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
Stream Processors 48 48 48 48
Texture Address / Filtering 16 / 16 16 / 16 16 / 16 16 / 16
ROPs 8 8 8 8
Core Clock 650MHz 635MHz 635MHz 635MHz
Shader Clock 1360MHz 1360MHz 1360MHz 1360MHz
Memory Clock 900MHz 790MHz 400MHz

400MHz

Memory Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Frame Buffer 512MB 1GB 1GB 512MB
Transistor Count 486M 486M 486M 486M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $79 ? ? ?


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.

A Better HTPC Card: MPEG-4 ASP Decoding & LPCM Audio The Test
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  • abs0lut3 - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    When is GT 240 coming out and when are you going to review it? I had expected the GT 220 to be as low as it comes (reaaallly low end), however, I saw some preliminary reviews on other forums on the GT 240, the supposedly new Nvidia 40nm mainstream card with GDDR5 and quite fascinate with result. Reply
  • MegaSteve - Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - link

    No one is going to buy one of these cards by choice - they are going to be thrown out in HP, Dell and Acer PCs under a pretty sticker saying they have POWERFUL GRAPHICS or some other garbage. Much the same as them providing 6600 graphics cards instead of 6600GTs, then again, I would probably rather have a 6600GT because if the DirectX 10 cards that were first released were any indication this thing will suck. I am sure this thing will play Bluray... Reply
  • Deanjo - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    "NVIDIA has yet to enable MPEG-4 ASP acceleration in their drivers"

    Not true, they have not enabled it in their Windows drivers.

    They are enabled in the linux drivers for a little while now.

    ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/190...">ftp://download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/190...

    VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_MPEG4_PART2_SP, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_MPEG4_PART2_ASP, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX4_QMOBILE, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX4_MOBILE, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX4_HOME_THEATER, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX4_HD_1080P, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX5_QMOBILE, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX5_MOBILE, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX5_HOME_THEATER, VDP_DECODER_PROFILE_DIVX5_HD_1080P

    *

    Complete acceleration.
    *

    Minimum width or height: 3 macroblocks (48 pixels).
    *

    Maximum width or height: 128 macroblocks (2048 pixels).
    *

    Maximum macroblocks: 8192

    Reply
  • Deanjo - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    I should also mention XBMC already supports this as well in linux. Reply
  • Transisto - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............... Reply
  • Souleet - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    I guess the only place that actually selling Palit right now is newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi...&Des... Reply
  • MODEL3 - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Great prices, lol (either they have old 55nm stock or the 40nm yields are bad or they are crazy, possibly the first)

    Some minor corrections:

    G 210 ROPs should be 4 not 8 (8 should be the Texture units, GT220 should have 8 ROPs and 16 Texture units)

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/geforce-gt-220,revie...">http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/geforce-gt-220,revie...

    (Not because tomshardware is saying so, but because otherwise, it doesn't make sense NV architects to designed a so bandwidth limited GPU) (and based on past architecture design logic)

    G 210 standard config CPU core clock is 589MHz, shaders 1402MHz.

    (check Nvidia's partner sites)

    9600GSO (G94) Memory Bus Width is 256bit not 128bit.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9600_...">http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9600_...

    58W should be the figure NV is giving when GT 220 is paired with GDDR3, with DDR3 the power consumption should be a lot less.

    Example for GDDR3 vs DDR3 power consumption:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_G...">http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_G...
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_G...">http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_G...
    Reply
  • Souleet - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    I'm sure there is cooling solution but it will probably going to hurt your wallet. I love ATI but they need to fire their marketing team and hire some more creative people. Nvidia needs to stop under estimating ATI and crush them, now they are just giving ATI a chance to steal some market share back. Reply
  • Zool - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Its 40nm and has only 48sp 8rop/16tmu and still only 1360MHz shader clock.Is the TSMC 40nm this bad or what. The 55nm 128sp gt250 has 1800 Mhz shaders.
    Could you please try out some overckocking.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    We've seen vendor overclocked cards as high as 720MHz core, 1566MHz shader, so the manufacturing process isn't the problem. There are specific power and thermal limits NVIDIA wanted to hit, which is why it's clocked where it is. Reply

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