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EVGA GeForce GTS 250 Superclocked
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by Rob Williams on March 3, 2009 in NVIDIA-Based GPU

The first mid-range offering of NVIDIA’s GeForce 200 series is here, in the form of the GTS 250. As a follow-up to the company’s 9800 GTX+, we already have a good idea of what to expect. But, various improvements aim to make things interesting, such as a redesigned PCB, smaller form-factor, single PCI-E connector, improved temperatures and refreshed pricing.

Crysis Warhead

As PC enthusiasts, we tend to be drawn to games that offer spectacular graphics… titles that help reaffirm your belief that shelling out lots of cash for that high-end monitor and PC was well worth it. But it’s rare when a game comes along that is so visually-demanding, it’s unable to run fully maxed out on even the highest-end systems on the market. In the case of the original Crysis, it’s easy to see that’s what Crytek was going for.

Funny enough, even though Crysis was released close to a year ago, the game today still has difficulty running at 2560×1600 with full detail settings – and that’s even with overlooking the use of anti-aliasing! Luckily, Warhead is better optimized and will run smoother on almost any GPU, despite looking just as gorgeous as its predecessor, as you can see in the screenshot below.

The game includes four basic profiles to help you adjust the settings based on how good your system is. These include Entry, Mainstream, Gamer and Enthusiast – the latter of which is for the biggest of systems out there, unless you have a sweet graphics card and are only running 1680×1050. We run our tests at the Gamer setting as it’s very demanding on any current GPU and is a proper baseline of the level of detail that hardcore gamers would demand from the game.

Once again, the GTS 250 performed as we expected it to, but neither it nor the 9800 GTX+ could handle the Gamer profile too well in resolutions other than 1680×1050. For higher resolutions, that had to be dropped to Mainstream, as we’ll see below:

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB x 2
2560×1600 – Enthusiast, 0xAA
42.507 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB x 2
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
45.835 FPS
Zotac GTX 295 1792MB
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
37.97 FPS
EVGA GTX 285 1GB SSC Edition
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
54.551 FPS
Zotac GTX 285 1GB AMP!
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
53.308 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
51.283 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
46.912 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
40.750 FPS
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 1GB SC
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
35.305 FPS
ASUS GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
34.735 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
34.327 FPS
Diamond HD 4870 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
33.849 FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
30.670 FPS
Sapphire HD 4830 512MB
1920×1200 – Mainstream, 0xAA
37.051 FPS
Sapphire HD 4670 512MB
1920×1200 – Mainstream, 0xAA
25.175 FPS

With the Mainstream profile selected, we get slightly better performance than what we saw at 1680×1050 with the Gamer profile. Luckily enough, the Mainstream profile still looks fantastic, and for it to run so well on both the GTS 250 and 9800 GTX+ is great. Cheap gaming doesn’t have to feel cheap, that’s for sure.