Gigabyte GV-N250OC-1GI GeForce GTS 250

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Test System and 3DMark Vantage


HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested all of the graphics cards used in this article on an Asus Rampage II Extreme motherboard powered by a Core i7 920 quad-core processor and 3GB of Qimonda DDR3.  The first thing we did when configuring these test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings.  We also used "CPU Level Up" in the BIOS to automatically overclock our system to the same level as the Core i7 965 Extreme in order to provide the most computational power we could afford to our suite of graphics cards. Finally, we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use.  The hard drive was formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed and updated to Service Pack 1. With the operating system installed, we installed the latest hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and benchmark applications.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel Powered

Hardware Used:
Core i7 920 (overclocked to 3.2 GHz)

Asus Rampage II Extreme
(Intel X58 Express chipset)

Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Radeon HD 4850
GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 OC
GeForce 9800 GTX+
GeForce 9800 GT
GeForce 8800 GTS 512
Gigabyte GV-N250OC-1GI GeForce GTS 250

3GB Qimonda DDR3-1066 C7
(3 X 1GB, Triple Channel DDR3)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
(7,200RPM - SATAII - 750GB)

Relevant Software:
Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
DirectX November 2008 Redist

NVIDIA Forceware v185.63
ATI Catalyst v9.5

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark Vantage v1.0.1
High Preset - 1680x1050, 2x AA/8x Aniso
Crysis v1.21*
Very High Quality Settings - No AA/No Aniso
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.5*
High Quality Settings - 4x AA/16x Aniso
Far Cry 2 v1.02
Very High Quality Settings - 4x AA
Left 4 Dead*
High Quality Settings - 4x AA /16x Aniso
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. (DX10/DX10.1)
High Quality Settings - 4x AA

* - Custom Benchmark

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which y isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1680x1050, with 2x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering.

Gigabyte's version of the GTS 250 land at about the middle of the pack, actually falling slightly behind the GeForce 9800 GTX+ that preceded it.  Considering the fact that the current price of around $130 is less than half that of the 9800 GTX+ at launch, that's doesn't sound too bad, however, much has changed in the graphics world since then.  For instance, the two Radeons in our comparison group, the HD 4850 and HD 4870, both outperform the GTS 250, yet are priced at similar, if not lower, price points.

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