Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

August 31st, 2009 | Viewed 23710 times
Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Of the many GTS250 that I’ve come by so far, I must say that this one looks most appealing to me. Does this card perform as good as it looks?

The Appearance

The card, strikingly beautiful with its blue and black theme.

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

The cooler appears to be made of aluminium, with blue fan and a black protective piece.

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the heatsink’s core is copper. :) That explains why this card is heavier than what they usually are.

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

Solid caps, heatsink over RAM chips and 5 phase power supply. Looks good so far.

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

The card requires 2x PCI-E power connector for operation.

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

And lastly, the SLI connectors and also the output connectors – I love it when they have HDMI + VGA + DVI, spare me the converters. :)

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

The Bundle & Card Details

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

All the details are at the official product page.

Test Setup

The computer setup used for this review.

Processor Intel Core™2 Duo E7200 @ 3.6ghz
RAM Kingston HyperX 4GB Dual-channel Kit
Motherboard Jetway X-Blue P45
Cooler Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer Heatsink 92mm
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Power Supply Gigabyte Odin GT 550w
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit
Driver Version Forceware 190.62

The Performance

The GTS250 will be compared to the ASUS HD4850 Top and the Palit GTS250. The Galaxy GTS250 is a little slower than the Palit version, which I thought was already a reference model. :( That’s Palit’s 745Mhz / 1100Mhz (2.2Ghz DDR) / 1848Mhz on previous drivers vs Galaxy’s 738Mhz / 1100Mhz / 1836Mhz on latest drivers. (Hope you guys are not confused).

The card also comes with an overclocking software called Xtreme Tuner.

Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 512MB GDDR3 Graphic Card Review

As many of you would’ve noted, I’ve not overclocked any card in my reviews for more than a year now. For this card, I was just testing out the software but I got a little curious so I pushed the card to 800Mhz / 1200Mhz / 2000Mhz from its original 738Mhz / 1100Mhz / 1836Mhz and I was surprised that it managed to run Crysis test without problem (as in didn’t crash) but I stopped the test as there were minor artifacts appearing, doesn’t screw up the display in any other way. I then dropped the settings to 780Mhz / 1150 Mhz / 1950Mhz and it ran without showing any artifacts.

Another reason for the casual overclocking of this card was the Crysis benchmark, I wanted to know whether it was a possible driver issue since the speed difference isn’t that huge but the Palit version seem to have a 2 frame lead. More details later, let’s proceed with the benchmark results first. :)

World In Conflict

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 30
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 OC 31
Palit Geforce GTS250 28
Asus HD4850 Top 20

Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 42.5
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 OC 45
Palit Geforce GTS250 40.3
Asus HD4850 Top 48.1

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680 x 946

Card Snow (Average) Cave (Average)
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 43.3 60.5
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 OC 45.3 61.5
Palit Geforce GTS250 42.3 56.5
Asus HD4850 Top 49.6 59.6

Crysis

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 9.87
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 OC 10.60
Palit Geforce GTS250 11.85
Asus HD4850 Top 14.11

Looks like it’s possibly a driver issue. The system has a little faster processor clock and the graphic card was pushed beyond that of the Palit version but the benchmark result still is still step behind.

H.A.W.X.

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050, not using DX10.1 for mode.

Card Average
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 35
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 OC 39
Palit Geforce GTS250 N/A
Asus HD4850 Top 42

Furmark

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 13
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 OC 15
Palit Geforce GTS250 N/A
Asus HD4850 Top 25

Operating Temperature

Furmark was used for graphic card stressing.

Card Idle (°C) Load (°C) Stress (°C)
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 42 56 91

Readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 23°C.

- Load, Furmark was run for 1 minute at 1680×1050 with 4xAA.
- Stress, Furmark was run under the Stress Test mode for 5 minutes.

Looks like the unit holds well when it comes to load. The Stress test from Furmark pushed the heatsink really far but rest assured, that’s not the level of heat your games at max setting would produce. I did run folding@home with the card for a few weeks in both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned setting and it didn’t experience any disruption in operation.

Power Consumption

Please note that the numbers below indicate the wattage for the entire system, not the graphic card alone.

System Power Consumption Idle (w) Load (w)
Galaxy Geforce GTS250 67 184

Readings taken with Gigabyte’s P-Tuner software.

Conclusion

I like this card very much, partly because the color scheme matches my gaming machine really well. :D

Besides that, I like the heatsink that it comes with copper base and a fan that cools well even when I set it to 55%. It is rather noisy when the fan is running full speed but as what I mentioned, it cools well even at 55%. I think the cooling could be improved if the fins were thinner and the fan was a bigger, and perhaps a little change in the angle of the blades.

The unit that I have seems overclockable, 780Mhz / 1150 Mhz / 1950Mhz – and that was just me doing casual overclocking.

goldfries recommended





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