Nvidia intros cheap, Kepler-based GeForce GT 640

We’re still waiting for Kepler derivatives to populate the $200-300 sweet spot, but Nvidia has just tackled the lower rungs of the market with a diminutive Kepler-based graphics card dubbed the GeForce GT 640. There has been no official announcement, but Newegg is already carrying a custom-cooled Gigabyte variant of the new card for $109.99. Zotac, which tipped us off about the GT 640, tells us Nvidia is shooting for prices under the $100 mark.

Here’s a peek at the reference design, as pictured on Nvidia’s website. Note the stubby circuit board and the diminutive cooler:

(Pictures of Zotac’s GeForce GT 640 model can be found in the image gallery below.The Zotac card has a larger heatsink and, unlike the reference design, supports triple-display setups. It’s still saddled with a tiny, potentially noisy fan, though.)

Under that heatsink, the GT 640 packs a 28-nm Kepler-derived chip with a die size of 118 mm². This chip has 384 ALUs, all of which are enabled on the GT 640, and it features a 128-bit path to memory. As you can see in the table below, the GT 640 has DDR3 memory, so it ends up with about the same amount of memory bandwidth as the DDR3 version of the GeForce GT 440. However, the new card has substantially more pixel-pushing resources:

  GPU

base

clock

(MHz)

GPU

boost

clock

(MHz)

Shader

ALUs

Textures

filtered/

clock

ROP

pixels/

clock

Memory

transfer

rate

Memory

type

Memory

interface

width

(bits)

Peak

power

draw

GeForce GT 440 810 N/A 96 16 4 1.8/3.2 GT/s DDR3/GDDR5 128 65W
GeForce GTS 450 783 N/A 192 32 16 3.6 GT/s GDDR5 128 106W
GeForce GT 640 900 N/A 384 32 16 1.8 GT/s DDR3 128 65W

According to the information Zotac provided us, the GeForce GT 640 ends up performing 40% better than the GeForce GT 440 overall, with 50% higher performance per watt. The two cards do have the same power envelope, though. We’ll be taking a closer look at the GeForce GT 640 soon, so stay tuned.

Comments closed
    • tikrjee
    • 10 years ago

    Be nice to see how that NVENC performs on this card compared to the rest (what little there is) of the Kepler lineup. For that matter, how it compares to CUDA, APP, and Quick Sync for media encoding? One can almost be fairly certain this will definitely not outperform any other $100 card in terms of gaming until some 1GB GDDR5 variants show up, but for use in GPU-compute… ? It’d be nice to know, especially after reading the short blurb y’all did on the second look of the 680.

    • CBHvi7t
    • 10 years ago

    Even a small fan will improve the cooling greatly.
    A design that cools well does not have to be noisy. The problem is that the designer has to stay within a certain space and it can’t cost anything.
    with $2 extra and some extra space even a one slot setup could be quiet.

    • Thatguy
    • 10 years ago

    Negatory, max settings with AA and FX turned on i get mid 40’s in diablo 3 at 1080p. Perfectly playable. Not that Diablo 3 is a strenuous game but if u don’t want to spend a lot to play games of that caliber you certainly don’t have to.

    I will agree price is way to high bumping up even marginally with price gains you huge performance.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    just saw an Nvidia GT 630 based video card at NCIX

    [url<]http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=71728&vpn=63TGS8HX3VVZ&manufacture=Galaxy%20Technology&promoid=1060[/url<]

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    Honestly, I don’t have a problem with a single-slot design;

    It’s the interaction between the fan blades and the heatsink fins. For the sake of maybe a cent or two per unit, they’ve ruined the performance, acoustics and effeciency of this heatsink [b<]just[/b<]to make it slightly easier to manufacture. By using a smaller, cheaper extrusion to make straight-finned heatsinks, they've reduced their tooling cost for one small part of the whole processs - but the bulk of the production cost will be in heating and handling the aluminium, then milling the circular cutout for the fan. </gnashing teeth at stupidity>

    • I.S.T.
    • 10 years ago

    This isn’t even GDDR3. It’s plain DDR3, which won’t have nearly as high a clockspeed as GDDR3 does.

    • rrr
    • 10 years ago

    Funny, how in those times top end cards had cooling and power consumption like low end ones today.

    • rrr
    • 10 years ago

    Good looking, unfortunately too big for my case. Point of HIS was that it doesn’t extend past slot’s length so it would fit comfortably in nearly any case.

    • Hattig
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the link. The card looks like a total dud, and it will remain that way until it gets GDDR5 and drops to $85 – highly unlikely.

    Interestingly, with 1.3B transistors, it’s roughly equal to the transistor count of a full Trinity APU.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    You’re assuming that there won’t be a GDDR5 version. I think it will. The big problem with this card is price. For the performance it offers, it should be cheaper. A GDDR5 version with at least double of the memory bandwidth, should do much better in games. GK107 in this version with DDR3 is certainly not being able to do everything it can.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    That’s capacity problems @ TSMC, same as what NVIDIA complains about. We know nothing about yield problems with NVIDIA.

    • StuG
    • 10 years ago

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102980[/url<]

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    you forgot to include “badly” after “1080p”

    price is the real problem for the 640 which at $100 is horrid given the card gets slaughtered by the $110 HD 7750….as in the AMD is 35% to 100% faster depending on game making that $10 difference negligible and any who choose not to make the extra $10 leap a fool.

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    Deanjo posted a link to a review of the GT 640 after i posted so there is no need to continue the “oh how come you don’t know how a sub par rebraded old as card performs”. Oh and for the record, in tom’s hardware review, the HD 7750 makes a cameo and it’s clearly proven to be a better choice at roughly the same price point. Imagine that

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    rusty calculator

    • Washer
    • 10 years ago

    Because you weren’t an lazy jerk and decided “Hey, how about I just look it up on Google.”

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Different chip, different design. We know that nvidia is having yield issues. Whether or not AMD is having issues or not is irrelevent.

    PS Qualcom was also citing yield issues as well.

    [url<]http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2012/04/19/qualcomm-28nm-capacity/1[/url<]

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    Guessing about the same as a 6450 you can buy on Newegg for $15 with MiR.

    • Coulda
    • 10 years ago

    It’s strategic move because of chip shortage. 2GB GDDR3 version will sell better than 1GB GDDR5. For, consumers who do not know what GDDR3 and 5 is, 2GB is better than 1GB (twice more memory!). Therefore, it’s better choice for system integrators to make their system more appealing for sale. That why GDDR5 retail version is conspicuously absent(though it exist as OEM version).

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    All I know is that AMD is somehow managing and everyone involved is using TSMC.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]That's what I'm trying to get to, but Deanjo says no it's just not possible. ;)[/quote<] The problem is that you are assuming that die size is the only factor in the cost of producing which is far from the truth. Other items like yield quantity has to be considered when a cost is calculated.

    • rrr
    • 10 years ago

    Yes, passive please. I’m in market for a silent card, I may slap extra low-speed fan of my choosing on it, if necessary. Currently HIS 7750 iSilence V seems like a best bet, when it comes out.

    • Thatguy
    • 10 years ago

    It’s certainly faster than my gt240 which can play lots of games at 1080p on high-med including Diablo 3.

    • Narishma
    • 10 years ago

    Because they are busy being sold as $5000+ Tesla cards.

    • Narishma
    • 10 years ago

    It should be fine if you play at 720p or lesser resolutions.

    • Flying Fox
    • 10 years ago

    +1 on wanting passive. I guess they still can’t quite get thermals down without cutting off more SMXes…

    • TaBoVilla
    • 10 years ago

    it’s the third time today I’ve come across that word already, what’s going on =(

    • yogibbear
    • 10 years ago

    It seems to me </Engineering graduate with terrible fluid kinematics and thermodynamics experience> that they CHOSE to install a subpar cooling experience so that it would fit in a single slot i.e. HTPC and not touch any other components yet get all the benefits of HSF combos…

    From one perspective this is pro noise making.

    From another… why not just go all passive?

    I have NFI who the design engineer was but to me that screams basis was card height had to be under x mm and they made it so, regardless of heat transfer optimisation subroutines.

    If only the drawing went across my desk for review… though they probably couldn’t pay me to spend the 40 seconds it took to post this comment on here, let alone spend 20 mins reviewing a technical drawing.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    I was seriously considering it until I realized there’s no composite video output.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    I’m sure it will have no problems playing anything you throw at it on any tv. Its not like you will get any higher than 1080p.

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t buy video cards from this segment of the market, i’m more interested in the mid end, but i do have friends and relatives that ask me what to buy when they make a new build, so i like to keep in touch with what’s worth the money. This card clearly isn’t worth it with other options like the HD 7750.

    [quote<]The same performance you should expect out of a $100 video card.[/quote<] Means basically nothing...... when considering the review posted by tom's hardware which clearly shows this is a subpar card compared to the other 100 dollars cards.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    The same performance you should expect out of a $100 video card.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    That’s what I’m trying to get to, but Deanjo says no it’s just not possible. 😉

    AMD (whose stuff is generally more expensive this time out, looking at the high-end parts) is delivering a bigger GPU with GDDR5 and 2x the performance for the same price, but only nVidia is cost-constrained.

    edit: holy crap can’t type.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    The die is tiny…118 mm2
    The price is not right either, given the performance. This price should be given to the GDDR5 variant, not the DDR3 one.
    @ ~28GB/s of memory bandwidth, this card is obviously starving for memory bandwidth…

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    With the current 28nm chips, it is probably a lot cheaper to manufacture a 440 then a 640. That more expensive GPU probably eats up the additional cost of GDDR5.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    Have you SEEN the cooler on the 640? I mean, seriously, it’s in the article. That’s not an expensive addition. It’s also a 28nm part, which surely means the die didn’t grow much, if at all. Your reasoning makes little to no sense. We’re talking about a card that costs more than even the GDDR5 variants of the 440 here.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 10 years ago

    GT440 also has the half the number of shaders and a much lower clock speed. The savings there and in the necessary cooling (doesn’t need as much as the GT640) probably freed up enough cost to allow for GDDR5?

    • Forge
    • 10 years ago

    Oh my God, Nvidia has gone too far. There are THREE GT 630s??? Two are Fermis with new stickers, one is actually cut-down Kepler. This is NUTS.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<] We'll be taking a closer look at the GeForce GT 640 soon, so stay tuned.[/quote<] Please do some nvenc testing on this Cyril. I have a project that might make these the perfect cards to use if the encoding performance is up to snuff.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    But according to the table above, the GT 440 has a GDDR5 variant, and still manages to sell below $100. Same is true for the Radeon 5670 and 6670.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Cost.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Personally I wouldn’t mind a good single slot solution since most mATX boards out there cram a useful pci-e x1 slot right beside the x16 slot.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Unfortunately they didn’t test the one thing I wanted to see tested, the NVENC performance.

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    It doesn’t look that great for games, but it looks like an ideal candidate for a fanless cooler and could be pretty nice for a HTPC or non-gaming silent desktops.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    Meh…DDR3 ? Why not a GDDR5 version ? This is going to be starved for memory bandwidth…
    I can’t be due to TDP constraints, since GDDR5 is supposed to be more efficient too.

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the link.

    Edit:
    Wow, what a dud.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    Unsurprisngly it gets curbstomped by the Radeon 7750 which can be had for the same $109 as the Gigabyte card mentioned by this post.

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    Yes…..but why would i know how a GT440 performs? I’d like a reference point more in a HD 7750 or a GTX 550 Ti……

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Tom’s has their review up on it.

    [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-640-review,3214.html#xtor=RSS-182[/url<]

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Did you read… the last paragraph?

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    So performance wise what can one expect?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    The naming convention for these cards make past rebadging look like child’s play. The sad part if the OEM GT 640 is actually a better card than the retail because it has GDDR5.

    OEM GT 6xx: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5784/nvidia-updates-geforce-600-oem-desktop-lineup-adds-gt-645-gt-640-gt-630[/url<] retail GT 6xx: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5911/nvidia-announces-retail-gt-640-ddr3[/url<]

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    Omg, you sound just like them. +1’ed

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah, that’s what I was wondering about in the other thread. The older versions that were OEM -only might be nothing like the retail ones. Can’t stand product naming these days…

    • crabjokeman
    • 10 years ago

    Hmm, apparently there’s a GT 630 based on the same GK107 chip with a 50W TDP (not to be confused with the rebranded Fermi variant also named GT 630). That should be cheaper and more suitable for passive cooling.

    • crabjokeman
    • 10 years ago

    Yes, 620/630 are rebranded Fermi cards. See: [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Nvidia_graphics_processing_units#GeForce_600_Series[/url<]

    • Myrmecophagavir
    • 10 years ago

    There are also 610, 620, and 630 cards being sold en masse here in the UK. The 610s in particular mention a doubled shader clock in their listings, so I assume they’re actually Fermi. Don’t know about the 620/630 though – are they the same as the older OEM versions?

    • Farting Bob
    • 10 years ago

    Reminds me of the old school 40mm northbridge coolers. My god you could hear them from 2 towns over and they moved less air than a mouse fart.

    • pedro
    • 10 years ago

    Whack a VGA port on that bad boy and you’d have yourself the quintessentially depressing video card.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    HSF combos like that Zotac one make me sad.

    </Engineering graduate with fluid kinematics and thermodynamics experience>

    • crabjokeman
    • 10 years ago

    Passive cooling or GTFO.

    • JMccovery
    • 10 years ago

    *sniff* I always wanted one of those Gainward 7800/7900 AGP cards… I would’ve held on to my P4Celery/865G setup for a bit longer. I had an EVGA 7600GS AGP, swapped it for a PCI-E 7600GS (for free) when I built my AM2 Athlon x2 3600 system.

    • entropy13
    • 10 years ago

    But there aren’t any GTX 680s!

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    I found myself looking for the AGP version….

    • jackbomb
    • 10 years ago

    It looks like my old GeForce 3.

    • Forge
    • 10 years ago

    There is no GeForce GTX 660 yet because they’re all busy being sold as GTX 680s.

    • Thatguy
    • 10 years ago

    Nuh UH! We renamed it! SEE *GT 640*. It’s brand new!!

    • brucethemoose
    • 10 years ago

    It’s an 8800GT!

    • entropy13
    • 10 years ago

    This is only an illusion! Kepler does not exist!

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