As you can see from the chart, there is little difference between the new GTS 250, a 9800 GTX+ and the GTS 150, with the latter card seemingly lacking only a small amount of memory performance and support for Hybrid Power compared to the other two. From there down, the new cards are intermingled with older generation graphics chips as far as performance goes, with only the G 100 offering a new replacement for the outdated 8400GS/8500GT GeForce Boost enabled cards.
Despite the latest version 0.3.4, unfortunately GPU-Z still fails to correctly identify the die size and core revision of the GTS 250, just as it did with the 9800 GTX+. The G92 core used in the GTS 250 should be the B1 revision, which uses the lower power consumption 55nm die size. All other specifications are identical to a 9800 GTX+ except for the specified power rating, which for some reason has been bumped to 150W. Given a maximum rated draw of 75W via the PCIe slot specification, and an additional 75W through the single 6-pin PCIe power connector, the 150W total power consumption maxes out this particular configuration.
The XFX retail box is attractively done in all black with components neatly packed in separate compartments.
The overall dimensions of the XFX GTS 250 are basically identical to a 9800 GTX+, that is 9" length, 4.4" height and 1.5" width. There are no memory chips or other heat-producing components on the back side of the card, and thus the PCB is exposed. The typical double-slot plastic cooler shroud with centrifugal type fan can be found on the front.
The 6-pin power socket has been moved from the top edge of the card, around to the end. This should help to eliminate clutter and ease cable management. At the other side of the card we find dual DVI connectors and a TV-out socket. The double-slot riser is vented to exhaust hot air outside of the case.
In addition to the previously mentioned game disk and free Vantage coupon, XFX includes a CD with the latest Forceware 185.85 driver, Install and Quick Install guides and a Do-Not-Disturb door hanger. The reverse side of the hanger includes a sticker with the card's model and serial number printed on it, which is very handy to have once you've installed the card and then go online to register it. Bundled accessories include a component TV-out dongle, DVI to VGA adapter and a Molex to PCIe power adapter. It's interesting that XFX chooses to include the power adapter, then advises NOT to use one in their installation instructions.
Let's get the GTS 250 installed and fired up.