BFG GeForce GTS 250 OC 1GB Reviewccokeman - March 3, 2009
Category: Video Cards
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When you are finally ready to step up to a newer video card or make the selection for your new PC build, the quandary we all face is which one do I get? The numbering schemes should spell it out for you but for some reason the higher numbers are not always the better products. nVidia's video card naming structure can be somewhat confusing for Joe Six Pack down at the local big box store. This is by no means an nVidia exclusive problem. Is that 9400GT better than the 8800GT? Not really when it comes to gaming performance! Understanding the generations and the performance levels inherent to each series of cards is a must to know what you are getting in the current world of video card naming. Making a purchase just because the number is higher does not provide the full picture. nVidia has been listening to customer feedback on this problem and has begun renaming its cards to create a more streamlined video card hierarchy. By doing this it will eliminate some of the confusion when it comes down to making a purchase. There will be two distinct lineups, one being the GTS line that is targeted at the performance market, and the GTX line set squarely in the sights of the enthusiast market. While renaming is nothing new, there seems to be some serious bad blood with some people out in the community over it this time around. Oh well, it happens. Think about this, Ford renamed the Pinto as the Mustang II and gave it a new look with a little flash and design changes to make it look like a Mustang when up under the skin it was all Pinto.
So where does this leave us with the BFG Geforce GTS 250 OC 1GB? Well, for all intents and purposes, it is a G92 based video card that is the successor to the 9800GTX+. As the successor to the 9800GTX+, the GTX 250 shares many of the same characteristics such as clock speed, memory speed, the same 256-bit memory bus, same amount of shader cores and all. Where this card differs from the 9800GTX+ is the price point it is being offered at as well as the fact that models are available with both 512MB and 1GB memory configurations at $129 and $149 price points, respectively. The power connections required drop from two 6-pin PCI-E connections on the 9800GTX+ down to a single 6-pin requirement as well as a change in the heatsink design. No longer is the design shared between the GTS and GTX series of cards. While the stock clock speeds come in at 738MHz on the core and 1100MHz on the memory, the BFG Overclocked version comes in at a core speed of 750MHz and the 1GB of memory at 1120MHz. Wil the increase in clock speed and memory size make for a dominating performance over the HD 4850, this card's main competition? Let's find out and see what this revision of the G92 workhorse can bring to the table.
The front panel of the package shows a small picture of the GTS 250 OC, the name of the card, as well as the specifications of the GTS 250. There is also a list of items included with the GTS 250. Highlighted along the bottom is the fact that BFG offers free 24/7 support and a lifetime warranty on the GTS 250. The rear panel shows in picture form the difference between integrated graphics solutions and an nVidia based graphics solution. The support and warranty are again prominently highlighted.
Pulling the insert out of the retail box shows that the product is well packaged, preventing a card that is DOA. Instead of the foam block that has become a popular method for reducing shipping damage, BFG uses a cardboard frame that is tightly bound around the GTS 250.
The list of accessories that comes with the card includes the manual, a driver disc, dual 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI-E power adapter, DVI to D-Sub adapter and a few good looking stickers to show off your loyalties. The package is slim but on a $149 card you have to conserve somewhere. While slim, the bundle will get you started.
Let's see what the GTS looks like up close and personal.