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Gigabyte GV-N220OC-1GI review

Seth Barton
20 Dec 2009
Gigabyte GV-N220OC-1GI
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
61
inc VAT

Gigabyte's tweaked GT 220 is the best we've seen, but it's not enough to persuade us to buy this card.

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Gigabyte's take on Nvidia's GT 220 graphics chipset is a chunkier affair than Zotac's version. This non-reference design has a slightly longer board, with a comparatively huge cooler and big 80mm fan to help keep the card cool.

There's no six-pin power connector, as it draws all the power it needs from the PCI Express slot. The GV-N220OC-1GI has HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs; any two can be used simultaneously.

This is the first card from Nvidia to include an onboard audio device. ATI has been doing this for some time, and it's a neat way to output digital audio information via HDMI. Older Nvidia cards used an S/PDIF header, which had to be connected internally to a sound card with an appropriate output.

The onboard sound device supports Protected User Mode Audio (PUMA), an alternative to the Protected Audio Path (PAP) seen on ATI's new 5000-series cards. Despite PUMA, and the ability to handle 7.1-channel loseless PCM audio, this card does not support the output of Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio - the most common audio formats used on Blu-ray movies. Surround-sound audio devotees should invest in ATI's HD 5770 or wait for the release of smaller, cheaper 5000-series cards.

With a higher clock speed of 720MHz, the GV-N220OC-1GI was faster in our benchmarks than reference GT 220 cards - the differences aren't huge, though. We only got three or four more frames per second in Call of Duty, returning 35.7fps once anti-aliasing was turned off, and Crysis was unplayable even at low detail settings.

This is a good example of Nvidia's GT 220, but that isn't saying much. There are better budget cards available, such as Sapphire's quicker Radeon HD 4670 Ultimate Edition, which is £54 including VAT from www.pixmania.co.uk.

Basic Specifications

Price£61
Rating***
Detailswww.giga-byte.com
Awardnone
InterfacePCI Express x16 2.0
Slots taken up1
BrandnVidia
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce GT 220
Memory1GB DDR3
GPU clock speed720MHz
Memory speed1.60GHz

Features

Architecture48 stream processors

Connectors

DVI outputs1
VGA outputs1
S-video outputno
S-Video inputno
Composite outputsno
Composite inputsno
Component outputsno
HDMI outputs1
Power leads requirednone

Benchmark Results

3DMark Vantage 16801,607
Call of Duty 4 1680 4xAA23.6fps
Call of Duty 4 1440 4xAA29.6fps
Crysis 1680 High 4xAA10.7fps
Crysis 1440 High 4xAA13.9fps

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£61
Supplier
Detailswww.giga-byte.com

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