Days prior to AMD's release of the ATI Radeon HD 5750 and Radeon HD 5770 graphics cards, NVIDIA released their GeForce G 210 and GeForce GT 220 graphics cards. Both of these NVIDIA graphics cards are for low-end desktop systems, but part of what makes them interesting is that they are the first NVIDIA GPUs built upon a TSMC 40nm process. To Linux users these graphics cards are also interesting in that they fully support all of the current features of VDPAU for Linux video decoding, including MPEG-4 support. We picked up an XFX GT220XZNF2 GeForce GT 220 1GB graphics card for this round of benchmarking on Ubuntu Linux.
The GeForce GT 220 is using NVIDIA's GT216 graphics processor core, which is clocked at 625MHz and possesses 48 CUDA cores / shader units while boasting just 486 million transistors. The video memory with the GT 220 can be either 512MB or 1024MB, with our XFX graphics card boasting the higher capacity. The DDR2 memory has a 128-bit bus width and is clocked at 790MHz. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 supports NVIDIA PureVideo, PhysX, and CUDA technologies. This NVIDIA GPU supports Microsoft DirectX 10.1 as well as boasting OpenGL 3.1 support. Connectors supported by NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 graphics cards include dual-link DVI, VGA, and HDMI. The graphics card supports HDMI audio, however, there is no integrated audio processor, but a HDA or SPDIF header must be connected from an audio source. The maximum power that will be pulled by the GeForce GT 220 is 58 Watts.
The XFX GeForce GT 220 1GB graphics card arrived in a very small cardboard box that was colorful and advertised the various features and benefits of this low-end desktop graphics card. Included with the PCI Express 2.0 graphics card was an XFX install guide, quick install guide, XFX user-name / password card, and an XFX driver CD. No Linux drivers or any Linux software for that matter is to be found on the driver CD. This graphics card is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.