The EVGA GeForce GT 430 could be your cheapest path into DirectX 11 gaming!
Aug 16, 2011 (Updated Aug 16, 2011)
Review by Reuben Gathright
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:No special GPU power plug needed! Offers DirectX 11 support, connect via DVI-I, HDMI, VGA
Cons:Not the fastest PCI-e 2.0 video card out there! Watch out for the 1400Mhz model!
The Bottom Line: The EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 video card with 1024Mb DDR3 is an effective way to upgrade many Dell or HP computer systems with 3D DirectX 11 performance!
On June 21, 2011, PrimeGrid held a Cullen/Woodall (Sieve) competition to see who could return the most workunits using a Cuda32 compatible video card. As part of an effort to upgrade my computers ahead of this event, I purchased an EVGA GeForce GT 430 1Gb DDR3 01G-P3-1430-LR video card and added it to an ASUS KGPE-D16 Dual G34 Socket motherboard. The video card did a wonderful job and added many extra cobblestones (BOINC credits) to my overall score.
Recommend this product?
Now that the competition is over, I have since moved the little video card to another computer and am very pleased with its ability to render smooth YouTube video on my Samsung PN63B550 62.9" HDTV Plasma TV. In this review, we will examine the merits of using a slower NVIDIA graphics card and see why it may be a better option for casual Blu-Ray video playback in the slick SilverStone Technology SST-GD02B-MT Grandia GD02 home theatre chassis.
The Ultra Slim Design Of The NVIDIA GeForce GT 430
The main board of this card measures approximately 5.75" long X 3.75" (counting the top VGA adapter which removed is then 2.5") X .375" deep. The depth or width of the card is the smallest I have tested so far in a NVIDIA GT 430 model and due completely to the slimline heatsink on the PCI-e video card.
Even though this card is incredibly small, EVGA still managed to fit in three video output ports. The VGA port rests on top and has a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 in analog. Underneath the VGA port is the HDMI port which supports 2560x1600 resolution and also offers audio output. Last is the DVI-I port that runs a 2560x1600 resolution. To get your Blu-Ray or 3D gaming experience going, this video card also offers 240Hz refresh rate which is more than most large screen televisions can support!
HD Audio Output Through HDMI
Now with HDMI technology, you can plug a single cable into this video card and transmit 1080P video and high definition audio to your television. The technology is called TrueHD and DTS-HD Audio Bitstreaming. No settings or complicated installation packages required other than downloading the latest NVIDIA GeForce 400 series driver from their website. Yes, I strongly recommend installing the software found on NVIDIA's website over any software CD that came with this EVGA video card. Taking this extra step will ensure that you get the latest patches for audio and video output over HDMI which EVGA may have missed before shipment of this product.
How effective is the heatsink and fan at cooling?
The black anodized, finned aluminum heatsink on the EVGA GT430 1Gb DDR3 video card stretches for a majority of its 5.75" length and even has an integrated fan to draw air across its smooth surface. Since I use this video card primarily for PrimeGrid CUDA applications, it operates at 100% most of the time. My testing has show that it has a minimum NVIDIA core temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum of 134 degrees Fahrenheit. I obtained these results using CPUID Hardware Monitor for a 96 hour period in a temperature controlled sever room set to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. As a comparison, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti sitting in the slot next to this video card reported a high temperature of 158 degrees Fahrenheit during the same period.
Again, these test results show that this video card is perfectly suited for high temperature, restricted airflow conditions.
I purchased this graphics card solely for its CUDA processing capabilities in distributed computing projects like PrimeGrid. The card worked great as I moved between machines and was detected rapidly by the operating system each time. First in the ASUS M4A785-M AMD AM3 Motherboard under Windows XP Professional where it helped the AMD x4 965 processor. Finally in the ASUS KGPE-D16 Dual G34 Socket motherboard under Windows Server 2003 x64 where it was sandwiched between two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti video cards.
Installation Of A PCI-e 2.0 Video Card
If your motherboard supports PCI-e 2.0 video cards, installation of the EVGA GT 430 could not be easier. Just open your computer case and remove the back case slot cover for the slot. Plug in this video card and screw into place. This particular video card is unique because it does not require a special power adapter like more powerful models. Instead, you simply need to boot your computer and install the appropriate drivers found on NVIDIA's website.
Peformance Test Version 7.0 3D Graphics Mark Benchmark Result
In Windows XP, I was not able to run the common benchmark called, 3D Mark 11, so I ran the older benchmark called Performance Test version 7.0. If you want to run games that utilize DirectX 11 then you should consider installing Microsoft Windows 7 64bit on your computer to take full advantage of the faster video rendering technology. Performance Mark 3D Graphics Mark is a robust video benchmark as well and renders some high resolution scenes to arrive at its final score. The program offers other benchmarks but I am only including the graphics result here.
EVGA GeForce GT 430, 1400 Mhz memory clock speed: 634.7
As a comparison, here are some results taken from the Passmark webpage:
NVIDIA GeForce GT 240; 770
AMD A8-3850 Quad Core 2.9Ghz APU Radeon HD 6550D processor; 857
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580; 3872
Memory Clock Speeds, Be Careful When Purchasing Your EVGA GT 430!
The biggest hurdle you may ultimately have with this video card is buying the right one! There are two different versions of this EVGA GT 430 video card on the market right now:
http://www.evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=01G-P3-1432-LR; 1600 Mhz memory clock speed for 25.6Gb/Sec bandwidth
http://www.evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=01G-P3-1430-LR; 1400 Mhz memory clock speed for 22.4Gb/Sec bandwidth
While playing Crysis 2 or Warhammer, you video card is going to starve for memory bandwidth. In some cases, the extra 200Mhz of memory speed can make as much as a 5% improvement in your frame rate while playing online. If you have decided on a GT 430, then buy the right one and look for the 1432 model number in the online product listing. I made the mistake of choosing the slower 1430 and wish someone had warned me first!
EVGA GT430 PCI-E Video Card Specifications
Product Name: EVGA GeForce GT 430
Part Number: 01G-P3-1430-LR
Core Clock Speed: 700Mhz
Processing Cores: 96
Memory Clock Speed: 1400Mhz
Memory Bandwidth: 22.4Gb/sec
Shader Clock Speed: 1400Mhz
Bus: PCI-E 2.0
Interface: DVI-I, HDMI, VGA
Product Warranty: 2 years
I rated the EVGA GT 430 a total of three stars because there are a wide variety of faster video cards that cost less than $100 on the market today. Still if you are looking to build are home theatre system then the EVGA GT 430 1Gb DDR3 video card is the perfect choice for an ultra-compact computer system that needs to render flawless Blu-ray video and HD audio streams over HDMI cabling.
Amount Paid (US$): 75
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