GeForce GT 240 Specifications
Like GeForce 210 and GT 220, the GeForce GT 240 is built on TSMC’s 40-nm manufacturing process and supports DirectX 10.1.
Up to this point, the chip has been offered as an OEM-only product, limiting sales to system vendors who may want to use the card in specific PCs (HTPCs for instance). Now that TSMC’s 40-nm process is more mature though, supply has increased to the point where NVIDIA’s opening sales to the retail level.
Officially NVIDIA’s slating the GT 240 between the GT 220 and 9800 GT on their food chain of products. This slot was previously held by the 9600 GT.
On paper, the GT 240 has a couple of advantages over the 9600 GT. While NVIDIA still doesn’t tout DirectX 10.1 as a compelling addition over DX10, the newer shader model support should give GT 240 an edge in titles that can take advantage of it. Thanks to its 40-nm manufacturing process, the GT 240 also boasts lower power consumption than the 9600 GT and doesn’t need an external power connector.
The following spec chart summarizes the rest of the differences between the GeForce GT 240 and the 9600 GT:
|GeForce 9600 GT vs GT 240 Comparison|
|GeForce 9600 GT 96W||GeForce 9600 GT 59W||GeForce GT 240|
|# of Stream Processors||64||64||96|
|Graphics Core Clock||650MHz||600MHz||550MHz|
|Stream Processor Clock||1625MHz||1500MHz||1340MHz|
|Pixel Fillrate||10.4 GPixels/sec||9.6 GPixels/sec||4.4 GPixels/sec|
|Texture Fillrate||20.8 GTexels/sec||19.2 GTexels/sec||17.6 GTexels/sec|
|Memory Clock||900MHz||900MHz||1700 MHz GDDR5, 1000MHz GDDR3, 900MHz DDR3|
|Memory Size||512 MB or 1 GB||512 MB or 1 GB||512 MB or 1 GB|
|Memory Bandwidth||57.6 GB/sec||57.6 GB/sec||32.0 GB/s (GDDR3)|
54.4 GB/s (GDDR5)
|GeForce 3D Vision Ready||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|NVIDIA PhysX Ready||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|NVIDIA CUDA Ready||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Standard Display Support||Two Dual Link DVI|
|Two Dual Link DVI|
|Dual Link DVI, VGA|
|Max Digital Resolution||2560x1600||2560x1600||2560x1600|
|Max VGA Resolution||2048x1536||2048x1536||2048x1536|
|Audio Input for HDMI||SPDIF||SPDIF||Internal|
|Reference board height||4.376 inches||4.376 inches||4.376 inches|
|Reference board length||9 inches||7 inches||6.6 inches|
|Max Board Power||96W||59W||69W|
|Supplementary Power Connectors||6-Pin PCIe||No||No|
|Minimum Power Supply Required||400W||300W||300W|
As you can see, the GeForce GT 240 features more shaders than the 9600 GT – 96 vs 64 – but is armed with slower clocks. This negates the advantage of the extra shaders somewhat. You’ll also see that the GT 240 features fewer ROP units. With fewer ROPs and slower speeds, peak pixel rate is down to just 4.4Gpixels/sec, less than half that of the 9600 GT. Texture fill rate is also down thanks to the slower clock speeds.
Finally, thanks to the narrower 128-bit memory interface, memory bandwidth is also lower than that of the 9600 GT.
Based on all this, the GeForce GT 240 is going to have its work cut out for it if it intends to keep up with the 9600 GT.
Fortunately DirectX 10.1 can be used by the GT 240 to enhance performance in games that take advantage of it. One effect that’s being used by increasingly more games is high definition ambient occlusion (HDAO). In games that use HDAO like STALKER Clear Sky/Call of Pripyat, and HAWX, the GT 240 could potentially use DX10.1 to gain an advantage over the 9600 GT. We’ll see how this pans out in the benchmarks.
One important figure that’s not mentioned in the table above is price. Street prices for the GeForce GT 240 start at $90 for the slower DDR3 model, and hit $100 and up for cards equipped with 512MB of GDDR5. This is quite a bit more than the 9600 GT, which starts at $80 before mail-in rebate. So the 9600 GT costs less and features better performance specs than the GT 240. The GeForce GT 240 also lacks SLI support.
This is a feature NVIDIA typically omits on their entry-level VGA offerings like the GeForce 8400 GS and 9400 series. Previous mainstream offerings like the 8600 GT, 9500 GT, and of course the GeForce 9600 series have all had SLI support, so this is a bit of a departure for NVIDIA.
NVIDIA says that the typical GeForce GT 240 user doesn’t plan to use SLI, and while that’s certainly true, we still think it’s a glaring oversight considering the card it replaces has always supported the feature.