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Let’s take a closer look at the cards that will represent the new GeForce products in our benchmarks today:
With one gigabyte of GDDR3 memory running at 800 MHz (1,600 MHz effective) and an overclocked GPU, the Gigabyte GV-N220OC-1GI represents the best-case-scenario for the GeForce GT 220.
The bundle is standard, with an instruction manual and driver CD in the box.
The card has DVI, HDMI, and VGA outputs. At about 7” long, it’s not very big. But the aftermarket cooler covers most of the card.
The GPU runs at 720 MHz and the shaders at 1,566 MHz, which is quite a bit faster than the reference GeForce GT 220's 625 MHz GPU and 1,360 MHz shader clocks. To save power when idle, both the GPU and memory will spin down to 135 MHz.
Add to this a powerful, quiet aftermarket cooler, and have a GeForce GT 220 that stands above its reference competition. In fact, it’s important to keep this in mind when considering the benchmark results, because most of the GeForce GT 220 cards will probably ship with slower reference GPU clocks and DDR2 memory instead of speedy GDDR3.
Gigabyte’s GeForce 210 entry is also factory overclocked, despite the small cooler.
Like the Gigabyte GeForce GT 220, the card comes with a manual and driver CD, although it’s in a substantially smaller box. There is also a half-height I/O shield for HTPC installations.
The card also sports DVI, HDMI, and VGA outputs. It can be converted to a half-height card by changing the I/O shield, but you’ll have to give up the VGA output. A DVI-to-VGA converter would have been a nice touch for folks who plan to do this, but none are included.
Not quite 7” long, this board is about as long as Gigabyte’s GeForce GT 220. But it appears very small due to the low-profile PCB.
With a 650 MHz GPU and 1,547 MHz shader clocks, it’s substantially faster than the reference 589 MHz GPU and 1,402 MHz shader speeds. However, the 512MB DDR2 memory runs at 400 MHz (800 MHz DDR), a little slower than the 500 MHz (1,000 MHz DDR) reference memory clock.