Meet the Asus ENGT430

For our look today at the GT 430, Asus graciously provided us with their GT 430 card, the ENGT430. As with all the other cards being released it’s a custom design, featuring the usual Asus design elements: a double-sealed fan, fuse protection, and - while we have a hard time believing this is an issue on such a small card – GPU guard PCB reinforcement.

For this card Asus is very specifically going after the HTPC market. The ENGT430 is a half-height card with a low-profile bracket included, and for cooling it uses a decently sized heatsink with a particularly tiny fan we measure at 36mm. The heatsink does stick up some, so the card is explicitly a double-slot card and you’ll want to make sure you have space for it.

As is the case with low-end cards, reference clocks don’t tend to mean much. While the GT 430 has a reference speed of 700MHz for the core and 1.8GHz effective for the DDR3 memory, Asus has gone ahead and clocked the card at 1.6GHz for the memory. The card is equipped with 8 800MHz (1.6GHz effective) Hynix DDR3 memory modules running in 16bit mode, which is why the card is clocked below NVIDIA’s reference clocks. We expect to see memory clocks all over the place with the launch cards, depending particularly on who could get the best deal on what speed grade of DDR3 RAM for these cards. Given that GT 430 is likely already a memory bandwidth challenged card, this will have an impact, although we don’t have the means to measure it (our card would only go to 1.75GHz on the RAM).

For ports Asus is going with what’s undoubtedly going to be the universal configuration for low-profile GT430 cards: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, and 1 VGA port. The DVI port is necessary for monitors (without resorting to a dongle), the HDMI port is necessary for HTPC roles, and the VGA port being an easy addition as an optional 3rd port due to its analog nature. GF108 can only drive 2 monitors at once, so the usual restrictions apply.

As is common for budget cards, there’s little else besides the card in the box. Asus includes the low-profile bracket, a multilingual quick installation guide, and a driver CD. This is the first Asus card we’ve reviewed for some time without voltage tweaking capabilities, so even NVIDIA’s integrated overclocking utility is enough for the task.

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  • cactusdog - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Thats weird, I've had heaps of ATI cards too and i've never had problems with any of them. How can you have problems with all of them, yet i dont have problems with any of them? weird. Reply
  • Belard - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I haven't had problems with my ATI cards... Reply
  • bupkus - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    ditto Reply
  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Beats me.
    If it weren't for lucky people like you, I wouldn't have tried ATI yet again. I thought it was just a case of bad luck for me.
    But now I'm seriously reluctant. They simply do not work for me.
    If some ATI executive believes that it's unusual and wants to get to the bottom of it, then I'm here waiting.
    Reply
  • gamara69 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Work in IT and you will understand. Ever try to put a Radeon in the same system as a Fire GL? Can't, as they both use the same name for their .sys file and neither is compatable with both cards. BSOD on boot. Going back a bit, I had an environment with over 100 ATI Rage 128's. Because of slight differences in the models I required 18 different drivers. The wrong driver would cause BSOD's any time an app with a 3'D button opened. In my current environment we use no ATI video cards as we have driver issues in our multiple monitor setups. We have pulled all ATI cards and replaced them with Nvidia cards and our driver troubles have gone away.

    Not to say Nvidia is perfect, but at least I can get more than one of them to work regularly together.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    That's because you are new to computers. I have never had a single problem with both ATI and nVidia cards. Reply
  • RGN - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    It wasn't that long ago that ATi drivers were renowned for being terrible and at the same time one of the many benefits of nVidia was the unified driver architecture. That being said, recently I've worked with the A MD/Ti Fire Pro series. Not for gaming, but hi end multi-display setups. The cards and drivers have been flawless - not at all what I expected. The Fire Pro's were selected because they were half height, passive cooling and quad display. There was not an equivalent nVidia card. Kudos to the AMD folk for winning this round! Reply
  • IceDread - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Weird.

    I've used Nvidia when I found them to have the better price / performance and AMD other times.

    I've had more issues with Nvidia than with AMD (ATI).

    I have seen a lot of people have issues with both companies cards.

    I do however like that AMD releases drivers each month and makes an effort to improve. Nvidia seams to release drivers sporadically.

    There is also one thing that annoys me very much with Nvidia. I can not purchase an nvidia graphic card to use for cuda and use a AMD graphic card as primary. Nvidia will then shut down this functionality. So in my view, nvidia is a bit more evil as a company.
    Reply
  • dnd728 - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Ahh, good ol' days with ATI...
    Waiting every month for a driver update, uninstalling all drivers & software for my AIW one by one, reinstalling one by one, with reboots, checking out all new bugs, writing ATI's support, uninstalling, reinstalling, manually uninstalling everything, reinstalling, reinstalling all other PC drivers, uninstalling, reinstalling, trying suggested combinations of new and old drivers, uninstalling, reinstalling, and by the time they're out of suggestions - there's a new driver release!
    I'm sooo over that.

    But as stated YMMV.
    Reply
  • IceDread - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    Sometimes I wonder what people do with their computers to make them fail.

    Uninstall, rune drivesweeper, reboot, install, reboot. Same procedure for nvidia as ati...
    Reply

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