In order to fully appreciate the ASUS version of the GeForce GT 430 video card you need to take a quick glance at the NVIDIA reference design again.
The ASUS ENGT430 video card features a custom designed PCB with higher quality components and a different GPU cooler. The PCB on the ASUS GeForce GT 430 video card measures 5.75 inches in length
and the card stands at 2.8 inches tall. The GPU cooling solution does hang off the end of the card, so the final overall length is 6.3 inches. At first glance you might think that this is a single slot card and it is true if you ignore the dual-slot cooler!
Here is a quick look at the ASUS ENGT430 installed in our test system and you can clearly see that it does cover the PCI slot next to the primary PCIe x16 slot. This GPU cooler design does not exhaust the hot air out of your PC case as there are no slots at the end of the card or a fan shroud to direct the heat out. On low end cards this usually isn’t a major issue, but make sure you have a functional case fan in the system you plan on putting a card like this in so you can get some air movement around the video card.
Flipping the ASUS GeForce GT 430 video card video card over we don’t find too
many interesting things on the PCB. The design has five screw holes on it, but only three were being used. It will be interesting to see if retail board partners will utilize these mounting holes for different GPU coolers. Notice that the top edge of the GeForce GT 430 does not have an SLI connector and that is because the entire GeForce GT 430 series does not support SLI technology.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 video card requires a 300 Watt or greater
power supply with a minimum of 18 Amps on the +12 volt rail.
It should be noted that the NVIDIA minimum system power requirement is based on a PC configured with an Intel Core i7 3.2GHz CPU.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 1GB DDR3 graphics card has a single dual-link DVI-I output, an HDMI output header and a legacy VGA connector. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 features enhanced audio support over HDMI; this includes bitstreaming support for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio over HDMI.
No GPU review would be complete without a look under the hood of the NVIDIA
GeForce GT 430 video card, so we removed the three screws that hold the
heat sink onto the GPU and off came the entire HSF assembly.
Here is a closer look at the power phase design on the ASUS ENGT430 video card. It looks like two power phases are being used for the GPU. The ENGT430 uses Yageo R68/1R2 ferrite chokes and solid state capacitors, so it looks like quality parts are used on the board.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 uses the new GF108 core, and since the die size is much smaller than previous GeForce 400 series cards the cost should be much lower as NVIDIA can get more cores per wafer. The markings on the GF108 core read ‘GF108-300-A1’ on our ASUS ENGT430 GeForce GT 430 1GB video card.
We always get e-mails asking for something to be used to put things into size perspective, so here is a United States Quarter Dollar sitting next to the core. As you can see, the new GF108 die is much smaller than a quarter. Also take notice of the spacer pad that is located on the DDR3 memory ICs on the top right corner. This pad appears that it is here just to keep the heat sink from making contact with the memory chips and is not for heat transfer purposes.
The ASUS GeForce GT 430 1GB graphics card uses eight Hynix 1Gb DDR3 SDRAM memory ICs that are part number H5TQ1G63BFR-12C. Each one of the ICs is 128MB in size and that is how the card reaches its 1024MB frame buffer. ASUS ships the ENGT430 video card with the memory clocked at 800MHz and that is the actual rated speed on these ICs from Hynix, so any overclock on the memory will push it beyond its rated specifications.
Speaking of specifications, here are the details on the ASUS ENGT430/DI/1GD3(LP) that we are reviewing here today. As you can see, the engine clock is at the reference speeds of 700MHz with the DDR3 memory clock running at 800MHz.
Let’s take a look at the retail bundle and then some performance numbers!