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GeForce 9600 GT/GTS 250/GTX 260 Non-Reference Roundup

Zotac GeForce GTS250 AMP! Edition, Cont’d

Zotac’s card also has the standard dual-DVI output setup, along with an S-video output. HDMI and VGA are options with included adapters, but a component video adapter is missing.

Now, let’s look at the stock clock speeds. While the core clock speed is technically overclocked from the reference speed of 738 MHz, it’s only overclocked by 12 MHz. The shader overclock is a little more inspiring with 54 MHz over the reference 1,836 MHz, for a total of 1,890 MHz. The memory is also pushed 50 MHz over reference to 1,150 MHz (2,300 MHz DDR).

Overclocking

In keeping with Zotac’s simple formula, it has included the most basic overclocking utility I’ve ever seen: its Firestorm overclocking software. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a good thing, because at the end of the day an overclocking tool’s purpose is to raise the clock speeds. It doesn’t need to be semi-transparent, it doesn’t need to look like it came from the year 2050. It just needs to work. And this one does.

The core overclock we achieved was typical for a GTS 250. We made it to 812 MHz on the core, and the shader clock was upped a little to 1,930 MHz. The memory made it to 1,219 MHz, for an effective 2,438 MHz data rate.

  • Mottamort
    I was rather disappointed with this article. Not the article itself but with the slightly misleading Title/Intro. When clicking the article I thought I was going to find a massive battle between these vendors on different tiers, instead you show us different instances of 2 slightly different cards of the same type from one vendor....if that makes sense
    I mean you have Gigabyte vs Gigabyte in the 9600gt section, Asus vs Asus in the 250 section and so on.

    :-/
    Reply
  • dragonsprayer
    Great article
    i wish it had more cards, i think you need 4 parts, try some back cards like the 4870x2 darkknight? good stuff as always!
    thx!
    Reply
  • randomizer
    Man, this article makes my 9600GT look so old.
    Reply
  • crisisavatar
    wow how is the gts 250 performing so close to the gtx 260 wasn't the gtx 260 20% faster ?
    Reply
  • enterco
    It's not clear to me why are you comparing '3dmark score' when you should post 'GPU score'.... It's a graphics card comparision, not platform comparision.
    Reply
  • randomizer
    entercoIt's not clear to me why are you comparing '3dmark score' when you should post 'GPU score'.... It's a graphics card comparision, not platform comparision.Nothing but the cards is changed so you're not comparing platforms.
    Reply
  • acasel
    We cannot see clearly the bang for the buck card there if we ain't seeing some ati cards like the 4770 and others..



    The drop down menu sure is fast... :-)
    Reply
  • xsamitt
    You noticed that too hey LOL.Check out my lovely Avatar.
    Reply
  • enterco
    randomizerNothing but the cards is changed so you're not comparing platforms.Sure. A reason more to show GPU score. 3dmark score is too much influenced by CPU's power, and it's no longer relevant, the way it used to be once...
    By using a Quad Core and a low-performing GPU you can achive same 3dmark score as using a dual core combined with a considerably stronger GPU, 3dmark Vantage gives too much credit to CPU. But the overall FPS in games it's often higher in the second case: dual core + better GPU.
    Reply
  • marraco
    Recent review showed the 260 being neck to neck with the 4870; both in price and performance, those cards are in the same point.

    Since my 8800GT should be between the 9600 and the 250, I guess that the best upgrade path is to buy a second 8800GT, reaching probably 260/4870 performance.

    I searched the web for 8800GT SLI benckmark running in i7 920, but got no one single review...

    I think that tomshardware should review non up-to-date cards as the 8800 and the ATI equivalents, in crossfilre/SLI, since for many users, it should make sense to buy a second card that to upgrade to a 260/4870.

    older reviews on those cards does not accounted for the scalability on I7 x58 platform, and probably ATI and Nvidia dedicated more time tweaking drivers for newer cards, so maybe the 8800GT does not perform well today (the SLI on core 2/Quad did not worked very well in the past)
    Reply