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GTS250: Which one?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 7, 2011 7:07:58 AM

Hi,

For the last couple of weeks I've been looking for the 'best' gpu for my system (XPS 410). And I've finally settled on one: the GTS 250. Of course there are much better then this one, but the GTS 250 seems really the maximum with respect to working with my existing hardware. It might even be a bit too much for my system, since I'm using 1280x1024 resolution and 6420 @2.13ghz processor. But anyway, dell used to ship with the 8800 gtx and this one is even more effecient. So psu wise it should work..

So given you'd agree I must buy this card, which manufacturer is to be preferred and will 512mb/1gb matter to me? I'm mainly concerned with good cooling and efficiency. Of course it should also be relatively affordable. I alway hear a lot of fuzz about if a specific card is overclocked or not, but I believe you can do that on any card and it would in the end be the same performance (correct me if I'm wrong).

I hope you can give me some advice on this and as well some good info because, as you can read, there are quite some things that I'm still not too sure about. Thanks ;) 

More about : gts250

a c 129 U Graphics card
March 7, 2011 12:29:45 PM

If you won't be overclocking the card yourself, you should choose a card created by a manufacturer you trust with a warranty of 3 years or more (my guess is you may use the PC / video card for the next 2 to 3 years).

Where 512MB/1GB of RAM on the video card comes into play is with screen resolution. Since you're running at 1280x1024, you'll be OK with either a 512MB or 1GB card.

You also mentioned something about overclocking... If you overclock the card on your own, you forgo the warranty. This is why people pay the premium for factory OC'd cards.
March 9, 2011 12:47:26 PM

Thanks for the useful info! Do you know of any good brands that offer these overclocked cards and at the same time do well on efficiency/cooling. Or is it more a choice between the two?
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a c 129 U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 1:02:29 PM

Gigabyte and ASUS usually offer great cooling solutions on their OC editions.
March 9, 2011 5:06:21 PM

Yep, especially the Gigabyte has been reviewed as efficient and cool. The downside is that the fan speed is more or less constant, so it's relatively noisy. I think, after reading many reviews, I'm tending towards the EVGA. Although it's a bit higher on power usage, acoustically and performance-wise it seems very good.
March 9, 2011 5:25:12 PM

I went to an auction and got the EVGA card offered for 65 euros ($90). Do it?
a c 129 U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 5:51:44 PM

I'm not familiar with the European pricing, but it seems reasonable compared to pricing in the U.S. (currently around $99). Do it.
March 10, 2011 3:43:39 PM

Alright, I went ahead and bought it!
I'll let you know how it runs and if there are any problems :) 
March 14, 2011 9:06:33 AM

Alright, I have yet to receive the card today but, like I do most of the time, I did some more research this weekend.

The result of this was that I might have missed the boat with this decision. A half year back, the GTS 250 would indeed have been the best choice for its pricepoint, but since then the HD Radeon 5xxx series and the Geforce 4xx series have started competing with the reigning GTS 250.

For the price range and the low power usage I'm looking for, two card have stood up: The Radeon 5770 and its direct competitor, the GTS 450. Both cards are very similar, although the 5770 has the edge in terms of performance.

Of course, I knew that these series were already there but I was really suprised to find out how much more effecient some of these models were. I really thought that cards like the GTS 250 were pretty much the roof in terms of performance and the maximum power consumption my system was able to handle.

Well I know better now! And although they are about 20 euros more, they deliver (generally) 1.2/1.3 times faster performance while being almost 50 watt more efficient. Of course, two other cards series have been introduced (6xxx/5xx series) which offer some cards with even more performance per watt, but they are definitely above my budget.

Concluding, I really think I should have gotten/must get the Radeon 5770. Or am I talking nonsense here?
March 14, 2011 9:57:09 AM

Yes, you should've gone with the HD 5770. Remember, the GTS 250 is just a 9800GTX+ rebranded on a smaller die so no leaps on performance whatsoever. So technically speaking, it's 3 generations behinds. Now, the HD 5770 has major advantages over the older GeForce with it boasting GDDR5, support for DX11 and lower overall power consumption with better performance.
a c 173 U Graphics card
March 14, 2011 10:20:04 AM

the 5750 is a competitor to the gts450, the 5770 is better. you should have gone with that. if you can take the card back, get the 5770.
March 14, 2011 10:24:05 AM

Yes, I even forgot to mention DX11. Good to hear you agree with me.
I'd really to like hear from a few if this is indeed the best buy for the given price range ($100-125) and power consumption (100-130W). I'm pretty sure it is the HD 5770, but if I decide to sell the GTS 250 and get another one I do want to get it right of course.
March 14, 2011 10:27:50 AM

Edit: Alright, I didn't see the last message but thanks for the backup!
Well, happy to see some ensuring comments coming in. (Would rather have received them before the buy but anyway... :lol:  )
March 14, 2011 9:47:41 PM

Alright, I've bought a XFX Ati Radeon HD 5770 with Revision 2 cooler.
I went through the whole checklist of what could go wrong:

- PSU 375, although everyone I could find got this working on the XPS 410 with default psu. Besides that, the XPS 410 shipped with the 8800 gtx, which is quite a lot more power hungry than the 5770.
- One 6 pin power cable, is offered by the XPS 410.
- Dual-slot, necessary for some cards, can be done.
- My motherboard is 1.1a and card is 2.1, but I discovered it was backwards compatible at least from 1.1.a onwards.
- Furthermore, I've found that quite a group of people uses the 5770 with the XPS 410.

So I decided to go for it.. I hope you'll agree with me! :S
March 17, 2011 3:08:16 PM

I've received the HD 5770 today and I've just installed it.
No regrets so far: It's a lot a faster than my previous card and much quieter! :D 
a c 129 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 4:31:07 PM

Good for you. That's a good card.

Also, if you're ever concerned about how much power your system uses, you can pick up appliance load testers for around USD $30. You can see if your PSU is ever hitting the limit or if it's perfectly safe. I would have to guess you're pretty close to using most of your watts on that PSU. Dell generally uses the lowest wattage possible to power the systems they ship. There's nothing wrong with it, that's just what they do.
March 17, 2011 8:40:05 PM

Good to hear!

Well, what I hear everyone say is that Dell generally 'undervalues' the wattage number. Dell also used to ship the XPS 410 with the 8800 GTX (155W), with the same 375W psu. The HD 5770 is about 50W below that. So in this line of thought I considered a modern 150W card hitting the limit and the HD 5770 being a safe margin below that.

But indeed, these were just my considerations and I've no way of knowing what the real values are. Thus I am quite tempted to measure this for myself...
March 17, 2011 8:47:08 PM

BTW, hypothetically speaking, would you consider an upgrade from a E6420 @ 2.13 to a E6700 @ 2.66 CPU worth it? Or is it just a waste of money and should I go for a new i7 system instead? (E6700 is the max. dual core CPU my mobo supports.)
a c 173 U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 1:00:32 AM

e6700 may be the max you motherboard manual SAYS it supports. but it should run any newer core2 like an e7600 which would be a decent lower end cpu for gaming.
March 18, 2011 9:22:36 AM

You might be right, but if you look around you won't find ANY e7xxx that is actually confirmed working with the xps 410. Most people comment on the bios not being compatible with the 45nm architecture. In seems that Dell has been rather restrictive concerning 45nm cpu's.
!