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Appeared on: Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G (GT 430)


1. Meet the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G

Today we will run some benchmarks on Gigabyte's implementation of Nvidia's GT 430 GPU, the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G. What makes the difference with Gigabyte's card is the fact that it comes pre-overclocked and it is equipped with a dual fan cooler. Other than that, the card remains an entry-level Fermi GPU for PCs, designed to run next generation DX11 titles and Blu-Ray 3D. The GeForce GT 430 is specifically designed to power today's digital media PCs, providing enough power for photo and video editing, Blu-ray 3D, mainstream gaming, and the next generation of GPU-accelerated Web browsers. The card also supports CUDA Technology, PhysX technology and comes equipped with an HDMI 1.4 output.

Gigabyte's GV-N430OC-1G card is built on the NVIDIA 40nm process; supports DirectX 11, with 128 bit DDR3 high speed graphics memory and higher default GPU clock. Specifically, the card's GPU is clocked at 730 MHz compared to the 700 MHz of Nvidia's default cards (such as the Inno 3D GT 430 we tested last week) and its shader clock is also set to run 60 MHz higher than (1460 Mhz) the default card. We are not sure whether this overclocking will be translated to some extra FPS during gaming but we will have the chance to check it in detail later on.

The rest of the specifications remain the same, with the Gigabyte's GV-N430OC-1G to come with 96 Cuda cores 2GB DDR3 memory running at 1800 Mhz and a 128-bit memory interface.

The GV-N430OC-1GL also features GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 2 components to maintain low operating temperature and longer product life. For cooling solution, GIGABYTE designed and equipped the card with a new low profile inclined dual fan, promising to double cooling capability and to offer silent environment.

Below you see a comparison among Nvidia's latest Fermi graphics cards. Nvidia has released the GT 430 as a replacement for its previous generation GT 220:

Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G
Default GeForce GT 430
GeForce GTS 450
GeForce GTX 460
Stream (Shader) Processors
96
96
192
336
Core Clock (MHz)
730
700
783
675
Shader Clock (MHz)
1460
1400
1566
1350
Memory Clock (datarate MHz)
3600
3600
3608
3600
Memory amount
1024MB
1024MB
1024MB
768~1024MB
Memory Interface
128-bit
128-bit
128-bit
192~256-bit
Memory Type
gDDR5
gDDR5
gDDR5
gDDR5

At $80, the GT 430 also goes directly up against the Radeon HD 5570 (DDR3 & GDDR5) and the Radeon 5670. However, all of these cards are faster in gaming performance, and that's why NVIDIA has chosen to presents the GT 430 as the optimum HTPC performer. But let's wait to see some benchmark figures first before drawing any conclusions. Don't forget that the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G comes pre-overclocked, after all.

- Retail package

The Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G retails in a small package, typical for the company's HD Experience Series of graphics cards. The "inclined dual fan " logo is also available on the box:

Besides the graphics card, the package includes a driver ROM disc and a manual:

As you see in the picture below the card is equipped with a low profile inclined dual fan cooling solution designed by Gigabyte. Compared to the smaller cooler we saw at the Inno3D GT 430 card, this one should be obviously more efficient in terms of cooling, but also increases the overall volume, as the GV-N430OC-1G becomes a dual-slot card:

The card outputs through DVI-D, D-Sub or HDMI v1.4 ports and it is powered through the PCI-e interface and not any external power supply. We also liked the extra metal plate Gigabyte bundles with the card. This short plate could replace the the already installed one making it more compact in size for HTPC use:

We installed the GV-N430OC-1G in our test PC and fired up the GPU-Z utility, which confirmed the card's specifications: The GPU core runs at 730MHz (vs 700 stock), the memory at 900MHz and the shaders at 1400MHz (vs 1460 stock). In the following pages we will run some game benchmarks and see whether this slightly pre-overclocked card makes the difference among the rest GT 430 cards.


2. Test setup
- Setup

Here is our test PC setup:

Many games and applications were used in order to measure the performance (FPS) of each card.

DirectX 9

DirectX10

DirectX11

- Testbed DirectX9

For all the tests we used the default settings for 3DMark05 as you see below:

Again we left all the settings to default:

- Testbed DirectX10

We used the three built- in benchmarks to test the performance of each graphics card. We measured the performances at various resolutions using the "Performance" and up to the "Extreme" settings.

We used the built in benchmark with all the details maxed out.

We used the FRAMEBuffer benchmark tool for the resolutions of 1280x1024, 1680x1050 and finally 1920x1200. We used all the possible quality levels to get an idea what the graphic card can do at each corresponding resolution.

We used the built-in benchmarking utility and maxed out all visual details, under both DX9/DX10 and settings up to 16x AA/16x AF.


3. 3DMark Hall Of Fame

We start with the results coming out from Futuremark's benchmarks. These include the results of the 3DMark 05, 3DMark 06 and the 3DMark Vantage software tests.

Starting with the 3D Mark 05 benchmark, the GV-N430OC-1G scored 14253 points, which is pretty close to the result of the other GT 430 card in comparison, the Inno3D GT 430. As you can see Gigabyte's GT 430 got a higher score than the GT 220 (Gainward) but despite its overclocked GPU and shaders, it still lags behind the GT 240 series (Gainward):

The 3DMark 06 benchmark did not change the ranking among the GT 430 OC (Gigabyte), the GT 430 (Inno3D, stock) the GT 240 and the GT 220 cards. Again the GT 430 OC is having a small lead compared to the stock GT 430:

The 3DMark Vantage tests the performance of each card in different resolutions. We charted the GT 240, the Inno3D GT 430 (stock), the Gainward GT 220 and of course the Gigabyte GT 430 (GV-N430OC-1G). Again, the overclocked Gigabyte GT 430 goes side by side with the stock Inno3D GT 430. Both cards are more powerful than the GT 220 but remain slower than the GT 220 series:


4. Crysis Warhead, Company Of Heroes v1.71
- Crysis Warhead (DirectX9, DirectX10)

We proceed to the "Crysis Warhead" game, which supports both DirectX9 and DirectX10 rendering modes. The popular game is still the toughest game in our benchmark suite. Below are the test results from all the possible resolutions the anti-aliasing (AA) disabled.

We compared the the Inno3D GT 430 and the Gigabyte GT 430 (OC). Under DX9, expect no more than a 2 FPS gain over the Inno3D GT 430, mainly at resolutions lower than 1920 x 1200 and under the "Performance" quality settings.

Under the DX10 shaders, any difference between the stock GT 430 and Gigabyte's GV-N430OC-1G are almost ironed out, with the Gigabyte's increased clocks to offer just 1~2 more FPS:

Not surprisingly, we have to turn our settings way down even at 1680 to get a playable frame rate and of course, setting the quality any higher than the "Performance" level not advised, especially for resolutions higher than 1280 x 1024.

- Company Of Heroes v1.71 (DirectX 10)

The "Company Of Heroes" is a popular action/strategy game with many funs around the world. The game was the first ever to utilize DirectX10 and features great in-game physics. For this test, we used the maximum quality settings and measured the performance (FPS) of each card.

At 1280 x 1024, the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G gave ~3 FPS more than the Inno3D GT 430, and also matched the performance of the rival AMD Radeon HD5770 series. Gigabyte's card was also 10 FPS faster than the Nvidia GT 240 series. Gigabyte's overclocking worked well here:

However, the resolution of 1680 x 1050 was more demanding for the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G card as it couldn't offer any higher FPS than the stock GT 430 (Inno3D) and the HD 5770 took a clear lead. on the other hand, it remained above the GT 240:

It is obvious that if you are playing the game at 1920 x 1200, you should better look to more powerful cards than the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G , the GT 430 or the GT 240 series:


5. Dirt 2, Alien vs Predator Benchmark v1.03, Overclocking

- Dirt 2 (DirectX 11)

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (known as Dirt 2 outside Europe and stylised, DiRT) is a racing game released in September 2009, and is the sequel to Colin McRae: Dirt. The game runs on an updated version of the EGO engine, which powered Codemasters' Race Driver: Grid as well. The engine features an updated physics engine and makes pretty through use of the DX11’s tessellation abilities.

According to the chart below, the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G (GT 430) can play the Dirt2 game at 1920 x 1200 provided that you will keep the quality settings not any higher than the "Medium." That's not a bad tradeoff for a card of this category. The specific DX11 game also put the GT 430 in the lead over the Radeon 5670 OC but not the Radeon HD 5770.

Compared to the stock Inno3D GT 430, the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G will run the game faster by just ~ 1 FPS:

- Alien vs Predator Benchmark v1.03 (DirectX 11)

Rebellion has released a standalone DirectX 11 PC benchmark test based upon its shooter Aliens vs. Predator. The benchmark test requires a graphics support supporting DirectX 11, which are used to produce such fancy features as tessellation, advanced shadow sampling and DX11 anti-aliasing.

We used the default settings of the benchmark (resolution: 1920 x 1200, Texture Quality: 2, Shadow Quality: 3, Anisotropic Filtering: 16, SSAO: ON, Vertical Sync: OFF, DX11 Tessellation: ON, DX11 Advanced Shadows: ON, DX11 MSAA Samples: 1).

The Gigabyte GT 430 gave an average FPS of 10.80, and the Inno3D GT430 followed closely with ~10.50 FPS. Overclocking did not make any difference here in favor of Gigabyte's solution. However, it is obvious that the requirements of the game are very demanding for these cards, at least for these settings. For comparison, even a GTS 450 would give you an average ~22.60 FPS under the same settings.

- Overclocking

We are ready to test the overclocking abilities of the Gigabyte Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G graphics card.

For our overclocking tests we used the latest MSI AfterBurner utility which also allows you to unlock the card's voltages allowing further tweaking. We enabled the 'Core Voltage' slider (though the 'settings' tab). The Core Voltage slider can go very high to further increase the overclocking margins although we feel that you won't need to go very high here. The 'Core' and 'Shader' sliders are synched and move as one, allowing you to play with the 'Memory' slider as well. The package also includes the 'MSI Kombustor' application that stresses your graphics card and test its stability.

The Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G is featuring an improved cooling system compared to the one used by the Inno3D GT 430. This allowed us to push the limits of the Gigabyte GT 430 a little bit more, although the card comes pre-overclocked. After many hours of testing we found that settings the GPU core at 860MHz and the memory at 1100MHz is stable enough to play the "Crysis Warhead" game without any issues.


6. Final words

As we have already mentioned in our articles for Nvidia's GT 430 series of graphics card, these cards should be mainly considered as a graphics card for HTPCs. The $80 GT 430 cannot compete with AMD's offerings at this price range (5570 and 5670) in gaming performance, so Nvidia tried to present it as a capable graphics solution for the HTPC environment, compact in size, future-proof with an HDMI 1.4a port on board and also quiet enough during operation.

In a highly populated market of GT 430 graphics cards, Gigabyte has added some extra features to its implementation. The GV-N430OC-1G comes slightly pre-overclocked and it is equipped with a more efficient cooler, in order to cope with the increased clocks of the shaders and the GPU. The result was an slightly higher overclocking margin compared to a stock GT 430 card, as well as some extra FPS (3~5) while playing games at resolutions lower than 1680 x 1024. After than point and as you increase the quality settings of a game, Gigabyte's overclocking will not help so don't expect to see any higher performance compared to a stock GT 430.

Gigabyte has also included a smaller backplate for the card, which could be very useful if you consider installing the card into a low profile HTPC box.

 

The Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1G is an affordable graphics card for HTPCs. It offers slightly more than the entry-level gaming performance of a stock GT 430, a more efficient cooling system, an HDMI 1.4a output for 3D playback and gaming (if you have Nvidia's 3D Vision kit), and enhanced and accelerated media playback by CUDA.



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