So today we'll be looking at the GeForce GT 240. It's an entry level sub-100 USD product which brings some 'okay' game performance to the table, but it could easily function as a dedicated PhysX card or generic accelerator as well. Thinking here in terminology like Photoshop CS4 acceleration, transcoding videos, accelerating and post processing video's and really new is actually Flash 10.1 acceleration, which is rather handy in big high-resolution environments.
The card we received comes from MSI and is in fact their OC model. It's their own design with nice black PCB, custom performance cooler and really nice connectivity in the likings of DVI, SUB-D and even HDMI. Embedded is of course the 'new' 40nm based G215 GPU core which houses 96 shader/stream processors tied down to eight ROP units. Though the DirectX 11 era has started, NVIDA has not been able to put out any DX11 class products. The GeForce GT 240 however does get a minor improvement as there has been a shift from DX 10 towards DirectX 10.1 for this GPU.
Here are some generic specs for the GeForce GT 240 (reference)
Fabrication Process 40 nm
Graphics Clock (texture and ROP units) 550 MHz
Processor Clock (Shader units) 1360 MHz
Memory Clock (Clock rate / Data rate)
1700 MHz / 3400 MHz (GDDR5)
1000 MHz / 2000 MHz (DDR3)
Total Video Memory 512MB or 1GB
Memory Interface 128-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth
32.0 GB/s (DDR3)
54.4 GB/s (GDDR5)
Shader Cores 96
ROP Units 8
Texture Filtering Units 32
Texture Filtering Rate (billion/sec) 17.6 GT/s
Microsoft DirectX / Shader Model 10.1 / 4.1
Idle / Max Board Power (TDP) 9 watts / 70 watts
GPU Thermal Threshold 105° C
The more interesting fact is that the GPU has an improved memory controller as it can be tied to gDDR5 right now. As such you'll see gDDR3 and gDDR5 models released on the market. We do recommend you to go with the gDDR5 model as the card is tied to a 128-bit wide memory bus; gDDR5 will double up memory bandwidth over 128-bit gDDR3 memory and that's a very important aspect inn terms of overall performance.
MSI's card is tagged as OC model. It thus comes with gDDR5 memory (512MB) and included into the package is MSI's popular Afterburner overclock software. The software will allow you increase a little extra voltage on the GPU, and then you can overclock the core and shader processor and of course the gDDR5 Samsung based memory.
So we feel in order for this product series to remain competitive, the pricing needs to stay under 100 USD at launch, unfortunately due to the customizations on the MSI board the pricing went up towards 105 USD -- and at that price point it is competing directly with the DX11 ready Radeon HD 5750 and Radeon HD 4770. But let's check it out.
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