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Old 04-29-10, 08:40 PM   #1
CaptNKILL
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Default Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

I might as well start a new thread for this since I plan on doing a bit of testing and benchmarking.

I purchased a SPARKLE SXS2501024D3L-NM GeForce GTS 250 1GB a few days ago for only $89.09 shipped (after coupon code) and it just arrived in only two days.

The box was very small, so I knew the card would be as well... but look at the difference between this 1Gb GTS 250 and my 896Mb GTX 260:



I was using a Galaxy 9600GT as a Physx card for a short while but its large dual-slot heatsink really didn't fit too well in my case. As you can see, its pretty cramped. The lower PCI-E slot isn't even visible in this picture. Its between my X-Fi card and the last PCI slot:



But... this card fits perfectly, without even touching any wires.



First impressions after installing:

The small size makes it a perfect fit for cramped cases, and the low profile width of the card makes it block less air flow for other components. While idling in Windows I notice no difference in the volume of my fans with this card installed. Evga Precision reports the idle temp to be at 44C with the case closed up and sitting here for about an hour.

I'm going to install the latest 197.45 drivers and a few games and benchmarks to test this thing out now.
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Old 04-29-10, 09:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

Literally, we get tens of posts every month asking for ideal physx cards. hopefully this should clear up some things. nice thread killa
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Old 04-29-10, 09:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

I would be VERY interested to see how Cryostasis runs BTW The physx effects in that game are great.
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Old 05-01-10, 10:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

I started doing some testing yesterday and while I haven't recorded any numbers yet, my initial findings were pretty surprising.

I used Fluidmark with my GTS 250 doing the Physx processing. I had evga precision running with fluidmark running in a window. I basically just wanted to see which clock speeds had the most effect on the physx processing capabilities of the card. So, I was getting roughly 125fps constant (640x480 window... to eliminate any graphics bottleneck) with the stock clocks on my 250. So, I dropped the core from 600 to 450, and immediately the fluidmark frame rate dropped by around 15fps. Not a huge drop, considering the 25% drop in clock speed, but still, before seeing this I would have assumed that ONLY the shader clock would have a significant effect on Physx speed... but that clearly isn't the case. Next I tried dropping the memory clock, and that also had a similar effect.

Messing with the shader clock seemed to have roughly the same effect, but its going to take more testing to see exactly how much of an effect this has in relation to other clocks.

Basically, I want to find the best compromise between physx speed and heat output by overclocking and under clocking different parts of this card. I was hoping it'd be as cut and dry as raising the shader clock and lowering the core and memory clocks, but it seems to be far more complicated than that.

I do have a GTX 470 on the way, so I'll probably do a little testing now, but most of my testing will probably be with the new card since it will really give my Physx card room to stretch its legs in newer games.
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Old 05-02-10, 12:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

What do you plan on doing with the GTX 260 when you get the 470?

That's an impressive little card.... it's kind of dissapointing that i'm swallowing up 2 pci-e power plugs, 2 expansion slots and using a card the size of my 285 when basically the 9800 GTX is a less effecient version of what you just bought.

Good find!
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Old 05-02-10, 12:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

I'll probably sell it on ebay. I'd sell it here, but I don't think I'd get as much for it. I'm not even sure what I'd ask for it here.

Its been a fantastic card though, that's for sure.
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Sparkle Geforce GTS 250 1Gb Low-Profile (Physx) - Crucial RealSSD C300 64Gb SSD - Seagate 7200.12 500Gb SATA - Seagate 7200.10 320Gb SATA
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Old 05-06-10, 11:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

Well, I'm doing a bunch of benchmarks but I'm having trouble getting any worth-while results for Physx benchmarking.

There don't seem to be any tests that really utilize Physx exclusively, so the results are generally worthless.

Even Fluidmark, a Physx benchmark, isn't that great because for one, it slowly ramps up the physx load, which makes the first 30 seconds of the benchmark totally throw off the rest of the results by starting off with a CPU\GPU bottleneck... plus, its just not complex enough. With my GTS 250 at stock clocks the minimum FPS in Fluidmark tends to be in the 130fps range.

Does anyone know of a benchmark that I can run that has very little GPU load but does a massive amount of Physx processing?
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Sparkle Geforce GTS 250 1Gb Low-Profile (Physx) - Crucial RealSSD C300 64Gb SSD - Seagate 7200.12 500Gb SATA - Seagate 7200.10 320Gb SATA
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Old 05-07-10, 01:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

No, I don't know of any benchmarks for physx. It seems to kind of be one of those things that has a fine line between what determines "gets the job done" and a failure of a card for physx. It turns out to be heavily limited by memory if anything, where 256mb cards just won't cut it, but once you step into the 512mb range most cards seem to be great.
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Old 05-07-10, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

I thought it was number of stream processors that determined PhysX capability. 96-128 is the sweet spot, IIRC.
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Old 05-07-10, 08:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

It's definitely not all about stream processors G80 cards don't do all that well and they have 96-128 SPs. It's probably a combination of things.
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Old 05-12-10, 03:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sparkle Low-Profile Geforce GTS 250 1Gb for Dedicated Physx

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post
Well, I'm doing a bunch of benchmarks but I'm having trouble getting any worth-while results for Physx benchmarking.

There don't seem to be any tests that really utilize Physx exclusively, so the results are generally worthless.

Even Fluidmark, a Physx benchmark, isn't that great because for one, it slowly ramps up the physx load, which makes the first 30 seconds of the benchmark totally throw off the rest of the results by starting off with a CPU\GPU bottleneck... plus, its just not complex enough. With my GTS 250 at stock clocks the minimum FPS in Fluidmark tends to be in the 130fps range.

Does anyone know of a benchmark that I can run that has very little GPU load but does a massive amount of Physx processing?
Will Fluidmark even benefit from a Physx card?
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