Review Index:

Mid-range GPU comparison: Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB and 9600GT 512MB Graphics Cards

Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Introduction and Features

Gigabyte adds two more graphics offerings to saturated mid-range video card market

(Gigiabyte GTS 250: Courtesy of Gigabyte)

(Gigabyte 9600GT: Courtesy of Gigabyte)

The massive influx of mid-range GPUs has made for a feeding frenzy by consumers looking for budget graphics solutions. Mid-range offerings from NVIDIA and ATI have completely saturated the market with sub-$100 graphics cards that can almost play Crysis Warhead at decent resolutions. Some video cards priced just over the $100 mark can easily play Crysis and other GPU-intensive games like Far Cry 2 and World in Conflict at higher resolutions too.

The GTS 250 is the successor to the highly-capable 9800 GTX+ and Gigabyte's version of the GTS 250 sports 1GB of GDDR3 memory as well as a custom low-profile GPU cooler made by Zalman. Gigabyte claims this GPU heatsink will help users see overclocking gains between 10 and 30 percent. They also said GPU temps will decrease by more than 5 percent. This card also features 128 stream processors and supports general purpose GPU acceleration via CUDA for those consumers looking not only a gaming card, but one that can handle ordinary transcoding tasks too. NVIDIA also threw in support for PhysX effects for massively destructible environments and realistic physical interaction.

The 9600GT also sports quite a few impressive features this price point that include support for DirectX 10, Shader Model 4.0, OpenGL 2.0 and NVIDIA's PureVideoHD technologies. The card's core clock runs at 650MHz, relieving your CPU of pixel crunching duty. Data surges through the 9600 GT's 64 stream processors which are fed by 512MB of 256-bit 1800MHz GDDR3 memory. The signal can also be output to other video displays via the s-video and HDTV connectors.

We will pin Gigabyte's GTS 250 and 9600GT against ATI's first 40nm GPU dubbed the Radeon 4770. Let's see what performance offerings these graphics cards will give us in our gaming and GPGPU benchmarks.

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