April 4, 2012

REVIEW : ASUS GT 440 GDDR5


Introduction

The ASUS GT440 is an entry-level graphics card, designed for casual 3D gaming on low settings. This card may not play some games at full 1080p, so be warned. This card does not have SLI bridge support, but data can be shared over the PCIe bus.


According to nVidia, the GeForce GTX 400/500 family of GPUs are based on nVidia’s Fermi architecture—the most significant leap in GPU architecture since the original G80. G80 was our initial vision of what a unified graphics and compute processor should look like. GT200 extended the performance and functionality of G80. With Fermi, we have taken all we have learned from the two prior processors, analyzed the various applications that were written for them, and developed a completely new architecture optimized for next generation games and applications.

Specs (Sourced from Geforce.com)


GPU Engine Specs:
96CUDA Cores
810 MHzGraphics Clock (MHz)
1620 MHzProcessor Clock (MHz)
13.0Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)
Memory Specs:
1600 MHz (GDDR5) or 900 MHz (DDR3)Memory Clock
512MB GDDR5 or 1GB DDR3Standard Memory Config
128-bitMemory Interface Width
28.8 (DDR3) – 51.2 (GDDR5)Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
Feature Support:
4.2OpenGL
PCI-E 2.0 x 16Bus Support
YesCertified for Windows 7
DirectX 11, 3D Vision, CUDA, PhysXSupported Technologies
Display Support:
YesMulti Monitor
2560x1600Maximum Digital Resolution
2048x1536Maximum VGA Resolution
YesHDCP
YesHDMI1
HDMI, VGA, Dual Link DVIStandard Display Connectors
InternalAudio Input for HDMI
Standard Graphics Card Dimensions:
5.7 inchesLength
4.376 inchesHeight
Dual-slotWidth
Thermal and Power Specs:
98 CMaximum GPU Temperature (in C)
65 WMaximum Graphics Card Power (W)
300 WMinimum System Power Requirement (W)

Features

This GT440 from ASUS has the same graphics core as the GT430, but with GDDR5 memory, doubling the effective memory bandwidth. Because of the cooler design, it's better to have good case cooling (ALWAYS!) to help keep this card cool. But since it has a 65W TDP, you shouldn't have to worry too much anyways. This graphics card comes in the standard ASUS NVIDIA box, being green.  It also features super alloy power that results in a 15% performance increase and a 2.5x longer product lifespan.

This comes with the standard ASUS SmartDoctor utility, however, I prefer using  MSI Afterburner, because of its more modern and sleek design. Also, ASUS GamerOSD is known to have issues with Battlefield 3.

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 is known to be very demanding on graphics cards running the brand new Frostbite 2 engine and requiring Microsoft's Direct X 11. I found the gameplay to be very smooth, and clean. I found the frame rates to be very similar between the daytime and night time maps in multiplayer but found frame rate drops when there were a large amount of players and explosions.

Suprisingly, this game actually plays Battlefield 3. However, it will have to be played at Low/Medium, at 720p.

Test Bench:
CPU : Intel Core i7 960 @ 4 GHz
RAM : 12GB G.Skill ddr3 1333MHz
Boot drive : Kingston SSDnow V100 128GB
Motherboard : Gigabyte G.1 Guerrilla
Power supply : OCZ ModXStream 600W
Operating System : Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Display : Acer S232HL
Drivers : Nvidia 296.01

Average FPS : 40

Conclusion

Price: 

The Good:

  • Can do some gaming
  • DirectX11
  • Pre-overclocked to 822Mhz
  • Physx/CUDA support
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Does NOT require power connectors

The Bad:

  • Meh 3D performance
  • ASUS Software is bad
  • Gets loud when gaming
  • Value is bad

The Bottom Line:

This video card is for those of you that want to (casually) game, without requiring any power connectors, or an upgraded PSU.

Overall: 8/10

Questions, comments, complaints? Leave us a comment!

Deon Hua is the Editor-in-Chief at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast with his expertise in computers and Pro Audio and Lighting. You'll probably catch Deon writing a movie review when he has time.