Unlike the GeForce GTX 560 Ti or the flagship GTX 580 and 570 before it, NVIDIA released the GT 440 without too much fuss. The new card is aimed at the entry level segment of the market, set to replace the GT 430. If you’ve known the latter already, you will probably be interested to learn of the differences between the two. To see where the GT 440 sits among its peers from NVIDIA, let’s take a look at the specification table below.
|GeForce GT 430||GeForce GT 440||GeForce GT 440 (OEM)|
|DirectX||DirectX 11||DirectX 11||DirectX 11|
|Core Clock||700 MHz||810 MHz||594 MHz|
|Shader Clock||1400 MHz||1620 MHz||1536 MHz|
|Memory Ammount||1 GB||512 MB – 1 GB||1.5 or 3 GB|
|Memory Interface||128 bit||128 bit||192 bit|
|Memory Clock||800-900 MHz||800-900 MHz||800-900 MHz|
|PSU Recommended||300 Watt||300 Watt||–|
|Thermal Design Power (TDP)||49 Watt||65 Watt||56 Watt|
|GPU Thermal Threshold||98C||98C||100C|
|Bus Support||PCIe 2.0 x16||PCIe 2.0 x16||PCIe 2.0 x16|
The GeForce GT 440 comes in several different variants, they are:
GeForce GT 440 512 MB GDDR5
This is a GT 440 model with 512 MB of 128-bit GDDR5 memory which, in our opinion, should be the enough for entry-level gaming since the graphics card likely won’t be able to handle resolutions above 1360×768 anyway. Unfortunately, the card uses a full-height PCB board, so it might be unsuitable for a low profile HTPC/ Mini PC.
GeForce GT 440 1GB GDDR3
There is also a 1-GB variant of the GT 440, but the memory is of the slower GDDR3 type like the one used on its predecessor, the GT 430. The specifications between these two cards, the GT 430 and GT 440, are also similar with the only difference being their operating frequencies. GT 440’s core and memory are clocked slightly higher at 810/3600 MHz, respectively.Our GT 440 sample from MSI is based on this variant.
Good news is, some AIB vendors have apparently decided to produce GT 440 cards in low-profile/ half board form factor like the GT 430 card pictured above. We have yet to hear if NVIDIA would release a reference, low-profile GT 440 card in the future.
GeForce GT 440 OEM 1.5 GB – 3 GB
Finally, we have the GT 440 OEM 1.5 GB-3 GB. . Amongst other GT 440 variants, these cards are perhaps the most interesting. They have already been introduced last October, months before the official announcement of GeForce GT 440 itself. This could cause some confusions. Even more confusing is the fact that GT 440 OEM is far superior compared to the “plain” GT 440. Not only does it come equipped with up to 3 GB of on board memory (an obvious overkill for a card of its class), the GT 440 is also armed with more numerous stream processors (144, versus 96 on the “plain” GT 440) and ROPs (24). That should make GT 440 OEM the fastest entry level card from NVIDIA that doesn’t need to be plugged to an extra power cable to function. Too bad the GT 440 OEM is going to be available for the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) market only. It is unlikely that end consumers will be able to purchase them separately.
Feature wise, the GT 440 is virtually identical with the GT 430. Therefore, there is no new feature that can be found on this particular graphics card series. The features themselves are as follows:
- Microsoft® DirectX® 11 Support
- NVIDIA PhysX® Technology
- NVIDIA 3D Vision™ ready
- Hardware Video Decode Acceleration
- NVIDIA CUDA™ Technology
- TrueHD and DTS-HD Audio Bitstreaming Support
- HDMI 1.4 compatible
- Microsoft Windows 7 Support
Because of their similar feature sets, both the GT 430 and GT 440 are intended to fill the same, HTPC/ Mini PC-oriented market segment, only the latter will be replacing the former. Although it is clearly not primarily intended for gaming purposes, according to the information at NVIDIA’s website, users of GT 440 should still be able to play DirectX 11 games under reasonable graphics settings. Let us proceed to the benchmarks to see if that is really the case!