GeForce GT 220 And 210: DirectX 10.1 And 40nm Under $80

GeForce GT220 And 210: Speeds And Feeds

Let's start off by looking at the major specifications of the new GeForce GT 220 and 210 graphics cards:

GT 220
GPU Designation
Fabrication Process
40 nm
Graphics Clock (Texture and ROP units)
625 MHz
589 MHz
Processor Clock (Shader Units)
1,360 MHz
1,402 MHz
Memory Clock (Clock Rate/Data Rate)
790 MHz (1,580 MHz effective) DDR3
1,012 MHz (2,024 MHz effective) GDDR3
500 MHz (1,000 MHz effective) DDR2
Total Video Memory
1GB, 512MB
Memory Interface
Total Memory Bandwidth
25.3 GB/s (DDR3)
32.4 GB/s (GDDR3)
8 GB/s (DDR2)
Stream Processors
ROP units
Texture Filtering Units
Microsoft DirectX/Shader model
PhysX Ready
Video Format Support for
GPU Decode Acceleration
MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile, H.264, VC1, WMV, DivX version 3.11 and later
HD Digital Audio over PCI Express
Form Factor
Power Connectors
HDMI version
Dual Link HDCP
Bus Support
PCIe 2.0
Max Board power
58 Watts
30.5 Watts
GPU Thermal Threshold
105 degrees C

Because these new cards are both based on the same GT200 architecture underlying the GeForce GTX 260/275/280/285/295, we won't scrutinize the minutia too much. Rather, we'll concentrate on what makes these new cards different. For details on GT200 itself, check out our GeForce GTX 280 article here.

For a quick refresh, the GeForce GTX 285 has 10 texture-processing clusters (TPCs) with 24 individual streaming processors (SPs) or cores in each one. Each TPC also has eight texture management units (TMUs). There are eight 64-bit raster-operator partitions (ROPs), each capable of handling eight operations per clock. As a result, the GeForce GTX 285 sports a total of 240 processor cores, 80 TMUs, and eight ROPs capable of handling 64 pixels per clock, with all of the ROPs contributing to a 512-bit memory bus.

The GT216 GPU in the GeForce GT 220, on the other hand, has only two of these TPCs, each containing 24 SPs for a total of 48 processor cores. Like the GeForce GTX 280, each TPC has eight TMUs, for a total of 16 TMUs. Two 64-bit ROPs capable of handling four pixels per clock work together to give the GPU a 128-bit memory interface and the capacity to handle eight raster operations per clock. Knowing this, we can expect the GT 220 to wield about one-fifth the processing power of the GeForce GTX 285.

The GT218 GPU in the GeForce 210 is significantly smaller, with a single TPC armed with 16 processor cores and eight TMUs in total. Raster operations are handled by a single 64-bit ROP capable of handling four pixels per clock. The end result is that the GeForce 210 should be approximately one-third as powerful as the GT 220.

These new GPUs weren't designed by copying and pasting the GT200's transistors, so Nvidia's engineers added some new tricks in the process: DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support, an integrated audio controller supporting eight-channel LPCM audio output, and enhanced playback support for DivX, VC-1, MPEG-2, and even Flash-based video streams.

Perhaps more important, these new GPUs are manufactured on TSMC's 40nm process and represent Nvidia's first 40nm commercial GPUs. This is an important milestone because, assuming good yields, this should allow Nvidia to produce more of these GPUs per die, and therefore, per dollar.

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  • MasterDOOM
    LOL Nvidia Just now work at DirectX 10.1 :) When ATI Radeon have a New Videocard and the Best in The World with DirectX 11 :) AMD-ATI Rullz
  • jimishtar
    ATI rullz, they have 2. it keeps AMD alive.
  • wild9
    But looking closer, we notice that the 9400 GT can handle twice the raster operations per clock, and has a memory interface twice as wide

    I think they're both 64-bit :)
  • wild9
    I don't really know what to make of these cards..two steps forwards, one step back is the closest I can come to a definitive impression.

    The 210 seems like it' only good for low-spec HTPC's, or environments where minimal power draw is an absolute necessity. The features like CUDA and extended video acceleration are nice, but do they make up for that 64-bit drudgery that seems to go hand-in-hand with so many nVidia offerings? No, it doesn't..the competition in this price range is too stiff to start making those kind of cut-backs.

    Just drop the junk and focus on what's good. The 220 is far superior to the 210, good enough to compete with AMD's budget offerings whilst sporting some nice new features. That 210 on the other hand is the 'MX' of modern just can't fob people off with this junk anymore, in my opinion. Roll with the technology instead of repeatedly rolling out junk that can barely compete with yesteryear's products..
  • shrex
    Not what i was hoping for, why cant nvidia make a card that will rival the ati 4770 and the 5750, the gts 250 power consumption is way to high, i hope the GeForce GTS 340 is good
  • wild9
    Compare these cards to say, the Geforce Geforce 2 MX 200, Geforce FX 5600 or the Geforce 7300LE - cards supported the latest features only in name, not in performance. Same thing seems to be happening again.

    I reckon even onboard video would be enough to lure budget uses away from the 210. nVidia has obviously skimped, scraped and cut corners until they're left with half a decent card, resulting in a very limited life-span unless you can settle for basic of tasks, very light gaming as well as longer CUDA processing times.

    Alas, nVidia obviously feels there's a market for this stuff. But I learned my lesson a long time ago not to be duped by the fancy sales talk. nVidia can make good products, but they make recycled junk, and that's what I think they've done here. The 220 seems OK but that's a lemming in my book.
  • wild9
    The 200* seems OK but that 210 is a lemming in my book.

  • Anonymous
    now if only you could SLI these midgets and get more decent performance
  • Anonymous
    which is the better ati radeon hd4350 or the geforce 8400 gs
    your opinions are well needed
  • Warhead
    I have the gt 220 and i think its a very nice card
    i have the asus engt 220 with 1 gb ddr3 memory. This is a low-profile card and very nice for games like call of duty 4.

    It comes with a few programs (asus gamer osd, smartdoctor and some other programs)

    When i play Call of Duty 4 it runs max detail very easy. And on the Nvidia site it says that the following games are viewed good on card:
    - World of Warcraft
    - Spore
    - The Sims 3
    - Fallout 3
    - Left 4 Dead.

    I have played left 4 dead myself on max quality, and its very nice gameplay

    related links:
    nvidia site:
    videocard benchmark :