|GIGABYTE GeForce GT-240 HDMI Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 05 January 2010|
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GIGABYTE GeForce GT240 Closer Look
The GIGABYTE GV-N240D5-512I is a compact card with a teal-colored PCB and a rather large 80mm heat sink/fan assembly. The video card is 7" long, so it will fit any case with the room to accommodate a full-height PCI-E card- as long as there's enough room next to it. Despite its small size, the GV-N240D5-512I's large aluminum heat sink and its attached fan make it a double-slot card.
A single-slot fan would probably have kept the GPU well within its thermal envelope. Most 9600/9800 cards got by with a single-slot cooler, and used substantially more power: according to NVIDIA's specifications, the 9600GSO GPU can draw a maximum of 105 watts, much more than the 69 watt maximum of the GT240. I can understand GIGABYTE wanting to keep costs down on a card like this, but if it's going to occupy two slots, I'd prefer a cooler that exhausted warm air outside the case. However, the large fan and heatsink mean that the fan can turn relatively slowly, making this a very quiet card.
At the rear of the card we see the analog VGA, DVI, and HDMI connectors. This card does not require a separate cable for HDMI audio.
The HDMI connector's pins and grounding shell are gold-plated. The gold-plated HDMI connector is pretty, and will, as GIGABYTE assures us on the box, "support full HD resolution 1920x1080". Of course a standard, non-gold-plated connector would as well.
On the back of the card we see the mounting holes for the spring-loaded screws securing the heatsink. I've always preferred screws to pushpins even for small heatsinks...it just seems more secure.
The GIGABYTE GT240 doesn't require any supplemental power; it gets everything it needs from the PCI-E slot, so there's no separate power connector. it's disappointing, though, that there's no SLI connector, NVIDIA having decreed that cards based on the GT240 GPU will not be SLI-capable. Since this feature is disabled by burning fusible links in the GPU core, there's no way for some maverick vendor to produce an SLI-capable version.
At this price point, you're not going to get free games or a CD holder in the box; aside from the card, there's only a multi-language manual and a driver/utilities CD. Utilities included on the driver CD are HUD Lite, a utility that allows the user to adjust the clocks for the GPU, shaders, and memory, as well as dynamically switch the card to "2D mode" (presumably a low-power underclocked mode) when not gaming; and the Yahoo! tool bar.
Join me in the next section as I take a detailed look at the hardware on this card.