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Nvidia's Reference GeForce GT 430 And Asus’ ENGT430

GeForce GT 430: The HTPC Crowd Gets Fermi On A Diet

The reference GeForce GT 430 is a diminutive half-height card. It seems like more of a "suggestion," as most vendors appear to be spinning their own unique circuit boards. We're testing Asus’ flavor of GeForce GT 430, designated the ENGT430:

The Asus card’s size might be similar, but the board is clearly different from the reference. This model is equipped with fuse protection to help save it from an overloaded electric current, a feature we've seen the company use on certain models during the past two years.

The Asus card also differentiates itself with a cooler that looks much more capable than the one on Nvidia's reference card. The company claims that the fan is dust-proof—further questioning on our part reveals that the company isn’t claiming the fan will never accumulate dust, but that the fan bearing is better protected from the stuff. Asus estimates that the fan’s lifespan is increased by 10,000 hours because of this consideration.

There’s not a lot to say about the available display outputs, except that Asus uses the same VGA/HDMI/DVI combo that the reference card employs. The HDMI output is v.1.4-compatible, meaning it works with the latest 3D-ready displays. It also carries lossless HD audio, so long as you're using the latest 260.xx drivers.

Here’s how the card looks with its cooler removed. The GPU is tiny compared to its GF100 predecessor, so that low-power usage and low-heat output is a possibility. Asus clocks this GPU at the reference 700/1400 MHz core/shader speeds. Memory is set at 800 MHz DDR3, 100 MHz below the reference clock.

The bundle is a Spartan affair, with little more than the requisite manual and driver CD. The only extras here are the half-height bezel options for VGA or HDMI/DVI outputs.

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