Remixing the G92 - NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250


Old Habits Die Hard

Old Habits Die Hard

They say an elephant never forgets and a leopard never changes its spots. So it should come as no surprise then that NVIDIA, so fond of renaming, rehashing and rebranding their products, has gone back to its old ways. And we are disappointed. Before CeBIT, rumors were rife about a new NVIDIA SKU and many speculated that the graphics giant has finally managed to scale its high-end GTX 200 down a notch to create mainstream, entry-level variants of GTX 200 cards. On the other hand, there were also rumors that they were going to rehash one of the older SKUs so that, you know, it'll appear to be new?

Unfortunately, NVIDIA has once again decided to opt for the easy way out. The latter rumor proved to be true and the brand 'new' GeForce GTS 250 that you see here has a GeForce 9800 GTX+ GPU core at its heart.

If you've already forgotten, the GeForce 9800 GTX+ was launched last year in June and it was itself a quick fix solution to ATI's Radeon HD 4850. In fact, the GeForce 9800 GTX+ is a refresh of the even older GeForce 9800 GTX based on the G92 and only differs from the latter in that it is manufactured using a 55nm process and is therefore able to accommodate higher clock speeds. One can hence trace the roots of this GeForce GTX 250 back to the venerable G80 architecture that debuted in the GeForce 8800 GTX in 2006.

In the case of the GeForce GTS 250, it differentiates itself from the GeForce 9800 GTX+ in that it comes in both 512MB and 1GB flavors. 1GB, NVIDIA claims, will offer better performance with anti-aliasing switched on. Also, it requires only a single 6-pin power connector to power up, as opposed to two for the GeForce 9800 GTX+. The PCB of the new card is also slightly shorter by an inch, which means a lower manufacturing cost for NVIDIA. As for clock speeds, they don't differ one bit from the GeForce 9800 GTX+, which means 738MHz at the core, 2200MHz DDR for the memory and 1836MHz for the shaders.

GeForce GTS 250 and Competitive SKUs
Model NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX+ 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Core Code G92 G92 G92 RV770
Transistor Count 754 million 754 million 754 million 965 million
Manufacturing Process 55nm 55nm 65nm 55nm
Core Clock 738MHz 738MHz 675MHz 625MHz
Stream Processors 128 Stream Processors 128 Stream Processors 128 Stream Processors 160 Processors (800 Stream Processing Units)
Stream Processor Clock 1836MHz 1836MHz 1688MHz 625MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 64 64 64 40
Raster Operator units (ROP) 16 16 16 16
Memory Clock 2200MHz GDDR3 2200MHz GDDR3 2200MHz GDDR3 2000MHz GDDR3
DDR Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 70.4GB/s 70.4GB/s 70.4GB/s 64.0GB/s
PCI Express Interface PCIe ver 2.0 x 16 PCIe ver 2.0 x 16 PCIe ver 2.0 x 16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors 1 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin
CMulti GPU Technology SLI SLI SLI CrossFireX
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDCP Output Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Street Price US$129 / US$149 ~US$179 ~US$159 ~US$169