I was told by HP that I need a Graphics Card to run my kids learning software. they recomend Geforce GT 220 or 240. I've been reading many reviews and it doesn't sound that eighter one is a good card. what other options do I have?
What is the recommended specifications for the learning software. I would highly suggest a GT240 over a GT220 any day. There are also 2 flavors of GT240 cards, one is a cheaper DDR3 memory type and the other DDR5 memory type (MUCH better). Either case, the GT240 usually runs with an ATI HD4670 and at times outperforms it. However, the 4670 seems to have some nice deals lately,especially with the new 5670 out. My suggestion would bea GT240 or HD4670. But this depends on what the software requirements are. Chances are they involve alot of 2D graphics and maybe some light video renduring. Anything higher starts getting into gaming and HTPC graphics cards.
To answer your question, they are good cards, but it depends on what application you are using them for. For gaming, I would not recommend them. However, for general desktop and 2D apps, they are great.
Most of the negative comments about the GT240 itself... mainly the complaints are leveled against its value relative to other cards in the same price range... even other Nvidia cards (9800 GT for example)
just installed the gt240 ddr5 512mb and i love it for the price. everything except crysis runs on maxed settings including full AA.so for what im using it for its been nice. its quiet and no need for a new PSU. my monitor only goes to 1600 so i cant test it on higher res. but newegg has it with mail in rebate for 68.99
in terms of performance i say its better than the 4670 and no need to worry about compatible drivers like ATI is known to have issues with. with nvidias physx, now ati cant compete. it falls way behind due to incompatibility. time will change that but for now a budget card go with nvidia gt240. unless you want to spend about 40$ more and get the9800gt id stick with this. as long as you dont mind the mail in rebate.
I purchased and installed an ASUS GT 240 into my Dell E510/5150 because I needed some more graphics performance and I wanted to run Windows 7 AND I didn't want to purchase another desktop. I am totally satisfied with the GT 240 and I haven't even overclocked it. (yet). As one poster commented the complaints seem more geared towards the fact you can get a graphics card with more horsepower so to speak cheaper than the GT 240. However if you are like me and running a OEM style PC (Dell, HP, Gateway etc) you are limited by your power supply wattage. This is what makes the GT 240 worth it to me. My Dell has a 305 watt PSU and other than a NVidia GS 8600(which is discontinued) my choices are very limited for a graphics card upgrade. I assure you that the 240 will handle all of your childrens' learning game and do it beautifully. I'm not a huge gamer, but I like to play occasionally. I run Call of Duty maxed out and it looks beautiful. I play FarCry 2 just about maxed out as well as Fallout 3 and Assassin's Creed maxed out. All of them run and play really nice. I'll give you the specs on my system for comparison - again it's not a new system but I have upgraded some parts.
Intel Pentium D 820 2.8 Ghz processor
512 MB RAM
ATI Radeon X300SE (128 MB RAM) (PCI-Express))
80 GB Western Digital hard drive
10/100 built in Ethernet
Through smart shopping on NewEgg and eBay I've been able to upgrade the following for less then 320 bucks.
Intel Pentium D 940 3.4 Ghz processor
4 GB RAM
Asus GT 240 PCI-Express with 512 MB of DDR5 RAM
750 GB Caviar Black hard drive
500 GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive (7200 rpm)
Dynex Gigabit Ethernet card
I have to tell you that my old Dell runs like never before. I know there are people out there with much much better systems than mine, but I am very happy with what I have and I kid you not when I tell you that it really does fly. Windows 7 Pro 64 bit loads fast, looks great, my games load and great and since the gigabit Ethernet card, I can actually notice the difference in downloading Web pages, files, and uploading files to my server in the cloud.
I know I went overboard and please believe I'm not trying to toot my horn. As I said there are tons of people with much better systems than me. My MAIN point to you was that buying the GT 240 was a very good decision for me, as was upgrading the other components. I won't have to think of purchasing a new desktop for another couple of years, and for that I know that I got my money's worth from these components, and I'm sure my son will love playing Thomas and Friends to his hearts content.
I will also tell you that the brand of GT 240 makes a significant difference as well. I'm very happy with my Asus brand - they are a brand that has earned my trust over the years, but there are other good brands out there, like MSI, XFX etc to consider. I purchased the Asus because I have used their products for over 10 years now. I also like the Asus because it came with a little software app to measure your GPU temp as well for overclocking, and one last huge factor was the 'ginormous' cooling fan that Asus puts on their 240. The larger fan means fewer RPM's to cool the card, which reduces the power drain on your power supply.
I hope you can use some of what I've said to help you make a sound decision. I had similar questions when I was searching. Good luck in your purchase!
Here is the link from Newegg to the card I purchased. while you may be able to find cheaper, Newegg is so reliable I will pay a few dollars more for peace of mind.
Nice point on the power supply unit. I imagine you will have about a 300 or 350 watt power supply if you have onboard video or another video card that may be upgraded to a gt 220 or 240. The Ati Radeon 4650 is a tad weaker than the 4670, but will optimize your experience and have no issues running that type of software (or other free software or educational sites like starfall, etc). What you will need to look for on websites if you intend to compare specs is the "additional power requirements". Some cards, much like the ati 4890 racer mentioned above, will require supplemental power, which is generally an 8 pin molex that comes from an aftermarket power supply, or gaming OEM's power supply. The best you could do, without upgrading the power supply, would be a nvidia ecointelligent 9800 gt, wihich will power you or your child for some decent gaming as well. The nvidia gt 240 is better than the 220, however, I wouldn't discount the 220 at all. If there is any price difference, just pick up that 220 and don't look back (will run very much like a stock apple's graphics capability). The Radeon HD 4650 would be a close competitor (which I'd recommend at this price point over the 220) and you may slightly upgrade that by a 4670.
...Don't get a 4890, this will require a new psu, is more than what this man will ever need for those purposes and for that money, invest in a Radeon HD 57** or 58** series to make it a bit more futureproof.
I have the GT 240 in both a Dell Inspiron 531 (2007 model) and an HP 2006 model. Both computers are Athalon 64 X2. Both also came with Nvidia chipsets. I am a big fan of AMD processors but have had nothing but trouble with their video cards, a problem that still persist to this day, so I only would consider Nvidia IMHO. Anyway the GT 240 is great for any 19-22 inch screen and can handle a 24 inch 1900x1200 monitor at lower settings but is more than adequate for Kids games and many adult games. It is about 10-20% less powerful than an Nvidia Eco 9800gt (low power). If you want that card it must run at 550mhz and will still require a 400 watt power supply. On the AMD side the GT 240 is 20% better than the 5570 and 5-10% slower than 5670, but is priced well lower than the 5670 these days. Nvidia brands with actual customer service-EVGA ECS and maybe ASUS (brand I have but haven’t had to user service). The GT 240 will run on a 300 watt power supply and probably a 250 watt also, so that is an added benefit to HP Dell Gateway users. One last thing, if you already have an onboard Nvidia video chip you should already have the drivers on your computer. Just pop in the gt 240 and the computer will do the rest. Also if you loose sound because this card sends it thru HDMI and you are using a normal computer monitor and speakers, you will have to go into your bios and set on board audio" from "auto" to "enabled". Not hard to do, I promise. All in all a tiny low power card that greatly increases video capabilities in modest systems.