Sparkle GeForce 210 1GB Video Card Review

Conclusions
The GeForce 210 gave us a significant increase in 3DMark06. PCMark Vantage showed a drop in overall score, which was a little strange, but looking down the list, the “Gaming” and “Memories” (photo and video handling) scores were higher. I reran the suite with the same results.

I assumed that the 210 would have blown away the geForce 9400 graphics and it didn’t. It did score higher where it counted, but not as much as I had expected. I guess that Sparkle’s GeForce 210 1GB is not intended to replace upper-end modern integrated graphics like the geForce 9400 or the Radeon HD 4200. Keep in mind that even with the extra added oomph over the 512MB reference version, the geForce 210 is nVidia’s lowest end video card.

Sparkle’s GeForce 210 1GB video card fits in the niche between the reference geForce 210 and the GT 220, and truly seems to be a hybrid between the two, taking the 210 GPU and giving it a full gig of memory and a 128-bit interface, both found on the GT 220.

I couldn’t find the Sparkle GeForce 210 1GB for sale, but the reference 210 sells for $40, and the GT 220 sells for $70, so I would expect it to sell for somewhere around $50. Keep in mind that in the mainstream video card world, models are often separated by $5-$15, rather than the $100-$300 that usually separates models of gaming cards.

Pros:
– Designed to replace integrated graphics on lower end “off the shelf” PCs
– Adds DX10.1, 1024MB memory, and 128-bit memory interface
– Should easily fit in any PC with one full sized expansion slot and one PCI-E x16 slot
– Fan is surprisingly quiet

Cons:
– Limited availability
– Probably not to replace upper end integrated graphics i.e. geForce 9400 or Radeon HD 4200

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