There’s really no way to sugar-coat this, so we won’t: the performance of the GT 220 is abysmal. Or rather, the pricing is.

The GT 220 is a value card, and that’s something we can appreciate. But for a value card to be a good value, it needs to be at the right price. NVIDIA wants to see these cards sell for $69-$79, with the best cards (those with GDDR3) selling at that $79 price point. However depending on your taste for rebates, we can get a Radeon HD 4670 for between $59 and $69, or on the NVIDIA side a 9600GT for between $69 and $85.

Either one of these cards is simply going to beat the GT 220 silly; it was never meant to compete with a 64SP NVIDIA card, or a 320SP AMD card. And don’t even get us started on the 4850 that Newegg is selling for $85 right now…

Certainly the GT 220 has some positive points. We’re glad to see that NVIDIA has finally ditched the S/PDIF cable and gone internal to enable additional HDMI audio formats, and the ability to finally offload MPEG-4 ASP decoding to the GPU is intriguing. Similarly we’re happy to see DirectX 10.1 support arrive on an NVIDIA part, and the 7W idle power usage on this card is amazing.

But so many of these things are just catching up – AMD had a card that could do DX10.1 and additional HDMI audio formats a year ago. The only thing NVIDIA has going right now is that they’re benefitting from this being a 40nm product, thanks to the lower power usage and lower production costs.

Ultimately we think this has the makings of a very good HTPC card. It’s the quietest actively cooled card we have, it runs cool, and it’s the only thing that can offload MPEG-4 ASP (or at least, will be once support is enabled). But we just can’t justify paying this much more for less performance, especially when there are passively cooled 4670s that can meet/beat the GT 220’s acoustic performance. It’s frustrating to see what’s going to be a very good HTPC card price itself right out of the market.

At the end of the day the GDDR3 GT 220s need to be priced at under $60 to be performance competitive with existing AMD and NVIDIA cards. And the cards with slower memory should be priced even lower (then again, when did memory configurations ever make sense at the low-end?). But at this point such a thing is basically a pipe dream.

As for the Palit GT 220 Sonic Edition that we’re looking at today, Palit really can’t do anything to escape the GT 220’s larger problems. With its slight factory overclock it’s going to be among the fastest GT 220 cards, but it’s a bit like being the king of a desert island. It will get you respect, but it doesn’t mean that very many people are going to want what you have.

This is turning out to be a rough fall for NVIDIA. AMD has them undoubtedly beat in price-to-performance on the high-end of the market. And with today’s launch of the GT 220, it looks like AMD has them beat on the low-end too. There are very few NVIDIA cards that offer the right level of price and performance right now; the GT 220 is not one of those cards.

We’d like to once again thank Palit for providing us with their GT 220 Sonic Edition for today’s launch

Temperature & Noise


View All Comments

  • Guspaz - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Errm, Valve's latest hardware survey shows that only 2.39% of gamers are using 2+ GPUs with SLI or Crossfire. ATI has a 27.26% marketshare.

    Of those who did buy multi-GPU solutions, some may be "hidden" (GTX295, the various X2 solutions), in which case it had no impact whatsoever (since it's presented as a single card). Some may have used it as an upgrade to an existing card, in which case SLI/Crossfire may not have driven their decision.

    It's true that SLI (2.14%) has greatly outsold Crossfire (0.25%), but that's such a tiny market segment that it doesn't amount to much.

    ATI has managed to hold on to a respectable market share. In fact, their 4800 series cards are more popular than every single nVidia series except for the 8800 series.

    So, I think I've sufficiently proven that SLI wasn't a knockout blow... It was barely a tickle to the market at large.
  • Seramics - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    When Sli came out? Stop mentioning ancient news. Right now, Sli n Xfire r abt equally sucks. Heard of Hydra? Thats the cool stuff dude. And yeah nvidia is very innovative indeed, renaming old products to look new to deceive customers, shave half the spec of a products n keep the same name (9600gso), releasing crappy products n selling it overprice.... MAN! Thats really innovative dun u think? Reply
  • Souleet - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Are you ignorant or something, ATI fanboy. GT220 is a 40nm and 9600GSO is a 65nm. How can you say they just changed the name? I thought so... Reply
  • gx80050 - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Die painfully okay? Prefearbly by getting crushed to death in a
    garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a
    pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach
    sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped
    out of their sockets. Fucking bitch

    I really hope that you get curb-stomped. It'd be hilarious to see you
    begging for help, and then someone stomps on the back of your head,
    leaving you to die in horrible, agonizing pain. Faggot

    Shut the fuck up f aggot, before you get your face bashed in and cut
    to ribbons, and your throat slit.

  • gx80050 - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Fuck off and die retard Reply
  • Seramics - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Let's face it. Nvidia is NOT competitive at every front at every single price point. From ultra low end to mid range to ultra high end, tell me, which price point is nvidia being competitive?
    Well, of cos I believe Fermi will be something different. I truly believe so. In fact, given that HD5870's slightly below par performance for its spec (very likely bcos memory bandwith limited), and Fermi being on a much larger die and higher transistor count, I EXPECT nVidia next gen Fermi to easily outperform HD5870. Just like how GTX285 outperform HD4890. But by how much? For almost 100 USD more for juz 5-10% improvements? I believe this will likely be the case with Fermi vs 5870. Surely its faster, but ur mayb paying 100% more to get 25% extra fps.

    CONCLUSION: Even if Nvidia retake the top single GPU performance crown, they were never a winner in price to performance at ANY price point. They care about profits than they care about you.
  • Souleet - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    I agree what your conclusion. Definitely price point ATI has always been on the top of their game but NVIDIA innovations is what make the two apart. But who knows, maybe one day ATI/AMD comes out with CPU/GPU solution that will change the technology industry. That would be cool. Reply
  • formulav8 - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link


    Remember what happen to the ATI 9700/9800 series, we all know what happen after that. :)

    NVidia brought out the FX5800 Ultra??
  • TRIDIVDU - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    My son plays GTA, FIFA, POP, Tomb Raider, NFS etc. in my P4, 3.06 GHz WinXP m/c with N 9400 GT (MSI) 1GB card without any problem in a 19inch LCD monitor. Now that I am planning to exchange the 4 year old m/c with a new i5 650, 3.2 GHz, Win7 m/c fitted with GT220 1 GB card, please tell me whether he will find the new machine a better one to play games with. Reply
  • Thatguy97 - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    nvidias mid range was shit back then Reply

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