As you might have noticed, it's pretty hard to find a Neon 250 right now. The actual cards are very rare and North American retail distribution hasn't ramped up to the necessary levels just yet. For North America you can order Neon 250 online. Neon 250 prices are as follows, $169 USD and £106 for our European neighbors. This compares to a MSRP of $139 for the 16 MB Xentor and $199 for the 32 MB Xentor 32 (before mail-in rebates). Since the Neon 250 sports 32 MB of SDRAM, this is pretty much where I thought it would be positioned.
So what else does Imagination Technologies offer to make the price a bit more palatable? How about an exchange program for their loyal customers to trade in their Apocalypse 3D, 3DX, 5D and 5D Sonic cards on the new Neon 250. It breaks down like this, you send in proof of purchase of your old PowerVR card and the price goes down to $129 USD for North American customers and £79.95 for those from Europe. With the delivery and potential VAT charges factored in, the actual savings will vary. As with most of their hardware products, Imagination Technologies offers an excellent 5 year warranty on the Neon 250.
If the PowerVR 250 had not experienced any delays, we would all be praising it as the Second Coming of 3D gaming. Imagine this card competing against the TNT, Banshee and Savage3D and you get a pretty good idea of why Videologic was so excited about its potential. In the present however, the Neon 250 has to compete against the likes of the TNT2 and Voodoo3, and while it certainly holds its own, it is definitely not a major step up the performance ladder. What the Neon 250 does prove is that PowerVR technology might still be a force in the 3D market, and it lets NEC PCX2 fans upgrade their PowerVR technology back up to the current level of 3D performance. Whether that's enough for the gamers out there is an open question, but in the very least it should get you very interested in their upcoming PowerVR Series 3 chip.
Dual 32 Board: 32 MB and 32-bit Rendering
Improved Image Quality
Sparse Card Features
Delays, Delays, Delays
New 3D Cards Around the Corner