ASUS GeForce GT 430 1GB Review

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: October 10, 2010
Product Name: ASUS GeForce GT 430 1GB
Part Number: ENGT430/DI/1GD3 (LP)
Warranty: 3 yr.
Purchase at NCIX: | UK
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The entry level graphics card market isn’t one which garners all that much attention but sales at the sub-$99 price points can weigh heavily upon a company’s balance sheet. This category of GPUs may not be all that relevant for the vast majority of DIYers, gamers or overclockers but it holds extreme interest for HTPC users, people on a tight budget and large system builders like Dell, Lenovo and HP. At its most basic an entry level dedicated graphics card is supposed to offer a broad feature set and low power consumption while significantly outperforming integrated solutions.

For the last year or so, the lower price points have been dominated by strong ATI offerings in the form of the HD 5570 and HD 5550 along with their GDDR5 “refreshes” that were introduced a few months ago. NVIDIA has tried to hang tenaciously on by offering the $79 GT 220 but in the face of DX11-totting competition, buying an outdated card wasn’t all that appealing for many consumers. However, the GT 220 is now being replaced at the $75 to $80 price point with the GT 430; a card that uses the new GF 108 core.

The goals for the GF 108 aren’t all that lofty but it does plug a gaping hole in NVIDIA’s current lineup. Both the notebook and desktop markets will likely benefit from the additional features and performance the GT 430 and its mobile sibling the GT 435 bring to the table. Meanwhile, consumers will now have some additional options when looking for a budget friendly, low end graphics card.

The GT 430 also brings some functionality to the table that the outgoing GT 220 was lacking. Bitstreaming of lossless TrueHD and DTS Master Audio tracks (an integral part of the Blu-ray experience), DX11 compatibility have been added which brings its capabilities up to the same level as the competition. NVIDIA bills this as a perfect digital media graphics card and it is hard not to believe them.

This is a market segment which may soon be dominated by upcoming AMD and Intel CPU / GPU combo processors. That being said, NVIDIA is putting their best foot forward to try and wrangle in as much market share as possible before the inevitable entry of Sandy Bridge and Llano processors.


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