GeForce Vs. GeForce? The Sub-$100 Market
We have a strange situation here in that the new GeForce GT 240's main competition turns out to be other GeForce cards. AMD left a large gap between the ~$70 Radeon HD 4670 and the ~$110 Radeon HD 4770/4850. The Radeon HD 4830 used to compete well in this space, but poor availability suggests that it's at the end of its life already.
Because of this, the GeForce GT 220 will be competing mostly against members of its own family: the GeForce 9600 GSO, 9600 GT, and 9800 GT. Of course, we won't forget the Radeon HD 4670.
|GeForce GT 240||GeForce 9600 GSO||GeForce 9600 GT||Radeon HD 4670|
|Fabrication Process||40nm||G96: 65nmG94: 55nm||65/55nm||55nm|
|Graphics Clock (Texture and ROP units)||550 MHz||550 MHz||650 MHz||750 MHz|
|Processor Clock (Shader Units)||1,360 MHz||1,375 MHz||1,625 MHz||N/A|
|Memory Clock (Clock Rate/Data Rate)||850 MHz (3,400 MHz effective) GDDR51,000 MHz (2,000 MHz effective) DDR3||800 MHz(1,600 MHz effective) DDR3||900 MHz (1,800 MHz effective) DDR3||1,000 MHz (2,000 MHz effective) DDR3|
|Memory Interface||128-bit||G96: 192-bit/128-bitG94: 256-bit||256-bit||128-bit|
|Stream processors||96||G96: 96G94: 48||64||320|
|Texture Filtering Units||32||48||32||32|
|Microsoft DirectX/Shader model||10.1/4.1||10/4.0||10/4.0||10.1/4.1|
Note how close the specifications for the new GeForce GT 240 are to the older GeForce 9600 GT. There are two principal differences: the new GeForce GT 240 sports half the memory bus, but using high-bandwidth GDDR5 memory compensates for that. However, the GeForce 9600 GT boasts higher clock speeds and 33% more ROPs. This is something that may manifest itself through higher performance in certain situations.
Bear in mind that Nvidia will likely eliminate its older, costlier-to-produce cards from the market soon after the GeForce GT 240 arrives in full force. If the different flavors of GeForce GT 240 can compete with the GeForce 9600 GSO and GeForce 9600 GT, it would make sense for Nvidia to pull the plug on those models when they're no longer being ordered. If the performance is there, it might even be a good idea to pull the GeForce 9800 GT.