Friday, November 05, 2010

Review of Gigabyte Technology NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512 MB

If you are buying this kind of card, meaning one that has good performance for the money, then you must have done your homework. So I won't get into that side of things and discuss performance and benchmarks. Instead, I will talk about aspects you do not see in the typical benchmark reviews and what it is like to own this card.


First off, when you open the package and see the device you immediately notice that it is a quality product and not cheap piece of hardware. It feels well made and that feeling is only reenforced by the shape and size of the fan. It is definitely the bulkiest and most sci-fi looking I've installed in my machine.

More pleasantness comes in when you install it and setup the drivers, which is a synch on Windows.  Even on my Hackint0sh OS X 86 running Snow Leopard 10.6, it was picked  up and was immediately running with acceleration without the need for KEXT changes.

In addition, when you see your games running smoothly (I upgraded from an ATI 2600 XT) you feel you made the right decision buying this.

Now the cons. 

I can't help but notice and be disappointed by two things in contrast to my aging ATI 2600 XT. 

First, there is only one DVI port and another VGA port. So if you have two LCDs you will be disappointed that one has to connect through VGA. I know I can buy an HDMI to DVI adapter and use the HDMI port, but I didn't need to do that on my old ATI card.

Second, the lack of the pleasant anisotropic mipmap filtering for minification. This definitely made a demo I was making look significantly more jagged in the distance. It was surprising to me that the old ATI 2600 XT would be doing a much better job at making everything smoother, especially in the distance.

One other thing that was annoying (though expected) was the noise. The fan is in fact noisy. You will not notice it and you cannot put it in the living room as a home theater machine.

In conclusion, I do not regret my decision. It is great value meaning good performance for the money, and it made my Snow Leopard look pretty again. So no regrets.

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