A month after NVIDIA launched the GeForce GT 220 graphics card they rolled out the GeForce GT 240, to further fill the performance void between the GT216-based GT 220 and the GeForce GTS 250 that had been around since March. The $100 GeForce GT 240 has received some praise for its low-power consumption while delivering a decent level of performance for being a mid-range graphics card, but of course, those reviews have been when tested under Microsoft Windows. We finally have our hands on a GeForce GT 240 graphics card from the folks over at ECS Elitegroup to see how this GT215 graphics card performs under Linux.
The GeForce GT 240 uses NVIDIA's GT215 core that packs 96 CUDA cores, a graphics clock of 550MHz, a processor clock of 1340MHz, built on a 40nm process, and is compatible with OpenGL 3.2 (as well as DirectX 10.1 for those who care), PCI Express 2.0, and is compatible with PureVideo HD. There is also the assortment of other features common to GeForce 200 series graphics cards like PhysX support (though not under Linux), OpenCL, dual-link DVI, etc. NVIDIA's board partners can choose from implementing DDR3, GDDR3, or GDDR5 on GeForce GT 240 graphics cards with either a 512MB or 1GB configuration. In the event of the ECS GeForce GT 240 graphics card we were testing (model: NGT240-512QI-F) there is 512MB of GDDR5 memory with a 128-bit data bus. Like the GeForce GT 220, the GT 240 has a PureVideo VP4 (Feature Set C) engine that allows the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) to accelerate MPEG-4 ASP decoding in addition to the MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VC-1/WMV9, and H.264 video formats that are supported by all other VDPAU-supported NVIDIA graphics cards.
The ECS GeForce GT 240 arrived in a cardboard container that was generic to NVIDIA's latest GeForce graphics cards. The box itself just advertised the common features like PCI Express 2.0 and PureVideo HD, while a paper cover was slid over the box and that was specific to the GeForce GT 240 with advertising its 512MB memory, NGT240-512QI-F model number, and other features. Included with the graphics card were just a Windows driver CD and a user's manual, with no extra dongles or cables included.