The GT 240 GPU and card from Galaxy
The GeForce GT 240
To an outsider, it might appear that both NVIDIA and AMD have been very busy releasing new graphics cards this summer. After all, we have seen the entire Radeon HD 5000 series of cards from AMD launched and from NVIDIA we have seen the mobility GeForce 200M line, the GeForce 210 and GT 220 and now the GeForce GT 240. The problem of course is that all of NVIDIA's options have been on the low end of the market - the GT 240 reviewed today will have one option selling for $129 and that makes it the highest priced "new" card from NVIDIA in a long time. Compare that to AMD's new Radeon HD 5970 that sells for $599 and you'll see the conundrum that NVIDIA is in.
But let's talk about the new GeForce GT 240 GPU specifically now. It is the second 40nm part to come from NVIDIA, the first being the GeForce 210 and GT 220 GPU and it is also the second GPU to offer support for DirectX 10.1. But even with high end options like that this is still a budget part - estimated pricing will be $99 for the GDDR3 model and somewhere around $129 for the GDDR5 options as they become available.
The GT 240 is powered by a 96 shader processor engine that runs at 1360 MHz and a core clock of 550 MHz. You can see the memory speed improvements provided by the GDDR5 memory - those cards will run 70% faster than their GDDR3 counterparts. A set of 8 ROPs and 32 texture filtering units round out the architectural features and should give you a general idea of where the graphics performance will fall.
In the provided documentation from NVIDIA the only performance comparison data between the GT 240 and the AMD lineup is done against the Radeon HD 4670. The problem here: the HD 4670 can be found for $85 while the GDDR5 options of the GT 240 will run quite a bit more than that: 30% or so.
You will see in my benchmarks that the GT 240 had to go up against some stronger competition on both the AMD and NVIDIA fields.
One interesting area to keep an eye on with the GeForce GT 240 cards is as a dedicated PhysX graphics card. While the value of the PhysX technology is still debatable, if you have interest in running titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum with the PhysX options enabled, getting an $89 secondary GPU like the GT 240 is a great option to get the most out of your gaming experience. You can see in the NVIDIA-provided performance graph here that the GT 240 adds about 85% on the average frame rate with PhysX enabled.
The Galaxy GeForce GT 240 1GB GDDR3
The Galaxy GeForce GT 240 graphics card we received in for review features the GT 240 GPU at stock clock speeds and 1GB of GDDR3 memory.
You probably won't find many "stock" coolers with the GeForce GT 240 line up as the GPU vendors continue to try and find ways to differentiate their product line. This card is technically going to take up the space of two PCIe slots even though the connections panel on the front of the card is only one slot wide.
The GeForce GT 240 GPU does not require any kind of external power connection in its current form which makes it ideal for system builders and integrators.
The external connections on the Galaxy GeForce GT 240 consist of a dual-link DVI output, legacy VGA output and HDMI port.