Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

GeForce GT 240 Specifications And Hardware

GeForce GT 240: Low Power, High Performance, Sub-$100
By

Let's start with a look at the specifications of Nvidia's new GeForce GT 240-based graphics cards:


GeForce GT 240
GPU Designation
GT215
Fabrication Process
40nm
Graphics Clock (Texture and ROP units)
550 MHz
Processor Clock (Shader Units)
1,360 MHz
Memory Clock (Clock Rate/Data Rate)
850 MHz (3,400 MHz effective) GDDR5
1,000 MHz (2,000 MHz effective) DDR3
Total Video Memory
1GB, 512MB
Memory Interface
128-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth
54.4 GB/s (GDDR5)
32.0 GB/s (DDR3)
Stream Processors
96
ROP units
8
Texture Filtering Units
32
Microsoft DirectX/Shader model
10.1/4.1
OpenGL
3.2
PhysX Ready
Yes
Video Format Support for
GPU Decode Acceleration
MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile, H.264, VC1, WMV, DivX version 3.11 and later
HD Digital Audio over PCI Express
Yes
Connectors
DVI, VGA, HDMI
Form Factor
Single-Slot
Power Connectors
None
HDMI version
1.3a
DisplayPort
1.1
Dual Link DVI
Yes
Bus Support
PCIe 2.0
Max Board power
70 watts
GPU Thermal Threshold
105 degrees C


Just like the G 210 and GT 220 before it, the new GeForce GT 240 is based on the same GT200 architecture that spawned the GeForce GTX 200-series. We're not going to delve too deep into the GT200 architecture, since we've done that already in our GeForce GTX 280 launch article, which you can check out here.

We will go over the major specifications. however. The GeForce GTX 285 has 10 texture-processing clusters (TPCs) with 24 individual streaming processors (SPs) (or cores) in each one. Each TPC also has eight texture-management units (TMUs). There are eight 64-bit raster-operator partitions (ROPs) capable of handling eight raster operations per clock cycle each. As a result, the GTX 285 sports a total of 240 processor cores, 80 texture units, and eight ROPs capable of handling 64 pixels per clock, with all of the ROPs contributing to a 512-bit memory bus.

For comparison, the new GeForce GT 240 has four TPCs, each containing 24 SPs, for a total of 96 processor cores. Similar to the GeForce GTX 280, each TPC sports eight TMUs, for a total of 32 texture units. Two 64-bit ROPs capable of handling four pixels per clock work together to give the GPU a 128-bit memory interface and the capacity to handle eight raster operations per clock. Therefore, we expect the GT 240 to server up less than half of the processing power of a GeForce GTX 285.

The new GeForce GT 240 is also fabricated using TSMC's reportedly-problematic 40nm process, which should allow Nvidia to pull greater profit margins from this sub-$100 GPU compared to its 55 and 65nm cousins. Of course, it shares some other features with the G 210 and GT 220, such as DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support, eight-channel LPCM output support, and enhanced playback of DivX, VC-1, and MPEG-2 video codecs. The GeForce GT 240 is certified for not only CUDA and PhysX use, but is also GeForce 3D Vision-ready.

The biggest differentiator favoring Nvidia's GeForce GT 240 is its memory support. While the GeForce GT 220 is limited to DDR2 and GDDR3, the new GeForce GT 240 can be coupled with either DDR3 or GDDR5. This is very important, as GDDR5 offers two times the theoretical memory bandwidth per clock compared to DDR2 or GDDR3. The beauty of this is that it allows the GeForce GT 240 to offer similar memory bandwidth to GDDR3-equipped cards sporting a 256-bit memory interface (like the GeForce 9600 GT), but it keeps memory costs down. GDDR5 was one of AMD's aces when it launched the Radeon HD 4800-series cards, and this is Nvidia's first use of the technology. It's also the first time we've seen GDDR5 used on a card destined for the sub-$100 market. Nvidia's implementation of GDDR5 helps bridge the performance gap between 128-bit cards like the Radeon HD 4670 and 256-bit cards like the GeForce 9600 GT.

GeForce GT 240 distinguishes itself as the only reference card in this performance range without a dedicated power connector. This really brings the fight to the Radeon HD 4670, previously the undisputed performance king of reference cards without a PCIe power cable requirement.

Update: Wait a Minute. No SLI?

It's not all good news, however. The GeForce GT 240 lacks a feature that both the GeForce 9600 GSO and GT have offered since they were introduced: an SLI bridge connector.

Hoping that SLI might be supported over the PCI Express bus, we tried running our two test samples together. However, the driver panel wouldn't show us the option to enable SLI. Confused, we asked Nvidia for a bit of clarification. The company let us know that the GeForce GT 240 does not support SLI, and that Nvidia "typically hasn’t supported SLI for sub-$99 products, as users typically upgrade instead of buying a second card."

While Nvidia's position is certainly understandable, we find the news disappointing, as even low-end cards like the GeForce 9500 GT are often equipped with SLI support.

As far as users upgrading instead of buying a second card, Nvidia is absolutely correct: with the knowledge that the GeForce GT 240 will be replacing the GeForce 9600 GSO and GT, we had a look at Steam's Hardware Survey. According to the survey, only about 2% of gamers are running multi-GPU systems, and the GeForce 9600 GSO and GT represent about 6% of graphics cards out there. According to my math skills, that means that roughly 12 in every 10,000 gamers are running more than one GeForce 9600 in SLI.

Having said that, the GeForce GT 240 is certainly powerful enough to warrant SLI, and the lack of support for this new model is a disappointment since it is featured on the GeForce 9600-series cards being replaced.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 150 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Ramar , November 17, 2009 12:17 PM
    I really can't justify this card when a Sparkle 9800GT is on newegg for the same price or less than these cards. Perhaps if energy costs are really important to you?
  • 18 Hide
    Uncle Meat , November 17, 2009 12:19 PM
    Quote:
    Before we get into the game results, something we want to stress is that all of the GeForce cards we used for benchmarking ended up being factory overclocked models, but that our Diamond Radeon HD 4670 sample is clocked at reference speeds.


    The memory on the Diamond Radeon HD 4670 is clocked 200Mhz below reference speeds.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    DeadCat , November 17, 2009 12:10 PM
    awesome for an HTPC!!
  • -5 Hide
    rodney_ws , November 17, 2009 12:13 PM
    Well, it appears I might be the first poster... and that's pretty indicative of how exciting this card truly is. At any price point it's just hard to get excited when a company is just re-badging/re-naming older cards. DDR5? Oh yay! Now about that 128 bit bus...
  • 20 Hide
    Ramar , November 17, 2009 12:17 PM
    I really can't justify this card when a Sparkle 9800GT is on newegg for the same price or less than these cards. Perhaps if energy costs are really important to you?
  • 18 Hide
    Uncle Meat , November 17, 2009 12:19 PM
    Quote:
    Before we get into the game results, something we want to stress is that all of the GeForce cards we used for benchmarking ended up being factory overclocked models, but that our Diamond Radeon HD 4670 sample is clocked at reference speeds.


    The memory on the Diamond Radeon HD 4670 is clocked 200Mhz below reference speeds.
  • 2 Hide
    rodney_ws , November 17, 2009 12:21 PM
    Also, the 9600 GSO was on the Egg for $35 after MIR a few weeks/months back. No, that's not a top-tier card, but at $35 that's practically an impulse buy.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , November 17, 2009 12:37 PM
    http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/videocard/

    Looking at what cards people actually have (8800gt mostly), I think there are very few that would want to upgrade to this. Give us something better, Nvidia! The only reason why Ati doesn't have a 90% market share right now is that they can't make 5800s and 5700s fast enough.
  • 8 Hide
    jonpaul37 , November 17, 2009 12:42 PM
    the card is pointless, it's Nvidia's attempt to get some $$$ before an EP!C FA!L launch of Fermi
  • -8 Hide
    jonpaul37 , November 17, 2009 12:43 PM
    The card is pointless, it's Nvidia's attempt to get some $$$ before an EP!C FA!L launch of Fermi.
  • 9 Hide
    JofaMang , November 17, 2009 12:45 PM
    No SLI means they want to force higher profit purchases from those looking for cheap multi-card setups. That's dirty. I wonder how two 4670s compare to one of these for the damn near the same price?
  • 1 Hide
    KT_WASP , November 17, 2009 12:54 PM
    I too noticed the discrepancy in your stated numbers for the Diamond 4670. In the article it states 750MHz / 800MHz (1600 effective). But then in your chart it states 750MHz / 1000MHz (2000 effective).

    So, which one was used? Reference is 750/1000 (2000 eff.) Diamond had two versions, I believe, one at the reference speed and one at 750/900 (1800 eff.)

    Just trying to understand you pick so we could better understand the results.
  • 4 Hide
    hundredislandsboy , November 17, 2009 1:00 PM
    No idea what Nvidia is thinking with the the release of this card sine a new 9800 GT is $89. They either have to drop the price of these GT240s to below $70 soon or it'll be huge loss. But maybe not. The only reason I an think of as to why Nvidia made this card is they had a bunch of spare parts lying around and rather than junk them, try to squeeze out some pennies. But then again ATI is playing the same game so if you can't beat them, join them!
  • 0 Hide
    Aircraft123 , November 17, 2009 1:01 PM
    This card is nice but the price just is not right. For the same price you could get a 9800GT or save $20 (at least) and get a 4670

    From the benchmarks the change in performance isn't worth that large ramp up in price.

    BTW I have a 4650 going in my HTPC
    and 2 XFX4890s in my desktop/gaming computer
  • 6 Hide
    cleeve , November 17, 2009 1:26 PM
    rodney_ws At any price point it's just hard to get excited when a company is just re-badging/re-naming older cards.


    The GT 240 isn't a rebadge, it's a new GPU based on the same architecture as the GTX 200 series.


  • 7 Hide
    nforce4max , November 17, 2009 1:26 PM
    These cards are a waste of money. A used 9600gt/gso can be had for less. Even my 8800gtx cost me less and I am using it now. Even my vintage 7900gtx duo (early gx2) holds its own.
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , November 17, 2009 1:29 PM
    Uncle MeatThe memory on the Diamond Radeon HD 4670 is clocked 200Mhz below reference speeds.


    Absolutely right, fixed!
  • 4 Hide
    cleeve , November 17, 2009 1:35 PM
    Aircraft123From the benchmarks the change in performance isn't worth that large ramp up in price.


    I totally agree with you, however launch pricing is always high.

    Remember, we don't get to see the actual launch pricing until you do. The article was written before the GT 240 was for sale, and we were told it was a sub-$100 card.

    The reason I've been positive about this card is that production costs should be low enough for Nvidia to compete on price very quickly. For example, look at the GeForce GT 220: $80 at launch a couple weeks ago, it's already down to the low $60 range.

    You'll need to use common sense. At $110, the Radeon 4850 is the obvious winner, and at $90 the 8800 GT is the way to go.

    But pricing should fall into place with the DDR3 GT 240 at Radeon 4670 prices, and the GDDR5 GT 240 just under 9600 GT prices. That's where the new card is a recommended buy.
  • -3 Hide
    cyberkuberiah , November 17, 2009 1:37 PM
    deadcatawesome for an HTPC!!


    yes , indeed.
  • 6 Hide
    dark_lord69 , November 17, 2009 1:48 PM
    If you are going to spend close to $100 on a video card then you might as well get the ATi HD 4870.
    I found it for only $11 over the sub $100 range.
    The performance difference would DEFINITELY be worth $11.

    http://www.eworldsale.com/powercolor-ax4870-1gbd5-pph-pcs-radeon-hd-4870-1gb-gddr5-pci-express-20_5882_29335.html
  • 1 Hide
    noob2222 , November 17, 2009 2:10 PM
    Not a bad article, but very misleading however. Sub $100 tested with cards over $100? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814261056&cm_re=240-_-14-261-056-_-Product

    At that price its competing with the 4770s not the 4670. But this is an Nvidia article, gotta make them look good by omitting certain facts.

  • 6 Hide
    rdhood , November 17, 2009 2:24 PM
    What dark_lord69 and noob2222 said. The 4670 is starting to see after-rebate prices of just $40. The $100 price point is closer to the 4770.
Display more comments