Low power consumption, DX10.1, native 8-Channel LPCM audio over HDMI, decent gaming performance
No DX11 support, Price can be better
Expert Rating :
A few weeks back Nvidia launched their first ever 40nm GPUs and for a change they'll be releasing the low end cards first followed by the high-end ones. The two cards launched were the GT220 and the G210, both of which are based on the 40nm version of the GT200 core. Before we go into the features let's just take a look at the specifications of these cards.
Both are entry-level cards that are strictly targeted towards HTPC owners. However, the GT220 is slightly more potent and will probably allow some level of gaming as well. Both these cards share some new features, which again is a first for Nvidia.
DX10.1/Shader Model 4.0
Integrated audio controller for eight channel LPCM audio over HDMI
The DX10.1 addition is a little bit later however its better there than not. The main change is the inclusion of LPCM (Linear pulse code modulation) audio over HDMI, which otherwise wasn't possible. This means no more having to connect a SPDIF cable from your motherboard to the graphics card in order to get audio over HDMI. Also, this allows you to select the LPCM audio stream in BluRay's that give you a higher sampling frequency thereby producing the best sound possible from the BluRay. Incidentally, ATI already had support for this when they launched their 4xxx series cards a year back. Better late than never I guess.
The GT220 that we'll be reviewing today is from Zotac and comes with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. The price of this card puts it directly in competition with the ATI HD4670, which is also based on the 128-bit memory bus. Let's see what Nvidia brings to the table in terms of performance and power consumption.