nVidia GeForce GTS 250, just another 9800GTX+?

nVidia GTS 250, just another 9800GTX+?

The release of the GTS 250 – a new product to the newbies but to us seasoned users, we’re pretty sure this is just a “rebadge”, so to speak.

Even sites like Anandtech had an article on it, being a smaller-fry in the computer hardware reviewer arena – I can say I’m pretty much left unnoticed by companies like nVidia but that’s not a stopping block for testing out the GTS 250! 🙂

A Brief Word

*It’s long winded but I just have to get it off my chest. You could skip it to the next section*

From my side of the camp, I’m VERY sick of nVidia’s renaming game! From 8800GS to 9600GSO. Alright, fine……. then we have the 8800GT made into 9800GT, and how 8800GTS was turned into a 9800GTX! I’ve highlighted this on one of my articles before, about more than half a year ago.

nVidia’s silly naming convention, with 9800GTX (a really nice name) given to a card like this just doesn’t make sense. Like what a friend of mine over at TechARP mentioned – the 9800GTX should be named the 8900 or something, which I whole-heartedly agree. It’s not even a class ahead, let alone a generation ahead

Now let me try my best to illustrate to you HOW BAD is renaming a card from 8800GTS to 9800GTX and yet performing the same. in nVidia’s product line-up, the 1st digit of the 4 digit model name indicates generation. Then the 2nd digit among the 4 indicate the performance level. After that, the alphabets, they represent another finer seperation between performance level. Hence you see, 9600GSO, 9600GT, then 9800GT, 9800GTX, 9800GTX+ and so on.

Understand the naming convention now? Good, if you look at the name alone, the 8800GTS and the 9800GTX are 1 generation apart, and the GTX indicates that it’s another sub-sub-level higher than the GTS (example, 8800GTX was higher than 8800GTS) but performance wise, they’re the same card!

To put it into perspective, if it was coming from ATi then it’s pretty much like saying a HD3850 performs like a HD4870! That’s how bad it is! Fortunately this isn’t the case for ATi, they did a really good and honest job with their naming convention and HD4870 is really far a head of the HD3850.

nVidia is fiendishly clever this time around, moving the name to GTS 250, following the steps of the higher range GTX 260 / 280 GPU – the first generation of GTsomething GPU but it’s still the same thing! Performance-wise that is, arguable one can’t exactly say it’s a rebadge because there are subtle changes but to the eyes of enthusiasts, having the same thing improved does not merit is a whole new name that misleads.

On an interesting note, there’s also news of NVIDIA blacklisting review sites for GTS250 card.

nVidia – I personally think you have great cards but rebranding them is just shameful.

On With The Comparison!

Ok, enough of rants. I hope nVidia stops this nonsense.

In this article, I’ll be comparing the GTS 250 and 9800GTX+ and both are of different brand. 🙂 Both are using same driver version, which is Forceware 182.06. I’ll be updating this article during the weekend with the 182.08 driver to see if there’s any improvement for both cards.

UPDATED : 182.08 driver benchmark results added.

Yeah I know, this could be a GTS 250 vs 9800GTX+ article but I know it’s going to be long winded and all, so I’ve decided to have separate articles for those 2 cards. No, I’m not unveiling them yet…….. 😛 but the articles will be released within the week.

Test Setup

The computer setup used for this review.

Processor Intel Coreâ„¢2 Duo E7200 @ 3.4ghz (8.5×400)
RAM 2x 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition
Motherboard Albatron PXP35
Cooler Sunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer Heatsink
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Power Supply Gigabyte Odin 550 GT
Operating System Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit
Driver Version Forceware 182.06

The Contenders

UPDATED : 9800GTX+ card revealed. 🙂 GTS 250 revealed too!

The Palit GTS 250 512MB, as you can see even the latest GPU-Z (v 0.3.2) mis-detected it as a 65nm GPU.
nVidia GTS 250, just another 9800GTX+?

The Forsa 9800GTX+ 512MB
nVidia GTS 250, just another 9800GTX+?

UPDATED : I’ve decided to add the ASUS EAH4850 TOP to the contender list.

The ASUS EAH4850 TOP (I’ll publish an article on this fella in a week or 2)
nVidia GTS 250, just another 9800GTX+?

As you can see, the GTS 250 has a very negligible lead in core and shader speed. Something I couldn’t be bothered to configure to match as the effects of a 7mhz lead is actually too insignificant.

The Performance

All tests were done with 4xAA


Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680×1050

Card Average
GTS 250 78
9800GTX+ 82
GTS 250 (182.08) 79
9800GTX+ (182.08) 82

World In Conflict

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
GTS 250 27
9800GTX+ 29
GTS 250 (182.08) 28
9800GTX+ (182.08) 29

Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
GTS 250 40.6
9800GTX+ 41.0
GTS 250 (182.08) 40.3
9800GTX+ (182.08) 40.8
ASUS EAH4850 TOP 48.1

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680 x 946

Card Snow (Average) Cave (Average)
GTS 250 43.2 56.0
9800GTX+ 45.1 57.7
GTS 250 (182.08) 42.3 56.5
9800GTX+ (182.08) 45.1 58.1
ASUS EAH4850 TOP 49.6 59.6


Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
GTS 250 11.08
9800GTX+ 12.45
GTS 250 (182.08) 11.85
9800GTX+ (182.08) 10.77
ASUS EAH4850 TOP 14.11

Devil May Cry 4

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3 Scene 4
GTS 250 103.57 72.29 124.25 75.26
9800GTX+ 107.69 77.09 124.77 81.37
GTS 250 (182.08) 104.05 71.24 123.40 76.62
9800GTX+ (182.08) 107.86 75.35 128.76 79.34
ASUS EAH4850 TOP N/A because I didn’t test with it.


Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050

Card Average
GTS 250 7
9800GTX+ 7
GTS 250 (182.08) 7
9800GTX+ (182.08) 7

I’m pretty much a little surprised that it actually is a little slower despite having slight edge.

Power Consumption

Peak power consumption of idle and load were taken, using Gigabyte Odin GT power supply and the Power Tuner software.

Card Idle Load
GTS 250 81w 148w
9800GTX+ 89w 143w

Looks like the GTS 250 is more effective in power consumption.


So there ya have it. So is it safe to say the GTS 250 is a 9800GTX+ ? Yes, I’m convinced.

The performance was so close, it’s hard even to tell them apart. Thanks nVidia, for releasing the same product for probably the 3rd time. I can’t help but feel like I’m using the 8800GTS G92 for the 4th time now, each time with a different name.

Anyway, do also read up the article at TechARP

goldfries rated this product :


  1. The rebadging scheme its not about shame, its about making money. No R&D + prolong product life = money.

  2. i think i’m gonna stick with AMD/ATI cards until they release cheap non-rebadged gts/ gtx cards

  3. im waiting for the result of the new driver 1st.

    then its judgment time.

  4. Was wondering.. Which 9800GTX+ are you making the comparo with? As it seemed to be faster than the GTS 250 in most of the tests. Would that be a factory overclocked 9800GTX+?

  5. Phailed! I couldn’t believe that!!! I am now convinced.

    Great job Goldfries. I’m not gonna buy GTS 250.

  6. My guess is that, Nvidia is actually doing business in wrong way but in good time for them. What i mean is the rebage action their took is somehow seems a scam or shame for us as a Nvidia fans right?? Its just that like moding an old car into a supercar but not changing its engine.. why?? because this is all about economy.. todays global economic environment is not that too bright and sunshine as i may say. So the cheaper solution is rebaging. It is more cheaper (for Nvidia) then remaking the whole system (gpu) which all of us know that R&D, testing, alpha, beta, and more is just a matter a budjet…(myb millions??)
    Its just the risk they dont want to take in todays global days…
    War and war everywhere… all of this effect our global economy…

    Well thats just my 2 cents…:)

  7. @Mavrix
    You are right about the economic slowdown part but wrong about one thing. Not ‘we’ are nvidia’s fan. As for i, which company gives the best bargain i’ll be their consumer.

  8. i am not an nvidia fan either, frankly speaks, i bought few nvidia cards before, as they are cheaper. but now, nvidia has lost in pricing-wise and performance-wise, and, i am totally frustrated with the so-called “new products” of nvidia. if really nvidia likes to rename its graphics cards so much, why not nvidia try to pump the clock speed of a geforce 1, add in dx10 support, then give it a new name?

  9. forgot to add, add some memory to the geforce 1.

  10. @Grexer, the slightly slower results is due to the drivers. Not to mention the timings for the gddr ram, on the gts250 it is a lil looser, but that enables it to clock the gddr ram speed higher

  11. Author

    business is business. one thing for sure is that nVidia’s G92 is a successful GPU, with proof of it as it’s renamed so many times and still holds value.

    while I dislike their naming convention, I can’t deny that it’s a good GPU.

  12. Author

    thus concluding that it’s a GOOD GPU. just that how much good depends on individual. 🙂

  13. hi i sow that this palit gts 250 default settings is higher that what my defaults are. mine are gpu- 705mhz. mem- 2000. sader- 1512. can someone give a rezone 4 this? and isit save for me to clock it to= gpu- 805mhz, mem- 2320mhz, shader- 1900?

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