Zotac GTS250 'AMP' 1GB PCIe Graphics card

Double click to edit

Test Setup

To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configurations used in this review can be seen below:
 
i7 Rig

CPU: Intel Nehalem i7 920 Skt1366 2.66GHz (@3.8 Ghz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD5
Memory: 3x2GB Corsair DDR3 1600mhz @ 8-8-8-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 80GB
GPU: Zotac GTS250 AMP 1GB
Graphics Drivers: Supplied by Nvidia
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w

 
During the testing of the setups above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games
• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Oblivion

• Race drive: GRID
• Call of Duty IV
• Unreal Tournament III
 

Power Consumption

Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Because of this, the readings below are of the total system, not just the GPU. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of Furmark.


 
Despite having the benefits of 55nm fabrication, the GTS250 AMP still draws plenty of power from the socket. While the figures above are from total system draw, the G92 based GTS250 still consumes a large amount, especially when under full load.
 
 
Temperatures

Temperatures were taken at the factory clocked speed during idle in Windows and after 10 minutes of running Furmark with settings maxed out (2560x1600 8xMSAA). Ambient temperatures were taken with a household thermometer. As we use an open test bench setup consideration should be given to the fact that the temperatures would likely increase further in a closed case environment.
 
 
 
It has to be said that the Nvidia cooler is very quiet, and while it's perhaps not the most efficient of coolers, it keeps temperatures under control. The GTS 250 is a hot card and even though this card does not have an IHS, the exposed core still puts out enough heat to raise the temperature to a scorching 83c under load. This, as with all the tests above was with the fan set to AUTO so temps would no doubt improve should you set the fan manually. 
 
 
Overclocking
 
For our overclocking tests I used the RivaTuner utility which worked perfectly with our setup. To test stability I ran 3D Mark 06 and a few runs of Call of Duty 4.
 
stock overclock
 
As this card is already overclocked as standard it came as no surprise that the gains to be had from overclocking the card were not great. I still managed an extra 53MHz on the core clockspeed and a further 72MHz on the memory. The affects of this minor overclock can be seen below:
 
 

So then, the GTS250 AMP is clearly a card on the edge. Working to it's limits has had an affect on both power consumption and temperatures as no doubt the stock clocked version of these cards would draw less power and run cooler. The overclocking, while minor, did have add a few FPS to COD4. It would have been nice to have greater overclocking freedom one needs to consider this card arrives in a pre-overclocked state and as with most overclocked cards, any additional clockspeed to be had from tweaking cannot be guaranteed. 
 
Let's see how the card performs in OC3D's suite of 3D benchmarks...
«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next»

Most Recent Comments

27-05-2009, 13:47:25

w3bbo
Just another rehash of the tried and tested G92? Can a sprinkling of Zotac overclocking and 1GB of GDDR3 make this card a 4850/70 killer? Read our latest review to find out...

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...131435136s.jpg

Full review here

27-05-2009, 13:54:41

zak4994
Gah! You should've also compared it too a 9800GT (or whatever it's successor was )

Blue PCB? Sucketh to the max!

27-05-2009, 14:06:25

sammytomjohn
dont think i'l be buyin 1 of these

27-05-2009, 14:07:28

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='zak4994'
Gah! You should've also compared it too a 9800GT (or whatever it's successor was )

Blue PCB? Sucketh to the max!
Sure, I'll just nip into my own personal GPU warehouse.....

Damn sorry m8, I only have an MX440 and a Voodoo, will those do?

Contrary to popular belief I don't get to keep equipment from previous reviews to draw on when needed, I can only go on results that have the same base setup. Sadly the 9800 reviews were done on an inferior setup and thus cannot be compared.

27-05-2009, 14:12:58

Rastalovich
Such an awkward card to find into the mash.

I was quite alarmed when u said the cooler was quiet ! (although not too effective)

That's a first isn't it ? A quiet stock cooler in the GT200 range ?

As to the 'AMP' release - honestly, 12mhz ? why ?

Great reviewage.

27-05-2009, 14:20:38

w3bbo
Cheers Rasta.

When i say 'not effective', it is, it's just not as effective as the ATI coolers. Then again it isn't anywhere near as loud so I guess thats the trade off!

The overclock, is minor because there is very little headroom to begin with I guess.

27-05-2009, 14:21:43

PeterStoba
Publish price - 145.99 but the novatech link says otherwise - http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ZOT-250

Blue PCB is win!

Graphics Drivers: Supplied by Sapphire

seems odd

27-05-2009, 14:34:54

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PeterStoba'
Publish price - 145.99 but the novatech link says otherwise - http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ZOT-250

Blue PCB is win!

seems odd
That's the 512mb version I'm afraid. You can actually find GTS 250 512mb cards with reference clocks for as little as 85. I personally feel that 145 is a lot for the 1GB version, even with an overclock applied from factory. Looking at the novatech website itself, it's possible to buy a ref clock 1GB GTS 250 for 105. Plus, the HD 4870 1GB has been appearing for around 130 these days and should have a higher margin for an overclock.

Great review w3bbo.

27-05-2009, 14:51:30

PeterStoba
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mul.'
That's the 512mb version I'm afraid. You can actually find GTS 250 512mb cards with reference clocks for as little as 85. I personally feel that 145 is a lot for the 1GB version, even with an overclock applied from factory. Looking at the novatech website itself, it's possible to buy a ref clock 1GB GTS 250 for 105. Plus, the HD 4870 1GB has been appearing for around 130 these days and should have a higher margin for an overclock.

Great review w3bbo.
My bad, I just assume the link would be correct.

The 512mb cards are good for 90ish, I've used one and they are very good performers.

27-05-2009, 15:31:12

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PeterStoba'
Publish price - 145.99 but the novatech link says otherwise - http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ZOT-250

Blue PCB is win!

seems odd
Sorted, that'll teach me to C&P the test bed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mul.'
That's the 512mb version I'm afraid. You can actually find GTS 250 512mb cards with reference clocks for as little as 85. I personally feel that 145 is a lot for the 1GB version, even with an overclock applied from factory. Looking at the novatech website itself, it's possible to buy a ref clock 1GB GTS 250 for 105. Plus, the HD 4870 1GB has been appearing for around 130 these days and should have a higher margin for an overclock.

Great review w3bbo.
Yeah the pricing does need looking at imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PeterStoba'
My bad, I just assume the link would be correct.

The 512mb cards are good for 90ish, I've used one and they are very good performers.
Crap at high res with filters though. Thats when the added memory comes into it's own.

27-05-2009, 15:33:37

Rastalovich
Looks at 512m card .....

Looks at w3bbo's monitor ....

Looks at 512m card .....

Looks at w3bbo's monitor ....

.. that's just unfair !

27-05-2009, 15:38:28

w3bbo
Lol, it's BECAUSE I have such a large screen I know these things . That said even a 24" screen will show decreases in speed with a 512mb card vs 1GB.

I'm not for minute saying 512mb cards are a steaming pile of dog do, clearly they are not, but if you game at anything above 22" it pays to invest in a card with a little more memory imo.
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.