Following ATI's new range of high-end DirectX 11 cards comes nVIDIA's response - a sub-£100 DirectX 10.1 graphics card. We review the Zotac nVidia GeForce GT 220.
Sadly for those expecting a grand battle, it seems nVidia has already conceded this year's round to ATI, unleashing its first DirectX 10.1 card almost a year after ATI, with no clue when we can expect DirectX 11.0.
So let's look at what nVidia has to offer the gamer casting around below £100.
The GT 220 marks new ground for nVidia, not only adding the extra .1 increment to DirectX 10 (albeit a move unlikely to make any significant difference to today's games), but it's also the first nVidia chip based on the 40nm manufacturing process, even if ATI got there first.
Zotac's rendition of the GT 220 stays quite close to of nVidia's reference design, so we find a core clock of 625MHz and a 1580MHz memory clock. The main design of the Zotac nVidia GeForce GT 220 is very modest: a 128-bit memory interface suggesting that games performance is unlikely to be sizzling, although Zotac has gone for the higher 1GB memory configuration.
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And the Zotac nVidia GeForce GT 220 is a very efficient design that generates little heat - when idle, it consumes just 7 watt, impressive for any graphics card, rising to
The Zotac nVidia GeForce GT 220's main competition looks likely to be the ATI Radeon HD 4670 and nVidia GeForce 9600 GT. In tests, the GT 220 always found itself several frames behind the 4670, although it did usually stay within striking distance of the 9600 GT. It's hard to see nVidia keeping its 9600 for much longer, though.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>