Zotac GTS250 'AMP' 1GB PCIe Graphics card

Introduction

Introduction
 
The G92 GPU core has been used in a number of GPU's in varying guises thanks to NVidia's strategic renaming policy. Way back in 2007, the phenomenal and very popular 8800GT was the first of a long line of graphics card to make use of this very versatile core, albeit in a crippled fashion as Nvidia wanted to keep the full fat version of the G92 for the 8800GTS which came to fruition in December 2007. This card was not to be confused (although it was) with the older G80 based 320MB and 640MB 8800GTS variants.
 
Leap forward a 6 months and we see NVidia's dastardly plan come to the forefront with the G92 based 8800GTS renamed to the 9800GTX and then after a fabrication revision to 55nm, we had the 9800GTX+ resulting in what was in effect an overclocked 9800GTX. Confused yet? Well stay with me because we are almost there as the Zotac GTS250 1GB AMP is the natural transition of the 9800GTX+ consolidating all the advantages the 55nm process brings such as a reduction in heat, power consumption and an increase in overclocks.
 
Zotac have been around for a few years now and are more commonly associated with their fine range of cherry picked overclocked GPU's such as the one we have today, the GTS250 AMP 1GB graphics card. As the history lesson above as taught us, the G92 core has seen many revisions up to this point and we have not been disappointed with any of the revisions so, assuming this is now the pinnacle of the G92 core one would hope that, along with a magic sprinkling of Zotacs overclocking prowess, this graphics card will stomp over it's nearest competitors and arch rivals, the ATI 1GB HD4850 and 4870 GPU's.
 
As the GTS250 AMP is retailing around the £145 mark it nestles quite nicely between the two GPU's and should provide some stiff competition. However, we are edging ever closer to a major ATI revision with the impending arrival of the 5 series of GPU's now being 'guesstimated' around the world wide web so it will remain to be seen just how this latest revision of the GTS250 compares not only to the current crop of GPU's but to the storm of ATI cards brewing on the horizon. For now though we will throw the GTS250 AMP into the maelstrom of current GPU's from the low end to the current kings of power to see how well it performs.
 
Here's what Zotac had to say about their version of the GTS250 :
 
Supercharge your gaming experience with the ZOTAC GeForce GTS 250 AMP! Edition, tuned and tweaked with higher engine, memory and shader clock speeds for unprecedented gaming performance. Powered by high-speed GDDR3 video memory, the ZOTAC GeForce GTS 250 AMP! Edition delivers unmatched performance and value.

NVIDIA PhysX technology takes the ZOTAC GeForce GTS 250 AMP! Edition beyond 3D gaming with graphics plus capabilities. PhysX technology enables the ZOTAC GeForce GTS 250 AMP! Edition to calculate realistic physics in real-time for realistic environmental interaction and effects for an immersive gaming experience that blurs the line between reality and the virtual world.
 
 
Specification
 
The following specification was taken from the Zotac product page.
 
Model: ZT-20102-10P
Interface
: Interface PCI Express 2.0 x16 (Compatible with 1.1)
Chipset Manufacturer:
NVIDIA®
GPU
: GeForce® GTS 250
Core clock:
750MHz
Stream Processors:
128
Shader Clock:
1890 MHz
Memory Clock:
2300MHz
Memory Size:
1GBB
Memory Interface:
256-bit
Memory Type:
GDDR3
DirectX:
DirectX 10
OpenGL:
OpenGL 2.1
Ports:
DVI 2, HDMI with adapter, TV-Out HDTV / S-Video / Composite out with adapter, VGA with adapter
RAMDAC:
400 MHz
Max Resolution
: 2560 x 1600
RoHS Compliant
: Yes
SLI Supported
: Yes(3-way)
Dual-Link DVI Supported:
Yes
Weight:
2 lbs
Dimensions:
13.26“ X 10.23“ X 2.67“
Warranty
: 2 Years (extended to 5 with upon product registration).
 
 As you can see from the specification above, this is the overclocked 'AMP' edition of the GTS250. With the core clockspeed increased by 12MHz from stock and the memory also adjusted from 1836MHz to 1890MHz it remains to be seen if this is the maximum the card will allow. This is something I will be investigating later in the review as the increase in speeds is pretty low by Zotac standards so hopefully they have erred on the side of caution and have left some of the reserves to the overclockers out there.
 
Before we arrive at the overclocking section though, let's see how Zotac have presented the product...
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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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