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Nvidia officially launches GeForce GTS 250

Nvidia officially launches GeForce GTS 250

With the GTS 250, the G92 GPU returns to the 9in PCB of the 512MB 8800 GTS and a very similar-looking cooler.

Just as many people predicted a couple of weeks ago, Nvidia has today officially announced the GeForce GTS 250, which it hopes will combat ATI’s Radeon HD 4850. The GPU will be based on Nvidia’s 55nm G92 core, which will be clocked at 738MHz with the stream processors running at 1,836MHz.

Sound familiar? There’s a good reason for that, which is that Nvidia’s GeForce 9800 GTX+ is based on the exact same GPU and has precisely the same clock speeds. There is, however, a very slight difference, which is that Nvidia is also introducing a 1GB edition of the card as standard, and increasing the stock memory clock from 1GHz (2GHz effective) to 1.1GHz (2.2GHz effective). Of course, you can already buy 1GB GeForce 9800 GTX+ cards anyway, but this gives the 1GB cards an official spec.

The other difference between the GeForce 9800 GTX+ and the GTS 250 is that the latter uses a slightly shorter 9in PCB, compared with the large 10.5in PCB on the former. The GTS 250 also only requires one PCI-E power connector, compared with two on the 9800 GTX+, and Nvidia says that the GTS 250 has a maximum TDP of 150W. Both of these factors will allow GTS 250 cards to fit into more cases, while also maintaining compatibility with older PSUs.

At this point, it’s also worth noting that the original GeForce 9800 GTX was also a rebranding of Nvidia’s 512MB GeForce 8800 GTS with slightly higher clock speeds and support for 3-way SLI and Hybrid Power.

After shrinking the G92 die from 65nm to 55nm and again upping the clock speed, Nvidia then had the GeForce 9800 GTX+. However, the original GeForce 8800 GTS also had a 9in PCB, as well as a cooler that looks suspiciously like the one on the GTS 250.

Nvidia’s general manager for GeForce, Ujesh Desai, admitted that "a lot of people think that Nvidia’s trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes," with the rebrand, but said "that’s not what we’re trying to do." According to Desai, the rebranding was the result of feedback from Nvidia’s customers, board partners and retailers who said that having two lines of GPUs was confusing. Desai said that the company had had "requests from our customers and our partners to try to clean up the branding, especially as we move her into the New Year, to clean up confusion that this is causing for some of the end users."

While this rebranding strategy might make sense for people buying a new GPU, it could be even more confusing for people who perhaps already own a 512MB GeForce 8800 GTS and think that the GTS 250 will offer a substantial upgrade. We put this question to Desai, who admitted that "unfortunately, there isn’t an ideal answer to that one." He added that "if you look at the original 8800 GTS 512, if you look at the performance of that vs the GTS 250, there will be a performance difference, so it’s not like it’s going to be the exact same performance as the older 8800 GTS 512."

We pointed out that this performance difference would be fractional, though, and hardly worth the money for a new graphics card, to which Desai said that "I think the customer who’s making that decision will look and they’ll see what the performance difference is." Desai also said that a lot of the guys who bought GeForce 8800 guys will "probably wait a year or two for the next big thing" rather than upgrading to another DirectX 10 card.

No UK pricing has been announced for the new cards yet, but the 1GB GeForce GTS 250 is set to cost around $149 US, with the 512MB card costing $129 US. Comparatively, before the launch of the GTS 250, a 512MB 9800 GTX card had an MSRP of $149 US, so the new cards will at least offer better value.

We're yet to get hold of a sample - we'll talk about that a bit more later - but we'll get a review online as soon as we can get one.

Update: Where's bit-tech's GeForce GTS 250 review?

Does it make sense for Nvidia to rebrand the GeForce 9800 GTX+ as the GeForce GTS 250, or does this make matters more confusing? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

37 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
[USRF]Obiwan 3rd March 2009, 11:44 Quote
A lot of rejections as response in the interview with Desai. If they REALLY want to help buying customers they should place a sticker on the box with the text:

"ATTENTION: This card is formerly known as the 8800GT and 8900GTX"
perplekks45 3rd March 2009, 11:45 Quote
Milking the unknowing/ignorant, that's what it is.
Goty 3rd March 2009, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
I think the customer who’s making that decision will look and they’ll see what the performance difference is.

Does that sound like he's pouting to anyone else?

Anyhow, with the price drops on the 4850 and the 4870, I think NVIDIA is going to have a hard time selling this card. The 4850 still comes in at the same price as the "new" GTS 250, and the 4870 is only $20 USD more than that. As far as gaming goes, I see little reason to buy this card.
perplekks45 3rd March 2009, 11:59 Quote
If you were in the UK you might re-think that.
*waiting for the AMD price cut to arrive over here [the last one not the recent one] and for official prices from nVidia*
V3ctor 3rd March 2009, 12:51 Quote
8800GT-->>9800GT-->>9800GTX-->>9800GTX+ -->>GTS250
What is this??

That GPU shouldn't alive after so many different names.

I'm just going to buy a crossfire mobo, so I can buy a new cheap HD4870 to double my pc performance...
lewchenko 3rd March 2009, 13:01 Quote
If people dont research their purchases then they deserve to be duped.

Who on earth buys a new GPU as an upgrade without reviewing its specifications and performance first in comparison to the one they already have ? If the answer is 'plenty of people' then the world is full of dumb lazy schmucks!
V3ctor 3rd March 2009, 13:11 Quote
No... as always people buy *NEW* things...

GTS250 is just a deceiving PO$... Same performance with small clocks increases...

Why the hell nVidia is so stagnant?

ATi is still inovating, nVidia is... milking... a GPU that already payed itself ages ago...

It's shameful
Elton 3rd March 2009, 13:39 Quote
I want the days of '06/07' back when Nvidia was at least somewhat innovative..

Now ATI's back in the game and making the RV740(cheap GDDR5 card) and the HD4850 at ridiculously low prices will just destroy Nvidia's competition.

Hell the lack of Cheap 9600GTs pisses me off as I can't buy an EVGA or a BFG one for under $100, and the lack of any good low-end cards from Nvidia is killing them as well(and pissing me off).
[PUNK] crompers 3rd March 2009, 14:03 Quote
when are they going to stop doing this ****?!

i thought when the GTX2 series hit we were going to see an end to ridiculous naming policies rehashing old cards, how many people who own the 9800GTX+ will end up walking into a shop and buying this? i suspect more than a couple, so i guess nvidia got what they wanted
Redbeaver 3rd March 2009, 16:21 Quote
the rebadging idea is disappointing, i agree....

...but if they do release it at the same price point... seriously... what's wrong with renaming it?

if it was 9800GTX, 9800GTX+, 260, 260core 216, 280, the regular joe would blow his head off...


but if its 250, 260, 280.... hmm.... yeah. at least poor old joe can tell that 250 is slower than 260 and 280 is even faster. duh.

relabeling old product = bad.
simplifying ur graphic line = good.
Redbeaver 3rd March 2009, 16:28 Quote
as for ATI, as cheap as they r selling 4850 and 4870, not a lot of people r buying them here in North America. they're hot, buggy driver, but good performance and price. nvidia is cool coz that new review said its the fastezt. that's the regular gamer would think. unfortunate, but true.

check most of the "pre-build" gamer machine. on any tier, they have more options on the nvidia cards instead of ATI. why? ATi runs as fast (or faster) for better cost! well, becoz nvidia sells. thats why.

again, unfortunate, but reading some of ur comments here that bash nvidia n think ATI is selling like hotcakes... lol.... yeah... sure. nvidia's doing wutever they want becoz they can. dont even think otherwise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
If people dont research their purchases then they deserve to be duped.

Who on earth buys a new GPU as an upgrade without reviewing its specifications and performance first in comparison to the one they already have ? If the answer is 'plenty of people' then the world is full of dumb lazy schmucks!

i wouldnt call probably 90% of the world population "dumb lazy schmucks". somebody u care for could be one of them.
FeRaL 3rd March 2009, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko
If people dont research their purchases then they deserve to be duped.

Who on earth buys a new GPU as an upgrade without reviewing its specifications and performance first in comparison to the one they already have ? If the answer is 'plenty of people' then the world is full of dumb lazy schmucks!

I disagree to some extent. They layman has no idea how fast the churn is for the GPU market. Unless you are part of an online community like Bit-Tech.net or any of the other reputable sites out there, one would not have this industry knowledge. On the other hand, if you are just a fanboy then by all means you deserve the reaming you are getting.
wuyanxu 3rd March 2009, 17:30 Quote
anyone know what are equivalent of GT120 and GT130 in the new iMacs??
hyperion 3rd March 2009, 17:53 Quote
Why should they make a new card when the 9800gtx+ is already on par with it's competitor, the 4850? Really, why change architecture when the current one is still perfectly competent? As for the rebranding, well... why not? It's inconsistent to have half the cards branded gtx 2xx and the other half 9xxx gtx.

And getting the same performance at less power consumption is hardly unwelcome.

As for sidestepping from a 8800 gts to a gts 250, it's highly unlikely. Anyone with such a dillema will usually ask for advice on a forum or from a more knowledgeable friend. Now, if they ask for advice at PC World it's another issue...
perplekks45 3rd March 2009, 19:02 Quote
I don't agree with you at all, rustor.

The power consumption gains will be marginal and as many people already pointed out the average customer won't ask anyone but the staff at PCW/Currys/Comet or any other shop with clueless shop assistants. And I don't think it'll only be a few customers "upgrading" from a 8800/9800 to a 250 as it seems to be a good idea. "You at least jump to the next generation at least!" is what they'll think.
frontline 3rd March 2009, 19:10 Quote
Still prefer the single slot design of the 4850, now if only Sapphire could get a single slot Vapor-X style cooler on it like they did with the 3870 and produce a cool running,quiet 4850....
Cupboard 3rd March 2009, 19:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desai
According to Desai, the rebranding was the result of feedback from Nvidia’s customers, board partners and retailers who said that having two lines of GPUs was confusing

Correct, two virtually identical lines of GPUs is confusing, but what is even more confusing is having three virtually identical lines.
Tulatin 3rd March 2009, 19:34 Quote
ENOUGH with this **** already NVIDIA. Sheesh. It was bad enough when we went from 8800GTS to 8800GTS 512. Oh what's that, you also built the 9600GSO, 8800GT, 9800, 9800GT, 9800GTX, and now GTS 250 on the same thing? So basically, that's what, seven near identical GPUs? This is ridiculous... Especially how every ignorant user is now going to go "OH, GTX 250, it sounds a little bit slower, but it has more memory so it must be better!"

Talk about trying to flush out your overstock of chips onto the clueless users...
HourBeforeDawn 3rd March 2009, 19:46 Quote
Thats one thing I like about ATI is they tend not to pull this kind of bullshit ~_~
hyperion 3rd March 2009, 20:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
I don't agree with you at all, rustor.

The power consumption gains will be marginal and as many people already pointed out the average customer won't ask anyone but the staff at PCW/Currys/Comet or any other shop with clueless shop assistants. And I don't think it'll only be a few customers "upgrading" from a 8800/9800 to a 250 as it seems to be a good idea. "You at least jump to the next generation at least!" is what they'll think.
Fair enough if you don't agree on the rebranding and power consumption, I don't think anyone has hard facts so we're all just stating our opinion. But at least in terms of architecture, is there really a need for NV to release a new product? PC enthusiasts always complain about the lack of longevity in their hardware, or state that there's no such thing as "futureproof" in PCs. Yet, instead of being happy that a graphics card (of all things) has lasted this long with minor changes and still remains competitive in every aspect, everyone complains about not having a new product. That's kinda hypocritical, right? But that's how it is with "enthusiasts" isn't it? For some people hardware isn't an instrument to achieve a purpose, but the purpose it's self. Personally, I'm sick of drooling over chips and PCBs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
Talk about trying to flush out your overstock of chips onto the clueless users...
They've just switched fabrication process so these aren't overstock chips, these are brand new ones.

What happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?
HourBeforeDawn 3rd March 2009, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustor
They've just switched fabrication process so these aren't overstock chips, these are brand new ones.

What happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?

its the same fab, not the new fab so most likely most is overstock chips but they probably are producing some news ones, either way nothing is "new" about this and its nVidia pulling a sucker punch to its customers.
V3ctor 3rd March 2009, 20:38 Quote
Yap... There lots of chinese people with their fingers ruined from scratching the old sticker and puttin a new one...
FeRaL 3rd March 2009, 20:41 Quote
Ok, that's it! I'm changing my dog's name from Gidget to Smidget when it comes back from the groomers. Even though it is the same dog on the inside, on the outside it will smell better and not have any dreadlocks or dingleberries. Better yet, when I get back from getting my hair cut I will change my name and my driving record will vanish. If only that was how it worked in the real world...
dylAndroid 3rd March 2009, 20:55 Quote
I'm building a new system soon, and had actually been looking at the 9800GTX+, so there's a good chance I'll grab a 250 instead. Depends how the pricing works out.

In other words, for building a brand new system, naming convention changes aren't a big deal, and are usually more helpful than not. But for upgrading a part in an existing system, you'd better know your stuff.
hyperion 3rd March 2009, 21:25 Quote
If you're going by the logic of "newer generation means faster card" then yes, you will be dissapointed. However, if the card was still called 8800 GTS 512, using that exact same logic, a buyer would think "The 8800 GTS has been out 4 years. The 4850 costs the same but it's a brand new model, so it must be much faster!". Obviously this isn't true since the cards are on par, so again you would be mislead (but in the other direction) and nVidia would lose sales when that very same product is in fact better than ever. In other words this logic is flawed, at least when it comes to graphics cards.

Don't forget that the 8800 GTS cost ~£230 when it was released. The 9800GTX+ costs £120. The target group is different. If you bought a high end product innitially, why would you opt for a midrange product as an upgrade? Common sense would suggest that you should go for the new high end product (GTX260).

People keep accusing nVidia for their ethics and not releasing a new product when ATI hasn't been able to release a single GPU card to compete with NV's flagship single gpu card for years. Maybe if Ati wasn't still competing with a 4 year card NV would be forced to change it.

Looking back, the HD3870 was only a slight improvement (performace wise) over the HD2900XT, yet vastly improved in terms of power consumption and also much cheaper than the HD2900XT (using 256bit mem as opposed to the 512bit mem of the 2900 and smaller fabrication process and priced to compete with the GTS). Everyone loved that card. Nobody saw it as a rebadged 2900XT since it solved such major flaws of the old card, despite the fact that performance was on the same level.
FeRaL 3rd March 2009, 22:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustor
IPeople keep accusing nVidia for their ethics and not releasing a new product when ATI hasn't been able to release a single GPU card to compete with NV's flagship single gpu card for years. Maybe if Ati wasn't still competing with a 4 year card NV would be forced to change it.

Looking back, the HD3870 was only a slight improvement (performace wise) over the HD2900XT, yet vastly improved in terms of power consumption and also much cheaper than the HD2900XT (using 256bit mem as opposed to the 512bit mem of the 2900 and smaller fabrication process and priced to compete with the GTS). Everyone loved that card. Nobody saw it as a rebadged 2900XT since it solved such major flaws of the old card, despite the fact that performance was on the same level.

On the same note this logic is flawed as well, because ATI isn't trying to compete with Nvidia for the top dog of flagship single gpu cards. Go back and look at the pricing a year ago for that HD3870 as it compared to Nvidia's flag ship card.
hyperion 3rd March 2009, 23:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeRaL
On the same note this logic is flawed as well, because ATI isn't trying to compete with Nvidia for the top dog of flagship single gpu cards. Go back and look at the pricing a year ago for that HD3870 as it compared to Nvidia's flag ship card.

It was competing with the GTS 512 price and performance wise. I don't see what you mean. I wasn't suggesting any particular logic, I was simply justifying NV's actions because they really don't need to do anything in the midrange since Ati hasn't yet offered anything to flat out blow this 4 year old card out of the waters.
HourBeforeDawn 3rd March 2009, 23:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustor
It was competing with the GTS 512 price and performance wise. I don't see what you mean. I wasn't suggesting any particular logic, I was simply justifying NV's actions because they really don't need to do anything in the midrange since Ati hasn't yet offered anything to flat out blow this 4 year old card out of the waters.

WARNING: Nvidia Fan Boi Alert ~_~
Goty 4th March 2009, 00:14 Quote
Since when is G80 four years old?t
Jenny_Y8S 4th March 2009, 04:44 Quote
Come on guys, the 250 is a good number for the card, and is any manufacturer going to call it "The card formally known as 9800 GTX+ formally known as the 8800 GTS"?

Yes, some people are going to get confused, but an equal number will now be less confused than before.

It was a mess before, it's now a different mess
HourBeforeDawn 4th March 2009, 04:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Come on guys, the 250 is a good number for the card, and is any manufacturer going to call it "The card formally known as 9800 GTX+ formally known as the 8800 GTS"?

Yes, some people are going to get confused, but an equal number will now be less confused than before.

It was a mess before, it's now a different mess

the point I think most people are making is they shouldnt make the card at all or if they have to sell it as that name then make it the same price as the 9800GTX+ not screw over its "not as educated" customers by charging more for the same card.
Elton 4th March 2009, 05:54 Quote
The only problem i have of late with this is that they keep on changing the card itself, not the name(the low end segment here.)

Original 8800GS: 92 SP.
9600GSO : 92SP
9600GSO 768mb DDR2..>_>..: 92SP
9600GSO 512mb 128bit: 48SP.

What gives?
hyperion 4th March 2009, 10:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
WARNING: Nvidia Fan Boi Alert ~_~

Sorry to dissapoint but I'm not a "fanboy" of any company. I've used Ati, NV, Intel and AMD and always been happy with my purchases. The only criterion when choosing my hardware is price/performance.

The reason I don't object to NV's decision is because the card is perfectly matched against the competition in terms of price and performance, so let them call it whatever they want.

from guru3d:
Quote:
The GeForce GTS 250 will launch this March, with 512MB and 1GB models, at $129 and $149 respectively.

The price looks pretty good to me. They are targeting the same price/performance group that the 9600GT did a year-or-so ago. It's not like their trying to sell a midrange product at high end prices to a high end market. They're selling a midrange product at midrange prices to the midrange market.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goty
Since when is G80 four years old?t
Fair enough, ~3 years old give or take a few months. My mistake.
V3ctor 4th March 2009, 12:16 Quote
It started already... I had a friend that wants to trade a 8800GTS for the new GTS250... lol... I showed this, and he was... wtf?? :D
Almost another duck buying a rebranded nvidia card...
dec 4th March 2009, 20:57 Quote
Why doesnt nvidia jsut release a full line of cards like ATI does? I could understand a GTS250 being really a GT200 series GPU with some stream processors locked or something but cmon dont tell the world that you are using a older GPU in your "new" card. They could at least take the time to rename the G92 or something. Granted the G92 is still good and powerful and what not it just looks sad to me that there isnt a full GT200 series (GT200 GPU's) to compete with a HD 4000 series(RV700's).
Tulatin 6th March 2009, 06:16 Quote
Well, despite my dissent against the damn thing early in the thread, i've actually managed to get a hold of one for review. I'll give you guys a candid opinion on how it performs against a 4850 and 4870 / 4870 CF when it comes in.
dec 6th March 2009, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
Well, despite my dissent against the damn thing early in the thread, i've actually managed to get a hold of one for review. I'll give you guys a candid opinion on how it performs against a 4850 and 4870 / 4870 CF when it comes in.


add a 4830 to that list....
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