bit-tech.net

Where is bit-tech's GeForce GTS 250 review?

Posted on 3rd Mar 2009 at 12:53 by Tim Smalley with 30 comments

Tim Smalley
You've probably heard the news by now: Nvidia announced the GeForce GTS 250 this morning at CeBIT and yes, the rumours are true - it's a rebranded GeForce 9800 GTX+.

But that's not the real story.

Normally, you'd expect us to have a review of the card on launch day, but that is sadly something we haven't been allowed to do. Nvidia had remained uncharacteristically quiet - both on and off the record - about the GeForce GTS 250 for one reason or another and we didn't find out about the card until Tuesday last week.

On Thursday, we had a conference call and were essentially told in no uncertain terms that we wouldn't get a sample before launch. But why?

This is where things get a bit trickier because Nvidia palmed us off to the partners - it said that it wasn't sending out reference cards and they'd instead be coming from partners. What we found strange about this was that, typically, in the run up to a graphics card launch we receive anywhere between five and ten calls from add-in board partners, asking us to look at their new products.

We didn't receive a single call this time around.

Instead, we had to resort to making those calls ourselves and, to our surprise, the general consensus from partners was that they were prohibited from sending samples to bit-tech and Custom PC before launch.

One partner, who wished to remain nameless said "[we are] absolutely strictly forbidden to send samples out until the launch date.... it’s rubbish!" Another said it was instructed by Nvidia to send samples to specific websites which, the partner admitted, it had never even heard of.

We spoke to six partners before the launch and not one said it was allowed to sample us before the launch. Several said they were able to help us out "after CeBIT", but by that time it's old news and, frankly, I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

I spoke to Nvidia last night and the company actively denied its involvement in the sampling process and, upon further probing, the company's representatives said that sample allocations came down to "relationships with Nvidia and its partners". When I asked if something in bit-tech's relationship with Nvidia had changed since the GeForce GTX 295 and 285 launches, Bryan Del Rizzo, a Senior PR Manager at Nvidia, said that nothing had changed. "We have a great relationship with bit-tech," he added.

We asked the same question when speaking to partners all week and they said exactly the same thing, which means that someone, somewhere, is getting in the way of the sampling process. The question is: why would the partners lie to us? They have no reason to because our relationship has always been tight and they've been up front when they have sample allocation issues.

Nvidia said it is cutting back on samples (as are the partners) and that allocation is tight. However, since we've managed to get a card same day couriered to us today, you have to wonder if the situation would have been different had the card been something to shout about.

While we wait for our card to arrive, we're going to be playing with our GeForce GTS 250 TipeXXX Edition... It's wicked fast.

Where is bit-tech's GeForce GTS 250 review?

30 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Krikkit 3rd March 2009, 14:00 Quote
Oh dear. The big green playing dirty for no discernible reason? There was an article lurking the other day from HardOCP TheInq about the very same crap too.

Tut tut tut, the last thing you need is bad press at this time.
KayinBlack 3rd March 2009, 14:01 Quote
TheINQ might have it right then... They only want positive reviews.
badders 3rd March 2009, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Oh dear. The big green playing dirty for no discernible reason? There was an article lurking the other day from HardOCP(?) about the very same crap too.

Tut tut tut, the last thing you need is bad press at this time.

I thought that one was from the inquirer.
Shenanigans from Nvidia? :o
The thing is, if they're doing this because they're worried about their rebranding exercise, why make changes to the reference cards? (1 Gb cards etc) What would be the point?
Gremlin 3rd March 2009, 14:15 Quote
And this is why i love Bit LOL @ that picture!!!!

Personally Bit i think you should refuse to do any review on rebranded cards and just repost reviews of the old cards with the name of it crossed out and replaced with the new name

reviewing rebranded cards even if they still perform well is giving them licence to sell old stuff to people who dont know better for more money, the sooner everyone stands up about the practice it will continue

EDIT:

yes im aware doing so would affect the working relationship with Nvidia and you wont be allowed new cards to play with etc, but someone HAS to make a stand and it would just garner more respect from the enthusiast community which tbh is what bit is aimed at, and the mores respect you gain the more loyal readers you gain which is more money in the pocket for you alll

and lets face it they have already refused to give you a review sample so obviously they dont have that good of a relationship with you, so they have fired the first shots, the question is are you guys going to puss out and take it? or man up and face it

so in all honestly boycotting rebrainds is the best solution imo
KayinBlack 3rd March 2009, 14:19 Quote
I'd send a message, and post a review that simply links to the 9800 GTX+ review. Possibly with a derogatory comment.
Krikkit 3rd March 2009, 14:19 Quote
Thanks Kayin and Badders, it was TheInq. :p
Elton 3rd March 2009, 14:43 Quote
Wow...well Nvidia's trying to cover up for their obstinate lack of innovation by rebranding the same card 3x..

Really I'm all for making a stand against this, but that might reduce your chances of getting newer Nvidia cards...Is it worth the payoff?
Anakha 3rd March 2009, 14:55 Quote
So, [H] and The Inq were right. It's a very sad day.

Mind you, trying to re-release the 8800 again, to get a third bite of the apple as it were, is almost criminal in itself.
[PUNK] crompers 3rd March 2009, 15:25 Quote
haha nvidia have clearly shown their true colours here for me

they know that the first thing bit-tech will do is go "ITS AN 8800GTS with more ram!" so they dont send a sample.

clearly they understand the market for this card: people who dont know better
LeMaltor 3rd March 2009, 16:05 Quote
Looks to be priced ok, they shouldn't play silly beggars though >_<
GFC 3rd March 2009, 16:40 Quote
It's simple, they know the card sux, so they don't want to give you people the chance to probe it - problem solved.
Htr-Labs 3rd March 2009, 16:59 Quote
I generally agree with all the sentiments here but you have to question this motive. Why would Nvidia willingly put itself in this position with hesitation. You know what they are doing is downright devious, they know it too. From my point of view, this is simply a waiting game for them to crush another market, the CPU market. Chances are they've signed competitive non-compete agreements with the likes of Intel and AMD and are snooding off to their community in an attempt to seem like the bad guy, but only for a short period of time. This will only make their return more savory for the enthusiasts who come running back to them once they launch something completely new and revolutionary. It's the same tactic as closing down a store and telling people to leave, then reopening it a month later, only to have sales skyrocket and create envious, insatiable demand among its consumer demographics. Very bold strategy, however, this one will not end well for AMD or Intel. Those two have got to stop what they are doing.

My other comment completed the former sentiment. All hardware MFG's do this at some point or another. Examples include. WD holding back on it's Raptor drive series, Memory MFG's holding back DDR2 800 and 1066 speeds, Intel and Chipset MFG's holding back licensing for better RAID and SATA support. The quicker the community realizes this the better off everyone will be. It's not their fault 98% of the consumer group fails to realize these simple tactics, giving in almost every single time. Their weak point is the inability to generate hype around a product, without it, nothing sells.

Any comments?
FeRaL 3rd March 2009, 17:46 Quote
The shitty thing is, that Nvidia's stock price keeps going up as well. Even when they are screwing their customers with rebranded old tech.
Tim S 3rd March 2009, 18:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeRaL
The shitty thing is, that Nvidia's stock price keeps going up as well. Even when they are screwing their customers with rebranded old tech.

IMO, shareholders care about margins and profit more than new technology
GoodBytes 3rd March 2009, 18:39 Quote
Actually the Geforce GTS 250 is not identical to the 9800+
The 250 has an option of 1GB (so helps a little on large resolution screens), smaller board (from what I can see from pictures on other sites), and uses a tiny bit less power.
FeRaL 3rd March 2009, 18:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Actually the Geforce GTS 250 is not identical to the 9800+
The 250 has an option of 1GB (so helps a little on large resolution screens), smaller board (from what I can see from pictures on other sites), and uses a tiny bit less power.

Yes but it is the same GPU core basically, so it should keep the original numbering and just have something like "super special large screen lower power version" stamped next to the already super long name...

Lets be serious, you don't take you dog in for a haircut and give it a new name when you pick it up from the groomer since it will be shedding less hair and smell better than it used to do you?
Tim S 3rd March 2009, 18:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Actually the Geforce GTS 250 is not identical to the 9800+
The 250 has an option of 1GB (so helps a little on large resolution screens), smaller board (from what I can see from pictures on other sites), and uses a tiny bit less power.

There's a 9800 GTX+ 1GB as well. It uses a bit less power and the board is 9in instead of 10.5in, yes, but there is absolutely no difference in performance.
Sebbo 4th March 2009, 00:18 Quote
according to the INQ (and HardOCP might've mentioned this too, i'm not sure) the sample boards from the partners are better optimised than what will hit the retail shelves, making for reviews that aren't truly indicative of the final product! i think if BT really wants to do a review of the gts 250 it should get a card from a retailer, benchmark it, then return it ("it's not compatible with my system, i only have AGP")

the gts 250 launch is quite a farce as it is, with nvidia only supplying reviewers who aren't going to let slip that its essentially an 8800 with a better clock, more ram and less power consumption. if what the INQ says is true, and review boards are far better than the retail boards... well, i don't even know how to finish this sentence, that's how bad it is
leexgx 4th March 2009, 00:34 Quote
HardOCP do tend to Not to Bother testing rebranded video cards (sure they never made an review for the 9800GTX+ as it was the same as an 8800 GTS, thay may have but only an very fast test)

one thing to Note thought is this card comes with 1gb of ram so may be able to handle higher res
but who happens to want this card when you got an 32" screen you would be getting an GTX285 or GTX295 or 2 4870 1gb in CF (4870X2 cant turn CF off that is an fail, why i not get it)
crispy 4th March 2009, 04:59 Quote
I can understand why NVIDIA wanted to rename the card to match the current numbering system. For someone just starting out, it is much easier to look and see 250, 260, 280 etc and understand where the card falls into the current line up. Not everyone spends hours studying the reviews and BFG Tech's website before buying their next card.

After saying all that, it is disturbing that the same card is being renamed a second time. Why not be up front about? And just say, here is the 8800/9800GTX+ slightly updated, under the current numbering system. Test it, but basically it is still a 9800GTX+ which is fills a needed price point. NVIDIA, just come clean and don't be silly.

I currently own five BFG video cards, four in use and one headed for ebay. I switched from ATI due to poor driver support and have not looked back until now. With the recent actions indicating that NVIDIA is not worried about the consumer, then less support could be the next.
notatoad 4th March 2009, 06:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crispy
I can understand why NVIDIA wanted to rename the card to match the current numbering system. For someone just starting out, it is much easier to look and see 250, 260, 280 etc and understand where the card falls into the current line up.

if it were just bringing one card into line it would make sense, but nvidia seems ot be rebranding more cards than they are releasing. 8800gts512->9800gtx->gtx250, 8800gt->9800gt, 8800gs->9600gso->gtx240, i think there have been more lower-end rebrands too. it would have been easier just to call the gtx280 a 8900 and the gtx260 a 8850, then they wouldn't have to keep rebranding stuff.
Elton 4th March 2009, 06:39 Quote
The problem is that Nvidia refuses to acknowledge this, if they did, it'd be perfectly fine.

And the other thing that really grinds my gears is that they created the 48 SP monstrosity out of the 92 SP 8800GS/9600GSO.

I'm okay with this due to the really low price cuts, but changing the type of the card while it's still selling(making it worse too) is inexcusable.
Xtrafresh 4th March 2009, 11:47 Quote
oh my, what a nice little riot this is.

Tim, i think it would be most definately worth it to review this card and do a FULL benchmark of it against other G92 parts. It would be even better if you could somehow get your hands on one of those "special" review samples and compare it to a store-bought part.

Debunking rumours and false advertising is exactly your job, and there's more bull surrounding this launch then any other card in the past 12 months. I suppose sorting everything out and deflating all the talk would piss off nVidia, which is bad for your business i suppose. However, you'll gain massive brownie points and community credibility, something you need to adress since the Dennis takeover.

Reviewing this card is therefore a MUST for bit-tech in my very humble opinion. Good luck hunting for the parts! :D
Horizon 4th March 2009, 21:46 Quote
well it appears that they only sent samples to sites that would give the card review with flying colors, look at Tweaktown:

"The card does represent very good value considering the HD 4870 starts at around $200."

"Crysis Warhead and World in Conflict, it pulls out some good wins and even beats out the more expensive HD 4870."

and gave it a high value score even tough it comes with a bare minimum kit

I don't know when they wrote this article but as of last Friday 4870s were nearing $160

I think PCper was the only site to say along the line "This could have been a great card at $160 but...
haakon.t 5th March 2009, 00:49 Quote
I think the anandtech review was pretty fair, and I actually thinks this seems like a fine card. And regarding the rebranding issue, you guys should try to look on the positive side of it! It's much easier for customers to know which card is the faster when they're similarly named.
Elton 5th March 2009, 06:48 Quote
It is a decent card, the only problem is that they forgot to mention that it's the 9800GTX+ and outright denies this, if they didn't however, it'd be fine with me.

And stop pulling the Houdini on us and keep the card the same please.

Finally, the G86 chip is getting old, shouldn't they be trying to make something better for the low end segment? I mean $70 for a 8600GT is NOT worth it.
Slyr7.62 5th March 2009, 08:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
Finally, the G86 chip is getting old, shouldn't they be trying to make something better for the low end segment? I mean $70 for a 8600GT is NOT worth it.
Hopefully someone has enough moola to get a 8800 GS or 9600 GT.
Also, a 8600 GT can be had for $50. BFG 8600 from newegg. $35 Open box Zotac 8600 GT

8600 GTS can be had for $55.....http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130394
Or......$85 MSI 9600 GT w/ free shipping & before $25 MIR.

9800 GT can currently be had for as low as $100 on newegg.

Remember: I'm sure Nvidia has GTS/X series cards coming for the low-end, while increasing performance a bit.
Xtrafresh 5th March 2009, 13:37 Quote
oh wow. They will use the same G92b chip in the GTX 280M mobile part aswell, meaning that they are now using the G92 in:

8800GT
8800GTS
9800GT
9800GTX
9800GTX+
GTX250
GTX280M

This is downright deception. Are they TRYING to piss people off?
thehippoz 5th March 2009, 18:34 Quote
yeah they got issues :|
Elton 8th March 2009, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyr7.62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
Finally, the G86 chip is getting old, shouldn't they be trying to make something better for the low end segment? I mean $70 for a 8600GT is NOT worth it.
Hopefully someone has enough moola to get a 8800 GS or 9600 GT.
Also, a 8600 GT can be had for $50. BFG 8600 from newegg. $35 Open box Zotac 8600 GT

8600 GTS can be had for $55.....http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130394
Or......$85 MSI 9600 GT w/ free shipping & before $25 MIR.

9800 GT can currently be had for as low as $100 on newegg.

Remember: I'm sure Nvidia has GTS/X series cards coming for the low-end, while increasing performance a bit.

My Original meaning was that they're scamming people with the 9500GT, which is $70 and not worth it at all..

And yes you could get the 8800GS(discontinued, good card though) and the 9600GT, but not many people would know this, they'd think...oh! 9500GT>8800GT because the number is bigger.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums
BitFenix Pandora Review

BitFenix Pandora Review

26th September 2014

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Review

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Review

22nd September 2014