Review of Sparkle GT240 Video Card 512MB vs 1024MB


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Today for review I’ve got two cards from Sparkle, they’re both the GT240 but one has 512mb of ram while the other has 1024mb of ram. So this review is a review yes, but it’s also a comparison of what 512mb is worth when compared to 1024mb of ram on a video card. I was curious myself, and ultimately surprised by what I found out.


I’ve got two cards, so we’re going to do this quick and easy.

The first card is the 512mb edition. It has DVI, VGA and an HDMI port.

gt1 gt2 gt3 gt4 gt5 gt6

The second card is the 1024mb edition. It has DVI, VGA and HDMI port too.

gt7 gt8 gt9 gt10 gt11 gt12 gt13

Here’s both of the cards together, they look very different really in terms of the layout of the board and even the heatsink.

gt14

There is another difference between the cards, two actually. The 512MB uses DDR5 and the 1024MB uses DDR3. The 512MB also has 1GB of Turbo Cache as well, which means is uses or can use an additional 1gig of system memory.

Specifications:

GeForce GT240 512MB GDDR5 w/ Native HDMI Port

Model No: [ SXT240512D5-NM ] GPU / VPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT240
RAMDAC: Dual 400MHz
Bus Type: PCI-Express 2.0
Bus Speed: 16x
Video Memory: 512MB
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Interface: 128 bit
Core Clock: 550 MHz
Output Connectors: HDMI x1, Dual-Link x1, VGA x1
HDCP Capable: Yes
Overclocked: No
Cooling System: Fan
Video Card Profile: Full Height
Video Card Slot: Single Slot

GeForce GT240 1024MB DDR3 w/ Native HDMI Port
Model No: [ SXT2401024S3-NM ] GPU / VPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT240
RAMDAC: Dual 400MHz
Bus Type: PCI-EXPRESS 2.0
Bus Speed: 16x
Video Memory: 1024MB
Memory Type: DDR3
Memory Interface: 128 bit
Core Clock: 550 MHz
Output Connectors: HDMI x1, Dual-Link x1, VGA x1
HDCP Capable: Yes
Overclocked: No
Cooling System: Fan
Video Card Profile: Full Height
Video Card Slot: Single Slot


So for testing I ran a couple regular benchmarks and a few games at different resolutions to see the comparisons.

My system consists of an Intel C2Q9650, 8Gigs of DDR3 ram on a DFI Lanparty X48-T3RS motherboard.

First up is 3DMark06, I think you know what this test is.

3dmark06graph

Oddly the 512mb does better here, quite a bit better. The 512mb runs DDR5 and the 1024MB runs DDR3, could that be the difference?!

Next up is 3DMarkVantage running at default settings but with the resolution at 1920×1080.

3dmarkvantagegraph

Again we see the 512mb performs better.

Next up I ran Far Cry 2 at both 1920×1080 and 1680×1050.

farcry2graph

Again here, I’m amazed really that the 512mb does better.

Another game I tried out is Crysis Warhead, same thing at 1920×1080 and 1680×1050 resolutions.

crysiswarheadgraph

…and yet again the 512mb is better than the 1024mb version.

Finally I ran the HAWX 2 benchmark.

HAWX2graph

Here again the 512mb does better.

I’m truly amazed, I thought the card with 1024mb on board would do better.

Sure they’re not the best for gaming overall, light gaming and gaming at low settings will work, but don’t expect to max it out and have decent frame rates with this card.

Both cards are quiet even under load, so they could work well in an HTPC. I’ve got a blu-ray player in my PC and popped in a movie, it played fine.


gt14 gt4 gt10 gt1

Conclusion:
Again I’m stunned to say the least that the 512mb card did better than the 1024mb card.

Both cards though perform fairly well, or at least as well as you might expect them to for being a lower end card.

These would be great for light gaming or an HTPC system as they do run quiet  even under load.

8

Pros:
+Inexpensive
+Decent performance
+Quiet even under load

Cons:
-None really

Grades:
Overall score-8-10
Design score-8-10
Performance score-8-10

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  • blibbax

    Hardly surprising – the DDR3 version is hopelessly bottleknecked by a lack of bandwith.

  • robert_s

    Indeed, and there *are* 1024MB *GDDR5* GT240 cards out there – in fact, the Sparkle card is available with that type of memory!

    So try to get your hands on the Sparkle GT 240 1024MB GDDR5 card for a *useful* comparison.

  • Ojnunez

    512MB GDDR5 -> BW=128*MemClk(QDR)=128*MemClk*4

    1024MB DDR3 -> BW=128*MemClk(DDR)=128*MemClk*2

    That’s all the difference.-

  • Ojnunez

    Sorry I’ve forgot something…

    512MB GDDR5 -> BW=128*MemClk(QDR)/8000
    = 128*MemClk*4/8000

    1024MB DDR3 -> BW=128*MemClk(DDR)/8000
    = 128*MemClk*2/8000

    That’s all the difference.-

  • A Guest

    Sounds like youre either a kid or completely green when it comes to computers.Dont be AMAZED by obvious things.

    • Anonymous

      I know what the difference is thanks.. the idea was to get comments on it, not to be called names or insulted.. thanks a bunch

  • Stmok

    Wouldn’t it be more logical to have a 4-way comparison?

    2 cards with DDR3 => 512MB and 1024MB models
    2 cards with DDR5 => 512MB and 1024MB models

    Then one can explore the effects of DDR3 vs DDR5 and 512MB vs 1024MB.

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