- 48 CUDA Cores
- 1GB 64-Bit DDR3
- PCI Express 2.0 x16
- $44.99 –
- $1.99 Shipping (restrictions apply)
Adequate cooling, not for old games 06/04/2013
The card is equiped with a heatsink that occupies 2 slot spaces, it is secured to the PCB with screws and able to cool the card very well in temperature range from 42 to 62 °C (idle and full load) with high ambient above 27 °C. There is potential for overclocking.
Video quality from the VGA connector is high, and better compared to Intel northbridge graphics, despite the way this connector is attached. Two additional low profile brackets are bundled, which allow all three video ports to be used in a low profile chassis.
nVidia drivers permit custom display modes and refresh rates to be set with this card, which will allow it to be synced with future monitors, or applications that don't support the native resolution of a display. Even standard modes can be overriden, and all custom modes are available in games too.
Video playback is hardware accelerated. Without DXVA, both RGB and YUV/12 playback is about 15% faster than with onboard graphics. DXVA works well with Media Player Classic and allows to play back most H.264 files with insignificant CPU usage. Both DXVA and hardware-assisted YV12 upsampling are available for at least three simultaneously playing videos, which is handy for quality comparison.
GT 610 runs 3D games released in 2002-2006 at 1024*768 @ 75 fps with moderate to high settings. A notch above in either the release year or resolution is still playable. I am impressed with the gaming performance.
The backplate of the card is rather flexible and must be secured in the chassis firmly on both ends, or it will bend when VGA is plugged in. It may not be possible to insert both the VGA D-Sub and HDMI connectors at the same time in some chassis due to the way they are positioned.
The card will attempt to detect connected displays on boot-up, and output no video (!) if a display is not connected or powered on at the time. To get video, the system must be rebooted again. The card will attepmt to read the native resolution of a connected display and upscale DOS and low resolution graphic modes.
First and second generation 3D games and some DirectDraw games with no 3D component, released in 1997-2000, will not run on this card at all (!). They will either crash or display heavy graphic corruption. Curiously, it does support VESA modes for old DOS games.
DXVA worked for me only with mod16 picture sizes, and in-loop deblocking showed noticeable banding, which is still preferable to no video at all. By default the drivers are configured to output studio color levels also on RGB monitors, which must be adjusted in the control panel to get good contrast.
Only compatible with Windows XP SP2 and above. The driver will install on SP1 and be fully functional (including OpenGL, D3D and DXVA), but without the control panel. No support for Windows 2000.
The drivers are huge. The core driver without the control panel is 80 MB.
With the large heatsink, the card's appearance is almost "professional". It looks very good on my blue Gigabyte motherboard, and next to another blue E-MU sound card.
A video card, as an output device, should not attempt to adjust its frequencies depending on the connected display. Any information read from them must be purely informative. The display must either sync to the card or fail to. Because video adapters attemted to guess the right modes, numerous old cards are not compatible with wide-screen today.
Good cooling and ability to add display modes were the key reasons I picked this card.
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