|ASUS GeForce GT 430 Fermi GF108 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 11 October 2010|
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ASUS ENGT430 GeForce GT 430 Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Most mainstream gamers are using the resolutions of 1280x1024 or 1680x1050. Most ASUS ENGT430 users will not be. Not for games anyway. The ASUS ENGT430 best performs at the low intensity resolution of 1024x768 when it comes to games. Higher resolutions are possible, but at the expense of good quality and higher settings. As far as mainstream gaming performance, the ASUS ENGT430 performed almost exactly where NVIDIA said it would. It will play the games at low resolution and with some features enabled. Our gaming benchmarks prove, however, that the ASUS ENGT430 could perform very well as a media GPU. The ASUS ENGT430 will have no problems streaming high quality movies, pictures, and videos and it also enables 3D media viewing. The ASUS ENGT430, being a GF100 series product, also supports DirectX 11, although not very well when it comes to video games. Other DX11 content will be easily playable, however.
ASUS sticks pretty closely to the reference design with their version of the GT430. The heatsink on the ENGT430 is slightly smaller and has the now familiar ASUS flare to it. The low profile ASUS ENGT430 looks like it would be right at home in a media PC. With the low temperatures and power consumption of its predecessors, the small heatsink and fan combo won't be an issue for keeping the ENGT430 cool and it besides heat, it looks pretty cool too.
That brings us to the actual construction of the ASUS ENGT430. In this regard, the ENGT430 again matches pretty closely the reference design. There are three I/O ports on the back, VGA, DVI, and HDMI. There isn't a power connector, and one isn't necessary. As I mentioned before, the relatively small cooling devices are plenty for the needs of the card. The ASUS ENGT430 looks like it keeps up the ASUS standard, there are no noticeable defects or misaligned capacitors. Overall, the ENGT430 is well-constructed and suited for the purposes of a GT 430 series card.
As far as media streaming, DX11 compatibility, and pre-rendered 3D media is concerned, the ASUS ENGT430 packs a lot of punch. It brings 3D to the entry level user and allows for mainstream gaming as well. In the gaming arena, the ASUS ENGT430 didn't surprise us like the GTX 460 and GTS 450 cards did. The ENGT430 performed right where it was supposed to, and not really higher than that. Seeing that the ASUS ENGT430 does exactly what it is supposed to, we have to judge it accordingly. It should receive good marks. I can't, however, give the ENGT430 the highest marks in functionality because I would have liked to see it do better in gaming.
The ASUS ASUS ENGT430/DI/1GD3(LP) is sold for $79.99 at NewEgg, representing an entry-level price for this video card. Compared to integrated graphics solutions, it will provide a significant increase in performance. The ENGT430 fits right into its price point and appeals greatly to PC users that view a lot of media from their computers and want to expand into 3D and DX11 media. The ASUS ENGT430 doesn't hold much value for a PC gamer or a graphics artist, but at the same time, that's not the market targeted by the GF108. The true value of the ASUS ENGT430 is in the ability not just to supply DX11 compliance, because that can be found in a lot of places now, but to truly revolutionize the media PC segment by implementing the 3D experience.
I said it before, and I'll end it with here. To put it bluntly, if you want to experience 3D media on your PC and don't care too much about games, the ASUS ENGT430 will be great for you. If you want to play games, get a better video card.
+ DirectX-11 Compatible
- Games have to be "dialed-down" to playable settings
Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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