Graphics Cards Guide

The ASUS ENGT430 1GB GDDR3 review

ASUS GeForce GT 430 - Can You Really Play Games with Budget Cards?

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Overall rating 7.5/10
Performance:
7.5
Features:
7.5
Value:
7
THE GOOD
Compact size
Decent overclockability
Runs cool and quiet
THE BAD
Reference clock speeds


Test Setup

Test Setup

We'll be running these cards through our usual X58 testbed which has the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
  • 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 G.Skill memory in triple channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

Apart from evaluating the performance of the new GeForce GT 430, we are also interested in finding out if the current crop of entry-level, budget graphics cards are actually good enough to run modern games at reasonable frame rates. As such, we have included in our analysis the GeForce GT 240 and GT 220, both of which were launched in November last year and were NVIDIA’s first 40nm desktop parts, as well as the Radeon HD 5670 and HD 5570. The Radeon HD 5450 was omitted from this test because we deem it far too underpowered. The Radeon HD 5570 however, should be an ideal match in terms of price point and performance for the new GeForce GT 430, so keep an eye on these two.

Here are the full list of cards tested and the driver versions used:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 (ForceWare 259.36)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 (ForceWare 258.96)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 (ForceWare 258.96)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5670 (Catalyst 10.9)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5570 (Catalyst 10.9)

This is the list of benchmarks used. Regular readers will notice that we’ve tweaked the graphics quality settings to something more manageable and ensure meaningful results for this low-end category of cards:-

  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Crysis Warhead (Overall settings: Mainstream)
  • Far Cry 2 (Overall settings: High)
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War 2 (Overall settings: Low)
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2 (Overall settings: Low)
  • "Heaven" from Unigine v2.1 (Overall settings: Low)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (Overall settings: Medium)