Nvidia's low end card variants

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Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:29 pm

I thought I would try and make a discussion on a subject which bothers me...

Please tell me if I'm doing something wrong, or if someone has already posted something on this.. :)

Okay, so I have an interest in GPUs of course, and I decided to buy a few low-end cards and test them against each other with a price budget of £50 maximum for each card. There is a lot of confusion I think in the low end, especially with GeForce cards, where there exist many variants of the same card powered by different GPUs.

And example of this is the recently released GT 730. There exist three variants of this card according to the Nvidia website known simply as:

GT 730 DDR3 128-bit
GT 730 DDR3 64-bit
GT 730 GDDR5

As far as I can tell from listed specs, the 64-bit DDR3 and GDDR5 variants use the GK208 core, whilst the DDR3 128-bit uses the older GF108 core. I went and purchased a GT 730 DDR3 128-bit to see for myself. The price range here for this card is £35-50.

Image

As you see there is no clear indication aside from technical specs on the side of the box (and the use of DDR3 which narrows it to one of two) as to which variant this is.

I took the cooler off to confirm the GPU:
Image

GF108-300-A1, the exact same core used in the GT 430, is used in this card. Even the clocks are the same as the GT 430 so it is a rebrand. What I find interesting is the date code says that the chip was made on the 11th week of this year, so Nvidia are clearly still making this chip after 4 years since its first release. (you may also note the "NV430" marking on the PCB)

With the GK208 being smaller 86mm^2 vs 116mm^2, and more power efficient as well as quicker (which I test later), why is this necessary?

To underscore my point, I purchased a GT 630 (which I note is the Rev. 2.0 variant using the GK208 core and DDR3 memory). The card was only £35.

Image
I apologise for the poor image quality, this was taken from my tablet.

As you can see there is no clear indication of which variant this card is.

I then tested both cards with three benchmarks to determine their performance. Product numbering alone would make one think that the GT 730 was faster than the GT 630 but that is not what my testing revealed.

The settings for each benchmark are:
Image
Image
Image


GT 730 DDR3 128-bit
GPU: GF108-300-A1
Core clock: 700 MHz (1400 MHz shaders)
Memory Clock: 700 MHz (1400 MHz effective) DDR3
Memory Bandwidth: 22.4 GB/s
---------------------------------------------------
OC Core clock: 850 MHz ( 1700 MHz shaders)
OC Memory Clock: 900 MHz (1800 MHz effective)
OC Memory Bandwidth: 28.8 GB/s

Unigine Sanctuary 2.3
Stock:
Average: 35.1
Minimum: 25
Maximum: 43.6
Score: 1489

OC:
Average: 43.3
Minimum: 30.6
Maximum: 53.6
Score: 1837

Unigine Valley 1.0
Stock:
Average: 25
Minimum: 14.5
Maximum: 44.9
Score: 1049

OC:
Average: 30.9
Minimum: 16.8
Maximum: 55
Score: 1295

Unigine Heaven 4.0
Stock:
Average: 19.9
Minimum: 6.2
Maximum: 48.7
Score: 500

OC:
Average: 24.6
Minimum: 13.4
Maximum: 61.6
Score: 620

GT 630 Rev. 2.0
GPU: GK208-???-?? (I believe it is GK208-301-A1 but I haven't taken the cooler off yet)
Core clock: 902MHz
Memory Clock: 900 MHz (1800 MHz effective) DDR3
Memory Bandwidth: 14.4 GB/s
---------------------------------------------------
OC Core clock: 1050 MHz
OC Memory Clock: 1100 MHz (2200 MHz effective)
OC Memory Bandwidth: 17.6 GB/s

Unigine Sanctuary 2.3
Stock:
Average: 43.6
Minimum: 33.1
Maximum: 53.1
Score: 1848

OC:
Average: 52.3
Minimum: 39.5
Maximum: 63.3
Score: 2218

Unigine Valley 1.0
Stock:
Average: 32.1
Minimum: 15.5
Maximum: 59.3
Score: 1342

OC:
Average: 38.7
Minimum: 18.3
Maximum: 76.3
Score: 1620

Unigine Heaven 4.0
Stock:
Average: 29.5
Minimum: 13.9
Maximum: 65.4
Score: 743

OC:
Average: 35.7
Minimum: 15
Maximum: 79.8
Score: 899

It is apparent, that even with almost half the memory bandwidth, the GT 630 is faster than the GT 730. I also note that the GT 730 overclocked cannot even match the GT 630's stock score. I know that my GT 730 is not the "highest end" variant, but I wanted to make a point. To the average consumer who knows little about the internal workings or specs (with all of these variants being available for sale) they would assume the GT 730 to be the faster card. It is not. In addition, the GT 630 was nearly £15 cheaper than my GT 730, so consumers buying by "higher price means more performance" will also lose out here.

So this is my first attempt to be constructive on The Tech Report forums, I hope you like it :)

What do you think of this matter?

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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:37 pm

My rule is to avoid anything NVidia below a GeForce GTX750Ti.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:03 pm

I think that is a good idea, but for people who buy these cards off the shelves from PC world for example, they could be thinking of an upgrade but actually getting a down-grade. I know there isn't a lot of interest in anything below GTX x50 but I don't like what Nvidia is doing. AMD seems to have far better product segregation...

I actually find myself very interested in these tiny low-cost graphics cards, with a little overclock my £35 GT 630 was able to provide playable framerates on Fallout 3 at 1920x1080 with medium-high settings and of course no AA. So that is quite good performance for the price in my opinion :D
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:27 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:My rule is to avoid anything NVidia below a GeForce GTX750Ti.


truth

and it being a GT, will suck bad, had a GT once, wasn't fun

OP, throw in some more $ and get a GTX750Ti
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:33 pm

I actually own a GTX 750 Ti in a LAN rig :P It is a very nice card and I'm very impressed with its performance considering the power budget it is on. I definitely agree that GTs are not for gaming but I like to consider it a challenge to see how little I can spend for what I consider a "playable experience" on games I frequently play :P

I own quite a few GPUs, GTX 280, 285, 480, two 580s, three 670s, a 270X (which a friend is borrowing long-term), 750 Ti and the aforementioned GTs, which I acquired mostly second hand (except for two of the 670s, 270X, 750 Ti and the GTs, which were new) for testing :)

But my point is surely this is not legal? The GT 730 is clearly a GT 430 with another Bios and name, and is clearly slower than at least one variant of the product it is supposed to "replace" ? :s
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:09 pm

Mobile offerings are also equally a trap: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeF ... 477.0.html

The GT 820M is a Fermi chip, which is almost identical to the GT 710M and semi-boosted GT 720M. Both the GT 700s are rebrands of GT 540M, which itself is a slightly higher clocked version of the GT 435M.

So... The 820M is only a bit faster than the 435M... It's like Intel rebranding a Pentium D as a low-end Sandybridge CPU.

How much Fermi chips does Nividia still have in their inventory?

(Checking to see if AMD did any extensive rebrands other than the mobile HD 7000s being quite similar to the new R5s and R7 non-APU mobile GPUs.)
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:04 pm

Hi Wren, thanks for dropping the cash on these two cards in order to compare them. Nvidia's nomenclature has always been confusing, and it plain sucks that we are all taken for a ride when it comes to re-branded chips. I know they are trying to recoup the huge costs associated with GPU design and each spin of silicon. So I might be ok with it if the re-branded chips were, at a minimum, badged lower down the hierarchy than their more powerful contemporaries.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:38 pm

Dirge wrote:So I might be ok with it if the re-branded chips were, at a minimum, badged lower down the hierarchy than their more powerful contemporaries.


Yes I agree, I didn't have a problem with the GTX 680 being re-branded into the GTX 770 too much. Though I personally think that the GTX 780 Ti should be the GTX 780, the GTX 780 should be the GTX 770 and the GTX 770 should be the GTX 760 but that is another story :P

I do just hope that Nvidia choose not to include GF108 in the 800 desktop series as a GT 830 product variation. I think fully enabled GF108 with DDR3 memory could be used in the GT 810. GT 820 as GK208 core with GDDR5, and GT 830 as GM108 core. GT 840 could be GM107 with SMM disabled, and GTX 850 could be full GM107. At least I think that would be a good product lineup. :-?
Last edited by Wren on Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:43 pm

UnfriendlyFire wrote:How much Fermi chips does Nividia still have in their inventory?


I don't know but it is interesting to note that the Fermi GF108 in my GT 730 was actually produced this year according to the date code on the die. So Nvidia are still manufacturing Fermi GPUs even with Maxwell GPUs on the market. (assuming I am reading the code correctly).

Sorry for the double post :/

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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:27 pm

Wren wrote:So Nvidia are still manufacturing Fermi GPUs even with Maxwell GPUs on the market. (assuming I am reading the code correctly).

TSMC must be giving them a good deal on these.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:08 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Wren wrote: NVidia are still manufacturing Fermi GPUs even with Maxwell GPUs on the market.
TSMC must be giving them a good deal on these.
As long as NVidia's evil marketing geniuses keep making up new model numbers to slap on the outside of the box, there's still profit to be made for everyone in the supply chain even without updating the hardware. People that buy low-end sub-$150 graphics cards don't do as much market research as people who drop $200+ on aa new GPU. Enthusiast sites like this one almost never review or recommend the low-end cards. With a lack of objective performance information in the hands of the consumer, the power of marketing is greatly enhanced.

Even though TSMC is working towards getting new high-performance 20nm fabrication processes up to speed, they are willing to price wafers made on their older fabrication nodes at lower prices to keep their old production equipment at full utilization while demand for the new process is very high and capacity is low.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:29 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:My rule is to avoid anything NVidia below a GeForce GTX750Ti.



OMG yes JAE amen to that.

Now if Nvidia would price the GTX 750 non ti 1GB card around $75 to $80 and the GTX 750 TI 2gb card at $99.99 they would rule the sub $100 market. Especially since AMD rules that area now...and the GTX 750 & GTX 750 TI can not cost much to make at all, I think Nvidia would make a killing even at those low prices. On top of that the 750-750ti is about the best video card to add to a cheap pre built system you can get considering it is the fastest card that does not need a auxiliary power connector. AMD's best is the HD7750 that I own and love, If someone offered me a 750 or 750ti as a trade I would snag it up.
But I think Nvidia is missing a pretty big share in the sub $100 market. On top of that I think the GTX 750 TI is the perfect minimum requirement SteamBox video card. Its the perfect balance of low power draw and cool running and does 1080p pretty dang good on high setting in almost everything...so you can add performance on top of low power and cool running.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:11 am

I wouldn't be so sure GM107 is that cheap to make. It's 148mm2 - for comparison, the GTX 650 is 118mm2, the 650 Ti and Ti Boost (and GTX 660) are 221, your 7750 and the 7770 are only 123, and the 7790 is 160 (the R7 series is full of the same silicon). The 750 / Ti look to be priced only slightly above typical based on this, and they'd be very hard-pressed to turn a profit on a $100 2GB Ti.

It looks to me like the GT-level cards are just in such low demand (what with integrated graphics doing so much better these days) that getting them out on new architectures is at the top of nobody's todo list. For instance, while GK208 does exist, it came out a full 5 months after the 600 series could be said to be fully populated. Fermi based GT 6xx cards had been around for almost a year when GK208 showed up. This doesn't explain everything (greedy marketing departments explain most of the rest), but I think it helps.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:54 am

Wren wrote:It is apparent, that even with almost half the memory bandwidth, the GT 630 is faster than the GT 730. I also note that the GT 730 overclocked cannot even match the GT 630's stock score. ... To the average consumer who knows little about the internal workings or specs they would assume the GT 730 to be the faster card. It is not. In addition, the GT 630 was nearly £15 cheaper than my GT 730, so consumers buying by "higher price means more performance" will also lose out here.


Very useful post and analysis, thank you - in particular for the investment you've put into these. I agree that the branding and rebadging is quite frustrating, and is unfortunately being driven by marketing.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:27 am

Given the price points I don't fault the rebadging and use of old cores, but I do wish NVIDIA would be upfront about which cores and which features and wouldn't mix them up like they did.

Anandtech covered the 3 variants of the GT 730 here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8225/best ... -june-2014 Basically it's going to come down to memory & core clocks to figure out which of the three variants is actually in a 730 model box.

A 750 Ti can be had as low as $110 with rebates though, I think most users should either stick to the iGP or start at a 750 Ti... if they absolutely want a cheap GPU then a used one off ebay might be best for the sub $100 price point. Really hard to beat the value of a 750 Ti though... it's a modern day GTX 480 almost, with up to 1/4th the power draw. :P
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:44 am

deepblueq wrote:I wouldn't be so sure GM107 is that cheap to make. It's 148mm2 - for comparison, the GTX 650 is 118mm2, the 650 Ti and Ti Boost (and GTX 660) are 221, your 7750 and the 7770 are only 123, and the 7790 is 160 (the R7 series is full of the same silicon).
This comparison table shows how hard NVidia's evil marketing geniuses have been working to confuse consumers. Note that I haven't tried to show the dozens of cards where they offer different memory bus width and different memory types without changing the model designation.
Code: Select all
GPU           Shaders   Area(mm²)  Graphics Cards
===           =======   =========  ==============
Graphics Core Next 1.1 (28nm, DX11.2)
Bonaire           896         160  Radeon R7-260X, R7-260, HD7790
Hawaii           2560         438  Radeon R9-290X, R9-290
Graphics Core Next 1.0 (28nm, DX11.2)
Oland             384          90  Radeon R7-250, R7-240
Cape Verde        640         123  Radeon R7-250X, HD7770, HD7750
Curaçao/Pitcairn 1280         212  Radeon R9-270X, R9-270, R7-265, HD7870, HD7850
Tahiti           2048         352  Radeon R9-280X, R9-280, HD7970, HD7950

Maxwell (28nm, DX11.2)
GM107             640         148  GeForce GTX750Ti, GTX750, GTX745
Kepler (28nm, DX11.0)
GK208             384: 16: 8   79  GeForce GT730*, GT720, GT710, GT640**, GT635, GT630**
GK107             384: 32:16  118  GeForce GT740, GTX650, GT640**, GT630**
GK106             960: 80:24  221  GeForce GTX660*, GTX650Ti, GTX645
GK104            1536:128:32  294  GeForce GTX770, GTX760Ti, GTX760, GTX680, GTX670, GTX660Ti, GTX660*
GK110            2880:240:48  561  GeForce GTX Titan Black, GTX Titan, GTX780Ti, GTX780
Fermi (40nm, DX11.0)
GF119              48:  8: 4   79  GeForce GT705, GT625, GT620*, GT605, GT520, GT510
GF108              96: 16: 4  116  GeForce GT730*, GT630**, GT620*, GT530, GT440*, GT430, GT420
GF116             144: 24:24  238  GeForce GT640**, GTX550Ti, GT545, GTS450, GT440*
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:24 am

I'm disappointed they don't have 4GB of VRAM. They are really missing out on an opportunity to put higher GBs on their box, like the good old days.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:50 am

It appears Tom's Hardware recommended the GT 730 GDDR5 for budget gaming: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-2.html
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:06 am

arunphilip wrote:Very useful post and analysis, thank you - in particular for the investment you've put into these. I agree that the branding and rebadging is quite frustrating, and is unfortunately being driven by marketing.

Thank you. I am glad you liked it :), I have a genuine interest in GPUs so I don't mind investing in the area to see what is what :)

So it is clear that Nvidia's marketing strategy for the GeForce GT series is hazy at best. I often hear people say that it is best to use IGP below GTX series, which I see why, but I am very interested to put these cards up against some of Intel's HD integrated GPUs. I have access to only an Ironlake IGP, HD 3000, HD 4600 and Pentium "HD Graphics" with 10 EUs.

Anyway, whilst gaming on my old laptop (i5 2410M and GT 540M) I tried both Dedicated and Integrated GPUs out of curiosity and I remember finding the GT 540M to be the faster solution. However, I will test again in benchmarks and a few games. But one advantage about GT cards is they can be overclocked, whereas IGP cannot to my knowledge, so there is always more performance to gain :D

deepblueq wrote:I wouldn't be so sure GM107 is that cheap to make. It's 148mm2

However, I am sure that the smaller often overlooked GM108 core featured in the GT 840M would be somewhat superior to GK107 in performance with GDDR5 memory and be of a similar die size (though I am not sure).

Kougar wrote: Really hard to beat the value of a 750 Ti though... it's a modern day GTX 480 almost, with up to 1/4th the power draw. :P

I actually tested my GTX 750 Ti against a GTX 580 in Unigine Heaven, DX9 mode at 1600x900 (I can't remember the exact settings, I will test again soon). I managed to achieve 1413 MHz core clock and 6.6 GHz effective memory with my card, and it pulled ahead of the stock-clocked GTX 580. All without an external power connector, so I agree it is a remarkable little card. :) The GTX 580 would probably regain the lead at 1920x1080 but it was a good result nonetheless.

Wren

EDIT:
UnfriendlyFire wrote:It appears Tom's Hardware recommended the GT 730 GDDR5 for budget gaming: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-2.html


I agree as I have seen it for £41 here, GK208 w/ GDDR5.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:51 pm

Great post, thanks for the efforts, Wren!

I'm curious how the GT 730 with GDDR5 compares. It's a 64 bit interface, but it pulls 40GB/s of bandwidth. And it's GK208. It's my pick for best low profile single slot NVIDIA card right now, and while I expect the performance isn't "great" it's likely a better option for gaming than other cards (even with 128 bit DDR3, since the 64 bit GDDR5 still offers more bandwidth).
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:24 pm

deruberhanyok wrote:Great post, thanks for the efforts, Wren!

I'm curious how the GT 730 with GDDR5 compares. It's a 64 bit interface, but it pulls 40GB/s of bandwidth. And it's GK208. It's my pick for best low profile single slot NVIDIA card right now, and while I expect the performance isn't "great" it's likely a better option for gaming than other cards (even with 128 bit DDR3, since the 64 bit GDDR5 still offers more bandwidth).


Thank you :)

I have gamed on my GT 630 Rev 2.0 with GK208 core and 64-bit DDR3 (which is basically the same card as GT 730 GDDR5, but with DDR3) and I can say it is able to provide what I consider a "just playable" frame rate in two games I tried Warframe and Fallout 3 (mixture of medium-high settings, 1920x1080 on both). In Warframe I get anywhere between low twenties and sixty FPS depending on what is in the scene Averages around 30-ish, but not really smooth enough to consider "playable". In Fallout 3 it maintains playable FPS. Both with no AA.

GPU-z reports memory controller usage at 100% during any kind of 3D load, so it is clearly bandwidth limited, exacerbated by the resolution here as the card does very well 1280x720 in both of the above games.

Having GDDR5 would definitely help to alleviate this problem as I noticed substantial gains overclocking the memory. At £41 I think GT 730 GDDR5 would be a good little card for the money :)

With that said, I would be interested myself in seeing GK208 with GDDR5 so I may get my hands on one of these cards in the near future then I could run some actual tests :)
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:44 am

Good post. Thanks.

I was looking at the 730 but I would have felt cheated had I gotten one after reading your post. Since I'm not a gamer then I might just opt to buy at the bottom of the barrel in the future instead of what's the best card within a price range.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:59 am

Aside from a few situations where multiple display outputs are needed, I see most sub-$100 graphics cards as being useless. Onboard GPU performance is always improving, and the low-end cards generally don't offer enough of a performance improvement to make them worthwhile. Add to that, all the marketing BS and the bait-and-switching with RAM types and GPU cores, and I'd rather see this entire segment disappear.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:54 pm

So I have benchmarked the two GT cards against some Intel IGPs and some more powerful desktop cards that I had on hand, in addition, I have included a GT 540M score for note.

I used Unigine Sanctuary 2.3 as this Benchmark is relatively forgiving for weaker GPUs. I will run more benchmarks/tests again soon (to get a wider sample) as I did not have much time today. I will also include more GPUs, and some more variants of the GTs when I can get my hands on them.

The same settings were used as pictured on my first post.

Image

Concerning the IGP solutions:
The HD 4600 was the variant included on the i5 4440 desktop processor. The chip was using 1600 MHz memory.
The HD Graphics was the variant included on the Pentium G3440 desktop processor, it was using 1333 MHz memory.

The maximum overclock I could get stable for the GTX 750 Ti in Sanctuary was 1359 MHz core and 6.4 GHz effective memory as reported by MSI Afterburner. It is interesting to note that the GTX 750 Ti's shader processors at this point were operating at nearly the same clocks as the GTX 480's, despite the latter being double-pumped. :D Though I would note here, that the GTX 750 Ti's lead will likely diminish as the resolution goes up, since this test was performed at 1280x720, the back-end of the GPU is not usually the bottleneck, it is a good test of shader performance, however.

It's clear that the GT 730 DDR3 128-bit is the slowest dedicated GPU in the test, but it is still marginally faster than Intel's best IGP (excluding Iris Pro) as featured on the i5 4440. I also note that the GT 730 DDR3 128-bit can easily pull further ahead with an overclock. The HD 4600 included on the i7 4770/K operates at higher clocks and with faster system memory may produce frame rates similar or even higher than the GT 730 DDR3 128-bit, but unfortunately I do not have an i7 4770 on hand to test.

The fact that the GT 540M produced a higher frame rate despite running at slightly lower core clocks (672 vs 700), indicates that the 730's lower memory clock and resultant bandwidth (22 GB/s vs 28 GB/s) is to blame.

I will acquire a GK107 (probably a GTX 650) so that I may replicate the performance of 128-bit GT cards using this GPU (GT 640 DDR3, GT 730 DDR3 & GDDR5, etc) and a GK208 with GDDR5 memory (probably a GT 730 GDDR5). With these GPUs I should be able to replicate the effective performance of most, if not all of the low-end GeForce GT cards and run tests to reveal their performance. I will update this thread when I have managed to get my hands on the above GPUs :)

Wren

EDIT: Re-sized graph
EDIT#2: cleaned up post
Last edited by Wren on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Wren
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:00 pm

Other than a little resize on the graph, that's some mighty fine work. Absolute numbers aren't the question here, just relative ones. The GT730 needs to disown its relatives.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:06 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Other than a little resize on the graph, that's some mighty fine work. Absolute numbers aren't the question here, just relative ones. The GT730 needs to disown its relatives.

Thank you, I have made the graph a little smaller. :) And yes, I agree, the fact that this product bears the name "730" yet is not faster than products bearing names "630" and "540" is very misleading.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:26 pm

Love to see hardware comparisons like this. Too often reviews don't include such a range of hardware... good luck finding a GTX 480 (a former flagship card) in 99% of reviews today.

Although I really do hate how bad you're making my GTX 480 look. :P I refuse to even consider upgrading until Maxwell launches.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:43 pm

The £38 GeForce GT730 is wasted money, regardless of being slightly cheaper than an actual gaming graphics card. If you're not gaming, IGP is good enough. If you are gaming, GeForce GT730 is useless.
£66 or £70 or £90 or £100 or £110 will get you a card that can actually play games.
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:07 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:The £38 GeForce GT730 is wasted money, regardless of being slightly cheaper than an actual gaming graphics card. If you're not gaming, IGP is good enough. If you are gaming, GeForce GT730 is useless.
£66 or £70 or £90 or £100 or £110 will get you a card that can actually play games.

I agree with you for 99% of gamers, however a small HTPC build intended for living room family use & light games on a very tight budget, using a <£40 Celeron or Pentium processor, the £38 GT 730 (GK208) offers more performance than the IGP featured on the i3 4130 (the next product series up) and is cheaper whilst still fitting low-profile builds unlike many of the £65+ cards. With a game like Fallout 3, the GT 730 (GK208) would be able to keep it playable with decent settings whereas even the most expensive mainstream Intel IGP would struggle. It is a small audience, but I think it exists nonetheless. :-?

However I 100% agree with your advice for any desktop PC intended to just be gamed on from the start. :)

EDIT: edited post for clarity on product variations. I agree that the GT 730 DDR3 128-bit is very bad value in most cases, but the GK208 derived parts would have value in the above scenario in my opinion. Though there is no reason to buy the GT 730 DDR3 128-bit over the DDR3 64-bit or GDDR5 variants of this card, unless it is a lot cheaper. This just underscores my point about Nvidia's product naming conventions in the low end. Why can there not be just one version that is universally and meaningfully faster than the product it replaces? :-?
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Re: Nvidia's low end card variants

Postposted on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:08 pm

Wren wrote:The HD Graphics was the variant included on the Pentium G3440 desktop processor, it was using 1333 MHz memory.



Just did a test using Sanctuary on a G3258 overclocked to 4.3Ghz with 1600MHz RAM and got 28.9 FPS with your same settings. So it shows just how much the CPU performance plays with that benchmark. That's with the IGP left at standard clock rates.
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