NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 220: 40nm and DX10.1 for the Low-Endby Ryan Smith on October 12, 2009 6:00 AM EST
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Palit’s GT 220 Sonic Edition
As we mentioned in our introduction, for today’s launch we have a GT 220 graciously provided by Palit, in the form of their $79 GT 220 Sonic Edition. This card is ever so slightly factory overclocked, coming in at 650MHz for the core (a 4% overclock), a standard 1360MHz for the shaders, and 900MHz for its GDDR3 memory. As this is a GDDR3 card, it comes with 512MB of RAM.
As far as we know, this is as close to a reference cooler as you’re going to see for the GT 220, as we’ve seen this cooler on a couple other product brochures. It’s a rectangular single-slot height heatsink, with a fan mounted above it. This makes the entirety of the cooler wider than a single slot, and in practice this is a dual-slot card even if it’s not officially classified as such. The fan used is a simple two pin fan, so it blows at a fixed rate.
The 4 memory chips on this card are Qimonda HYB18H1G321AF-10. We haven’t been able to find the precise specs for that specific memory chip, but we believe it’s rated for 1000MHz, 100MHz over the operating speed of the card. We’re somewhat curious where Palit is getting these chips though, since Qimonda ceased production 6 months ago amidst bankruptcy. Apparently there’s a stockpile of these things somewhere.
Since it’s a low-power card, the overall design of the GT 220 Sonic Edition is rather simple compared to the complex beasts we see on the high-end. Nothing except the GT216 core itself is cooled, and we know that Palit is using solid OS-CON capacitors.
The port layout for this card is 1 HDMI port, 1 VGA port, and 1 DVI port, which appears to be the standard for the GT 220. With one of each port type, Palit’s GT220 Sonic Edition does not come with any port dongles. For that matter, the only other thing you’ll find in the box is a basic manual and driver CD (190.45).
|Form Factor||GT 220 Sonic 512MB||GT 220 1GB DDR3||GT 220 1GB DDR2||GT 220 512MB DDR2|
|Texture Address / Filtering||16 / 16||16 / 16||16 / 16||16 / 16|
|Memory Bus Width||128-bit||128-bit||128-bit||128-bit|
|Manufacturing Process||TSMC 40nm||TSMC 40nm||TSMC 40nm||TSMC 40nm|
Palit will be releasing three other GT 220 cards, in the other configurations that NVIDIA is allowing. These will be two DDR2-equiped cards with 512MB or 1GB of memory running at 400MHz, and a 1GB DDR3 card with its memory running at 790MHz. We don’t have these other cards on-hand, but based on the performance data supplied by Palit, the DDR3 card should be within 10% of the Sonic Edition, and the DDR2 card will be around 60% the speed.
Finally, Palit’s cards should be available from Newegg starting on Tuesday. Palit retreated from the North American market earlier this year to reorganize, so this marks the resumption of their North American retail sales.