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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.

Far Cry 2

Sequels are common, and three of our six games used here prove it. But what’s different with Far Cry 2, though, is that while the other sequels here don’t throw you for a loop when you first load it up and generally give you what you’d expect to see, this game does the absolute opposite. We knew for months that Far Cry 2 wasn’t going to be a direct continuation of the original, but for the most part, this game could have gone by any other name and no one would even make a connection. Luckily for Ubisoft, though, the game can still be great fun.

Like the original, this game is a first-person shooter that offers open-ended gameplay, similar to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. You’ll be able to roam the huge map (50km^2) of a central African state which will mostly be traversed by vehicle, as walking even 2% in any direction gets very tedious after a while. This game is a perfect GPU benchmark simply because the graphics are better than the average, with huge draw distances, realistic nature and even a slew of animals to pass by (and kill if you are evil enough).

Our run through takes place in the Shwasana region, and consists of leaving a small hut and walking towards four people prepared to kill me for no apparent reason (except that this is a game). After the opponents are eliminated, a walk along the dirt road continues for another twenty seconds until we reach a small hut with supplies.

If I found out one thing while benchmarking the GTS 250, it’s that Far Cry 2 is brutal when it comes to lower-end cards. Like Crysis, our 1680×1050 setting was, for the most part, smooth, but anything higher would bring things to a crawl. Despite the FPS rating being higher than 30 at 1920×1200, it was simply unplayable, with not-so-rare lag spikes.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB x 2
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 8xAA
46.502 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB x 2
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
88.608 FPS
Zotac GTX 295 1792MB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
55.951 FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
43.600 FPS
Diamond HD 4870 1GB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
41.777 FPS
EVGA GTX 285 1GB SSC Edition
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
41.712 FPS
Zotac GTX 285 1GB AMP!
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
40.375 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
37.785 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
43.460 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
38.527 FPS
ASUS GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
34.735 FPS
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 1GB SC
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
32.659 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
31.521 FPS
Sapphire HD 4830 512MB
1920×1200 – Max Detail, 0xAA
38.323 FPS
Sapphire HD 4670 512MB
1920×1200 – Max Detail, 0xAA
28.819 FPS

Not surprisingly, we were forced to drop AA in order to achieve better performance, and that we did. With it gone, we could run the game at 2560 just fine. There were some occasions where the game would stick for well under a second, but they were spread out and not all too annoying.


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