GeForce GTS 250 Roundup (ASUS, Gigabyte, Sparkle, EVGA)

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     May 7, 2009

GeForce GTS 250 Roundup

Featuring: ASUS, GIGABYTE, Sparkle & EVGA

It seems that everywhere we look these days someone is trying to save a few dollars when it comes to upgrading or building a new system. Over the past 6 months both Nvidia and ATI have released plenty of cards that will appeal to those of you who are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice much in the way of performance. ATI cards like the HD 4830, HD 4850 and the new HD 4770 fit the bill while Nvidia has the 9800 GT, the GTS 250 and to a lesser extent, the 9600 GT. This particular roundup will look a bit closer at the GTS 250 with products from Gigabyte, ASUS Sparkle and EVGA. Granted, this isn’t a blockbuster roundup with a ton of cards but it will show you the tip of the very large iceberg that is the GTS 250 product range.

To be completely honest with you, during the course of requesting and receiving samples for this roundup we were quite surprised with the reaction we received from quite a few manufacturers. Comments ranged from “why would you want to do a GTS 250 roundup?” to “we are not actively marketing that product at this time” to a general lack of enthusiasm for anything GTS 250 related. Considering the amazing response (no fewer than 6 cards) we received for an upcoming roundup of a different Nvidia card, this was curious to be sure. Unperturbed, we pressed on since we feel that at its current price the GTS 250 can offer a perfect cure for the recession-inspired doldrums.

Believe it or not, this is our first review of the GTS 250 since we decided to sit back and wait for the initial fury of yet another rebadged card release to die down. Now that the GTS 250 has settled into the market (and quite well at that), we felt it was time to take a look at what a few different manufacturers had to offer. We have also recently seen a number of sales which have really piqued people’s interest in this card. Just remember, the GTS 250 seems like nothing more than a gussied up 9800 GTX+ on paper but as we will see, Nvidia’s board partners have added their own unique spin to things.

GIGABYTE, ASUS and EVGA have all been featured prominently here on Hardware Canucks in the past and they are all well known in the enthusiast marketplace. Sparkle on the other hand is making their debut here but they are no less recognizable everywhere from Canada to Taiwan. Each of these board partners has taken a bit different approach to the way they are presenting their GTS 250 with some having custom coolers while others are slightly overclocked. This large variance from one model to the next is what makes the GTS 250 lineup so interesting; there is some real variety on the market if you bother to look for it.

While this may be called a “Round Up”, we do things a bit differently when it comes to reviewing multiple cards within the same article. Basically, we will be treating this almost like 4 separate reviews since it is our opinion that each product deserves its time to shine. Knowing that, let’s get on with this thing.


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