You know -- if the pricing comes down a little the GT 240 really is nice card. NVIDIA however is now facing a problem ... the technology might be changed on their end, but on the end-user side it's the same performance and the same feature set we have been seeing for years now -- and that makes this release a little dull for you, the consumer.
I know everybody (myself included) really wants to see new DX11 class NVIDIA products. Well, expect Q1 2010 for NVIDIA's first real DX11 product releases. Until then we'll have to wait and sit out what is offered. If applicable to you, cards like these do offer true value for money -- but we can't ignore the fact that NVIDIA is a step behind ATI. As for the same money you can pick up the DX10 Radeon HD 4770 offering better, much better game performance -- throw in another 20 bucks and you are already at Radeon HD 5750 with much better overall performance and features.
That said, make no mistake -- these facts don't make this a bad product though. Contrary, it really is a nice product especially when you take some other factors into consideration. You can not rule out the fact that NVIDIA is really paving the way with CUDA. Their GPUs slowly are transforming into more generic application based accelerators and though you as a gamer might not like to hear that, it is a concept we'll all have to get used to. GPUs now and in the future will not be just about gaming anymore. ATI has something similar called Stream, but on this segment NVIDIA clearly has the overall lead.
So if you have been living under a rock and never bought a graphics cards in say the last two years, then yes this might be an interesting product for you -- if you are on a very low budget. The GT 240 is definitely a decent enough product especially when you opt the gDDR5 version that is. Overall performance is as expected roughly at GeForce 9600 GT level.
MSI recently released their Afterburner overclock software which comes with voltage tweaking for this card as well. The combo really is golden as you can push the card extremely hard. MSI's overall implementation of the board is nice as well. Dark design, the cooler works really good and is not at all noisy and a quick peek at the components reveal that there's nothing other than quality materials used ensuring utmost stability and a long lifespan.
So where do we see the GT 240 .. ? Well budget systems that require some sort of GPU acceleration or hey .. people with low-profile monitors that like to play their games up-to say 1280x1024. Where the card would really shine is in a HTPC; owners would really like this product. Native HDMI and then the the 96 shader processors really help out with software like Media Placer Classic HT edition, where you can use the shader processors to enhance and post-process image quality -- very important.
So while we really wish NVIDIA would have released DX11 class product by now we can say can assume that the GT 240 is the last desktop graphics card released by NVIDIA this year. And sure I'll agree with you on this, a card like this does not bring anything exciting to the table technology wise, however NVIDIA's strong approach to using the GPU for other things than gaming, does lift a product like this upwards. It's good for very low-end gaming, HTPC's and overall desktop business usage where you can accelerate software like Flash 10, Photoshop and Transcoding like Mediashow Espresso offers. Pricng wise we feel it's a little too expensive, if prices come down a little further to say 75~80 USD, then the product starts to make really good sense.
Bottom line: the GT 240 cards overall will be priced reasonably. MSI offers the card as tested today for a bit more steep 100~105 USD, however you do get the gDDR5 version and some excellent build/component quality. The MSI GeForce GT 240 512MB DDR5 OC edition -- if applicable to you definitely comes recommended. But if you are hunting down game performance, then there are better alternatives out there at that sub 100 USD market.
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