, even though the card’s core temperature is higher then than the core temperature of the more advanced GeForce GTX 260 Core 216. So, our apprehensions about the cooler’s performance have not come true. Let’s check out its noise characteristics now.

Against our expectations, Palit’s cooler is quite good here, too. The level of noise at a distance of 1 meter from the working testbed is comparable to the results of the reference cooler of GeForce 9800 GTX+ and but slightly higher than the ambient noise of 43dBA. Unfortunately, there is one drawback about this cooler: its fan is working at its highest speed before the OS and driver are loaded up, producing a lot of noise. After that the fan slows down and the card becomes almost noiseless (but our testbed is quite noisy by itself because of its Enermax Galaxy DXX EGX1000EWL power supply).

Our attempt to overclock the Palit GeForce GTS 250 1GB was successful enough.

We increased the GPU clock rates to 800/1984MHz and memory clock rate to 1150 (2300) MHz and the card was perfectly stable. It passed the full cycle of our tests, so we will publish its results at both default and increased clock rates.

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