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Test Setup, Benchmarks, And Notes

GeForce GTS 250: Nvidia's G92 Strikes Again
By
Test Hardware
CPU
Intel Core i7 965 Extreme (3.2 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache, 133 MHz Bclk), power-saving settings disabled
Motherboard
Asus Rampage II Extreme (X58/ICH10)
Graphics Cards
BFG GeForce GTX 260 OCX Maxcore 55 896 MB

BFG GeForce GTS 250 OC 1 GB

BFG GeForce GTX 9800+ 512 MB

AMD Radeon HD 4870 512 MB Reference

AMD Radeon HD 4850 512 MB Reference

Powercolor Radeon HD 4830 512 MB
Memory
Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24
Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB 7,200 RPM
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100 W
CPU Cooler
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
Test Software
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64
AMD Drivers
Catalyst 9.2
Nvidia Drivers
GeForce 182.06

GeForce 182.08 (Beta)
Benchmark Configuration
BenchmarkConfiguration
World in Conflict Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Patch 1009, DirectX 10

Very High Quality Settings, 4x AA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Patch 1009, DirectX 10
Far Cry 2 Ultra-High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Steam Version

Ultra-High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Steam Version
Crysis Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit Executable

Very High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit Executable
Left 4 Dead
Highest Quality Settings, 4x AA / 8x AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, DirectX 10, Steam Version

Highest Quality Settings, 4x AA / 8x AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, DirectX 10, Steam Version
Call of Duty: World at War
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Patch 1.1

Highest Quality Settings, 4x AA / Max AF, vsync off, 1280x1024/1680x1050/1920x1200, Patch 1.1
3DMark Vantage Performance Default, High Quality, Extreme Quality


Notes

BFG supplied us with three boards for this piece: the GeForce GTS 250 OC being reviewed and, at our request, a GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 and GeForce GTX 9800+.

The GeForce GTS 250 OC edition does run faster than a reference GTS 250 otherwise would. The company’s GeForce GTX 9800+ does run at reference speeds, though. Both boards would operate at identical clocks were it not for the overclock.

Further, BFG’s GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 (dubbed the OCX Maxcore 55) employs dramatically higher clock speeds than a vanilla GTX 260 Core 216. Its core runs at 655 MHz (instead of 576 MHz), its shaders operate at 1,404 MHz (versus 1,242 MHz), and its 896 MB of GDDR3 memory are clocked at 1,125 MHz (instead of 999 MHz). At the time of writing, the Maxcore card includes a copy of Mirror's Edge for free, too. So, if you were planning on buying the $43 game, the price of BFG's overclocked $265 GTX 260 Core 216 card looks a little less imposing.

Knowing that the GTS 250 and GTX 9800+ are essentially the same board with 512 MB of memory and a minor overclock separating them, any variation at lower resolution settings without anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) can likely be attributed to the clock speed tweak, while at higher resolutions (and especially with the detail settings cranked up), you’ll see where frame-buffer capacity plays a much more prominent role in determining performance.

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