Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 2GB Review

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World of Warcraft (DirectX 11)

Our WoW results in the Radeon RX 550 review also looked higher than they needed to be, so we put all of our cards through a couple of different quality levels to dial in an ideal balance.

Right out of the gate, we noticed that our Radeon RX 550 and 460 numbers at a Graphics Quality setting of 4 were lower here than in our RX 550 review. Fortunately, we take screenshots of our test platforms when each game is configured, and discovered that a 4 today means Texture Resolution set to High, 8x Anisotropic Filtering, Projected Textures Enabled, and all of the Effects settings bumped up a notch. Back in April, the same preset represented more conservative options.

Even still, a GeForce GT 1030 averages more than 110 FPS at 1920x1080, sliding past the Radeon RX 550 and nearly matching the RX 460 (with a markedly higher minimum frame rate). The old GeForce GTX 750 Ti beats them both, though.

This aligns well with observations we’ve been making over the past year: mainly, Nvidia jumps out ahead in older DirectX 11 titles, while AMD’s GCN architecture is utilized more effectively under DirectX 12 and Vulkan.

Moving the Graphics Quality slider to 7 has a profound impact on frame rates, knocking the GeForce GT 1030 down to an average of 44 FPS. It continues to beat Radeon RX 550, but trails the more resource-rich RX 460 by a larger margin.

GeForce GTX 750 Ti rolls along merrily roughly 21% faster than the GT 1030. It also starts at around $100, though (while they last). At that point, you’re better off with a GeForce GTX 1050 starting at the same price.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • turkey3_scratch
    This is a fantastic chip! Seeing as it performs nearly on-par with the 750Ti, it has approximately double the performance/power ratio. It is also perfect for a noiseless PC, the passively cooled one is.
  • takeshi7
    Does this card work with 4K Netflix? From what I've read Nvidia requires 3GB VRAM for it which seems stupid and arbitrary. 2GB is enough to buffer several seconds of 4K movie frames.
  • King_V
    Definitely interesting. Going through the initial tests, I actually started wondering why the RX550 was lower in the hierarchy charts than the 750Ti.

    Then, when they switched positions in some other tests, it became more clear. And, I concluded that even putting certain cards in tiers relative to each other is not that easy.

    I was very glad to see this test, though, as I'd previously considered getting the GT1030. My need for it is no longer there.

    Overall, I think the 750Ti, RX 550, and RX 460 are closer to each other than I anticipated. It does seem the 1030 is behind them all, but not too far behind.

    Thanks for this review. I can't wait to see where it ultimately falls in the hierarchy chart(which, oddly, is missing the RX 560 but I suspect that is in the same tier as the RX 460)
  • Boom_4
    yes it's enough, IDK where you heard that you need 3gb or VRAM.
  • hendriksnyder
    Will this work with a core I7 7700k? And would it be able to run games like FO4 and TitanFall 2 on ultra settings?
  • takeshi7
    19934708 said:
    yes it's enough, IDK where you heard that you need 3gb or VRAM.

    Multiple sources say you need 3GB VRAM

    It's pretty stupid because that means you have to spend twice as much to get a 1050 Ti minimum.

  • zcat
    Can't wait to swap out my miniITX's old 750Ti with a true successor that's twice as powerful at the same bus-powered max of 60W.
  • mikegrok
    I am going to be installing a bunch of these into a dental office as soon as stocks get better. Dental offices have 2 monitors per computer (usually using the gti 720). One for work, and one to show Netflix, and distract the patients. The computers have CPUs that don't accelerate h265, and the 1000 series nvidia GPUs accelerate the current video codecs.
  • Kuo Ping
    got this card for months and really love it for LOL.
  • caamsa
    Wow things must be slow in the world of computer hardware.