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Asus ENGTS 250 Review

Price: $169.99


The video card is a very interesting component. Many people, when purchasing, will go in thinking that they'll upgrade within a year. However, most do not. A year can easily go by without experiencing any problems or performance drops. When these naughty things happen you will probably decide to keep your video card longer and spend the money on something else. Let's face it. If you're still using a 7600GT and consider yourself a hardcore gamer/enthusiast, it's time for an upgrade. If you're just using your computer for basic photo editing, word processing, and Web browsing, then even a 7600GT will be overkill.

I'm assuming most of you are not just using your computer for the basics. But, how exactly do you decide upon which video card to upgrade? Bigger numbers do not always equal better, and this is true if you're comparing cards from ATI and NVIDIA, or if you're just looking at two cards from NVIDIA. A 7XXX series NVIDIA card is not better than a 4XXX series card from ATI. A 9800GT is not better than an 8800GTX. The way NVIDIA renames cards does not help this confusion at all. On the contrary - it is like feeding a two year old buckets of sugar, giving him a can of spray paint, and then letting him loose in an art museum. The result is that we get a 9800GTX, which is really just an 8800GTX covered in blue paint, vomit and marketing dollars. Luckily NVIDIA is finally putting an end to this mess. That is correct, NVIDIA has developed a new way of naming their cards. There will be two series: the GTS and GTX. The latter being for enthusiasts. In this new naming scheme, the bigger numbers will actually be the better cards. But, what is a new name scheme without re-branding a few older friends?

Introducing the ASUS ENGTS 250, also known as the 9800GTX +. Spec wise, ASUS's ENGTS 250 is the exact same as the 9800GTX +. In fact without actually testing the card, the only noticeable difference is the price tag. For about $20 less you can get what seems to be the exact same card, but with an older name. Hopefully your $20 will get you a performance increase as well as a revised G92 card. The only way to find this out is to test the card. Let's stop the talk and find out just how ASUS's GTS 250 performs. Will this card destroy it's competitors, or are you just paying for a name?

Closer Look:

Packaging is important for every product and not just so you feel good about what you purchased. Nobody wants to recieve a new peice of equipment only to find out it was damaged during shipping. These days most companies do an extremely good job at preventing this. Most people should have nothing to worry about. The packaging is good.

ASUS's ENGTS 250 came packaged in an bright green and dark black box. On the cover you can see the "DARK KNIGHT" logo, as well as ASUS's "Rock Solid Heart Touching" Logo. You can also see some information about the card. It uses 512MB of DDR3 and the cooler has 4 heat pipes. You'll also see that there is a coupon inside the box that will get you 10% off games, oh Boy! The package I received had the remnants of a sticker covering, the horse's hooves and part of its face. As such, I have no idea what was originally there. As usual, the back of the box is full of features, system requirements, and a brief description of some programs. What's cool about this though, is that they're listed in 11 different languages, so if you want to pick up Spanish you could just read the back of this box a few times. The side of the box has ASUS's logo as well as the card name, and a sentence telling you the "DARK KNIGHT SERIES" offers marvellous gaming experiences.



Inside this box is a white box that made taking pictures of it on a white backdrop a pain. Actually, it made it look like it came from angels in heaven! Check it out directly below. However upon opening it, you can see that it protected the 250 and its accessories very well indeed. Thank you God.



Included with your GTS 250 you'll recieve a few goodies. They are: 1 Molex to 6pin adapter; 1 component cable; 1 DVI to VGA adapter; 1 DVI to HDMI adapter; 1 SPDIF cord; 1 Manual and 2 CD's. Of course, one of the CD's is the driver disk, and the other is Manuals in more languages. Inside the manual you'll find your 10% coupons, the manual itself, and a guide to using the HDMI, and SPDIF adapters.



Now that we know how the card was shipped, let's find out how it looks on its own.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers and Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing (Setup & Overclocking)
  6. Testing: Far Cry 2
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Bioshock
  9. Testing: Call Of Duty World at War
  10. Testing: Dead Space
  11. Testing: Fallout 3
  12. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  13. Testing: 3DMark06
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Conclusion
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