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.
The Need for Speed series is one that remains close to my heart, as I’ve been played through each title since the release of the second title. Although the series has taken some strange turns most recently, the series still manages to deliver a great arcade-like experience that can be enjoyed by NFS die-hards and casual gamers alike. Sadly, more serious racing fans have had to look elsewhere lately, so hopefully the next NFS incarnation will finally perfect what fans are really looking for.
While ProStreet diverted from the usual “open-world” design, Undercover returned to it. Also returning are police cars, a favorite of most fans. I’m a firm believer that most NFS titles should include police chases, and for the most part, they’re executed well in Undercover. There’s not too much that exists in this world that proves more frustrating than running over a spike strip after a clean 30-minute run, though.
For all of our tests, the graphics settings available are maxed out to their highest ability, with 4xAA being our chosen Anti-Aliasing setting.
This particular game loves NVIDIA cards, and that’s obvious by the fact that this is the first set of graphs that show the GTS 250 and 9800 GTX+ performing better than higher-end ATI cards. There’s great performance across the board though, from all cards.
As mentioned in previous GPU content, due to a bug with NVIDIA’s drivers, 2560×1600 is not a selectable resolution on our Gateway XHD3000 display with a very small number of games, NFS Undercover being one of them. I was recently passed an alpha driver that enabled the ability to run this resolution, but it doesn’t include the profile for the GTS 250, so I was unable to test that card here at that resolution. Once NVIDIA finalizes this revised driver, I’ll update the entire graph with fresh results.