To check out the performance of the GTS 250 512MB, we used HD 4850 512MB, and the older 9800 GTX+ 512MB card. The new GTS 250 also comes with 1GB of GDDR3 memory which can help when playing in high resolutions.
Our first test, 3DMark 06, showed us a huge advantage for the GTS 250 over ATI's HD 4850 card, but in 3DMark Vantage test the real life difference comes to the screen.
Radeon HD 4850 512MB took the lead after we switched to Extreme settings.
Far Cry 2
Here we can see GTS 250 in a hard battle for leadership. EVGA's GTS 250 Superclocked card is better than HD 4850 when playing on lower resolutions, but after switching to 1920x1200, things changed and the Radeon HD 4850 took the lead again, just like in the previous 3DMark Vantage test.
Left 4 Dead
Now, after we changed to another popular game, Left 4 Dead, Radeon HD 4850 proved it wasn't so hard to beat, and even the reference GTS 250 is better in all resolutions.
World in Conflict
All the way up to the unplayable resolutions, the GTS 250 is better than Radeon HD 4850. But, when put under some hard pressure at 2560x1200, combined with AA, the Radeon shows its teeth and scores better.
On the termal side, we saw the GTS 250 is much better than the HD 4850 (which has single slot cooler).
Geforce GTS 250 card draws about 10W to 20W less than the 9800 GTX+.
We faced an interesting graphic card today, EVGA's GTS 250 Superclocked, based on the G92b chip, the 55nm successor of the 65nm G92 chip. It runs at 774MHz core, compared to the reference 738MHz, and it features 512MB of memory clocked at 2246MHz on a 256-bit bus.
It is less noisy than the Geforce 9800 GTX+ and scores a few frames more, but the price of the card is what stops us from recommending it right now. Nvidia is also launching other GTS 250 cards with 1024MB of memory, something a bit more attractive as far as we are concerned, and it might be a hot sell if it can ship at $149, the price that Nvidia promises for the US market.
AMD announced some price drops for 4800 single chip cards, and this is what could bring the HD 4870's breath on the GTS 250's neck. It will be interesting to see if the GTS 250 will end up cheaper than the Radeon HD 4850, that currently sells for about 120€ in the EU or $125+ in the US.
Overall EVGA's card is slightly faster then the reference one, and HD 4850 and GTS 250 are really neck to neck in terms of performance, and if the GTS 250's price ends up close, the choice will ultimately be yours, as both are very good cards with a great price tag.