Zotac GeForce GT 220 1 GB Review 13

Zotac GeForce GT 220 1 GB Review




Today NVIDIA releases their new GeForce GT 220 and GeForce G 210 graphics cards. Both cards are based on NVIDIA's first 40 nm graphics processors. The GeForce GT 220 uses the G216 GPU, while the G 210 uses the G218 processor. Both cards are positioned in the lower end of the performance spectrum with performance, in the 9500 GT range. This is also the first time that NVIDIA offers a DirectX 10.1 compliant GPU. NVIDIA's Reviewers Guide states "The GeForce GT 220 is the perfect GPU for Microsoft Windows 7". I respectfully disagree, a Windows 7 graphics card should have support for DirectX 11 in my opinion, no matter if DirectX 11 is popular yet. NVIDIA has also worked on the media PC features and now lets you transmit the HDMI audio signal through the PCI-Express bus without the need for any SPDIF cable. Full HD video decode acceleration, NVIDIA CUDA and PhysX are also present on this card making this an all-round entry level solution if you are looking for a basic graphics card that works well for desktop use, and allows for casual gaming.

Zotac has engineered their own GeForce GT 220 design, which is better optimized for cost than NVIDIA's reference implementation. They have also slapped 1 GB of GDDR3 memory on their card - where many other manufacturers use only 512 MB, for example the Palit GeForce GT 220 512 MB that we reviewed here.

HD 4350
9400 GT
HD 4550
9500 GT
GT 220
GT 220
HD 4670
9600 GT
Shader units 80168032484832064
Memory Size256 MB512M512 MB256 MB /
512 MB
512 MB /
1024 MB
1024 MB512 MB512 MB
Memory Bus Width 64 bit128 bit64 bit128 bit128 bit128 bit128 bit256 bit
Core Clock600 MHz550 MHz600 MHz550 MHz625 MHz625 MHz750 MHz650 MHz
Memory Clock500 MHz400 MHz400 MHz900 MHz790 MHz /
1012 MHz
790 MHz1000 MHz900 MHz
Price$35$40$45$45$69 - $79$74$67$80


Package Front
Package Back

Zotac's orange package can be easily recognized from 10m away - full score for company identify. The front has only the most basic product information, I am really missing a "1 GB GDDR3" sticker here. On the back you find a more general text explaining how great Zotac and NVIDIA graphics cards are and what they can be used for.


You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • Driver CD + Manual
  • 3DMark Vantage full version
  • Zotac Boost info sheet

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

Zotac has designed their own PCB layout which has all memory chips on one side and uses their own low-end cooler.

Graphics Card Height

The card with cooler is exactly one slot tall, perfect for a system with limited space.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

The card has one analog VGA port, one DVI port and and one HDMI port. For a low-end graphics card this is a very reasonable output configuration since many low-end PC users still use CRTs. For media PC users the HDMI output enables an easy way to hook up their graphics card to the big screen without any adapter cables or converters.
As mentioned before, NVIDIA has slightly changed how their HDMI Audio works. Instead of connecting an SPDIF output from your sound card to the graphics card, the driver will route the audio signal from the sound device over the PCI-Express bus into the graphics card. According to NVIDIA "fully uncompressed 7.1 LPCM" is supported, as far as I know the sound card will take care of decoding the audio from other formats into LPCM. Please note that you will still need an onboard sound device or sound card. Unlike ATI graphics cards there is no complete sound device embedded inside the GPU.

While there are no SLI connectors, it is possible to put two of these cards in SLI mode for better performance and data will be transferred via the PCI-Express bus.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Here are the front and the back of the card, high-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
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