When most enthusiasts think of buying a video card, it is usually a very powerful gaming card capable of playing demanding games like the Company of Heroes series, the Battlefield series, Oblivion, or the most demanding of all PC games, Crysis. Newly released gaming cards run from just under $200 to well over $500, and the enthusiast world gets pretty crazy when nVidia or ATI releases a new line of gaming cards. But did you know that gaming cards command well below 50% of the video card market?
Mainstream video cards, the bottom end of the two companies’ lines of video cards, take the larger share of the market. Who buys these cards? Some enthusiasts buy them, mainly those who are building a rig that isn’t intended for gaming. Mainstream cards are a good choice for HTPC rigs. And I’m sure that more than a few mainstream cards are sold to those guys building a gaming rig whose money ran out before the video card was purchased.
The largest use for mainstream video cards is to add some graphics “oomph” to that off-the-shelf Dell, HP, Compaq, or whatever. With a CPU and integrated graphics designed to “just get by”, the mainstream video card adds extra power and life to the compromised graphics of the “store bought” rig.
In the past I have reviewed several ATI mainstream cards, but I haven’t had the opportunity try an nVidia mainstream card. Today I will be looking at Sparkle’s brand new geForce mainstream card. Though the geForce 210 has been around for a while, Sparkle has just released this new model with a full gig of memory, to free up that system memory that is normally taken by the integrated graphics. Read on to check out the Sparkle GeForce 210 1GB video card.
Model Number: SXG2101024D2-NM
Graphics Processing Unit: GeForce 210
Core Clock: 475 MHz
Memory Clock: 800 MHz
Memory: 1024MB GDDR2
Memory Interface: 128-bit
Stream Processors: 24
Stream Processors Clock: 1100 MHz
Bus Type: PCI-Express 2.0
RAMDAC: 400 MHz
Outputs: Sub-15, HDMI, DVI
Maximum Digital Resolution: 2560×1600
Maximum VGA Resolution: 2048×1536
Audio Input for HDMI: Internal
Maximum GPU Temperature: 105C
Maximum Graphics Card Power: 30.5 watts
Minimum Recommended System Power: 300 watts
On the front of the box is Sparkle’s familiar S-shaped blade logo. There are specs and features both front and back.
Inside, the card is protected inside a static free bag, and that is placed within a bubblewrap bag.