Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB Graphics Card

Graphics Cards
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Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB Graphics Card

Mar. 30, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB
PCI-E Graphics Card
Street Price

nVidia has received a lot of flak for their newest GPU, the GeForce GTS 250. The name would seem to indicate a slightly cut-down version of the GTX 260, but it is a simple renaming of the 9800 GTX+, a midrange gaming card marketed to compete against ATI's Radeon HD 4850. Revising nomenclature is nothing new to nVidia, after all the entire 9800 series was fabricated out of the 8800 series. The 9800 GT is actually a 8800GT and the 9800 GTX+, is an overclocked 9800 GTX, which in-turn is a really a G92 8800 GTS. With the economic climate worsening and demand for high-end graphics dwindling, there's no telling how many more times nVidia will recycle the venerable G92 core.

While nVidia did not touch the GPU core, the PCB has undergone some changes. There are two different GTS 250 board designs floating around — one is 9" long with a single power connector, while the second is 9.5" long with two power connectors. The reference 9800 GTX+ is 10.5" long so some changes, probably to power regulation have been implemented, even if the core itself has been left untouched. The 250 is also available with three different memory sizes: 512MB, 1GB, and a whopping 2GB.

The box.

The card we're examining is made by Sparkle Computer — not in any way related to Sparkle Power. Not a huge name in the industry, Sparkle Computer seems to focus their sole attention on producing graphics cards.

The box contents include two power adapters, a S/PDIF cable and driver CD.

Our sample is a 1GB model with a native HDMI port, though a S/PDIF cable is still required to patch through audio. The card is equipped with a uniquely designed heatsink rather than the common all-encompassing box coolers residing on most GTS 250s and GTX series cards.

Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Model number SXS2501024D3-NM
Graphics Processing NVIDIA GeForce GTS250
Stream Processors 128
Core Clock 738MHz
Memory Clock 2200MHz
Memory Type 1024MB GDDR3
Memory Interface 256Bit
Shader Clock 1836MHz
Bus Type PCI-Express 2.0

Technical specifications according to GPU-Z.

According to GPU-Z, our GTS 250 sample shares the same number of shaders and core/memory/shader frequency as a reference 9800 GTX+. Nothing surprising here.

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