Zotac GTS250 'AMP' 1GB PCIe Graphics card

Conclusion

Conclusion
 
The Zotac GTS250 AMP is clearly a very capable card and while it couldn't quite surpass the HD4870XXX, it did easily outpace the HD4850XXX in the majority of benchmarks run today. That said I would wage the benchmarks would have been much closer had the HD4850 been a 1GB version. Nevertheless, most of the cards on test today, particularly the HD4850 and HD4870, were overclocked editions and thus the comparisons between those and the Zotac GTS250 AMP seemed fair.
 
The packaging of the graphics card was very good and could have been near perfect has there been an included SLI bridge and should the card have been placed in an anti-static bag. I didn't get chance to play the game but any game is good as long as it doesn't add to the price. 3DMark Vantage is a great inclusion and will save the user $20 should you want to run the benchmark more than once.
 
The additional clocks obtained on the card during the brief overclocking session were disappointing but as the card is pre-overclocked anyway this is a null point. I would have liked the card to run cooler than it did and I was shocked to see just how much juice it took from the PSU. Considering that the card only needed a single 8-pin PCIe power cable and as the card is based on the 55nm fabrication,  I didn't expect such readings. That said, because the card makes use of a slightly modified version of the stock Nvidia full card cooling solution, the noise was kept to a minimum and it was certainly much quieter than the cards it is competing with.
 
In short, here's a card that nestles itself  neatly between the HD4850 and HD4870 both in terms of price and performance. The GTS250 AMP retails at around the £150 mark which may be a little rich for some when you consider the 1GB overclocked 4870's retail for not a lot more. Nvidia sadly, have always demanded a higher price premium  and here is perhaps the only fault I can really aim at the GTS250 AMP. However, if you are dead set on a mid range graphics card that can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it and want that performance without having to overclock yourself or to bear the terrible din ATI cards throw out then I can whole heartily recommend the Zotac GTS250 AMP edition.
 
The Good
- Performance
- Quiet running
- Great packaging
 
The Mediocre
- Price could be more competitive
- Power consumption a little high
- Questionable PCB colour
 
The Bad
- Nada
 
 
Thanks to Zotac for providing the GTS250 AMP edition for todays review. Discuss in our forums.
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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
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