We’ve seen no wonders benchmarking our GeForce GT 430 at GPU frequencies of 850/1700 MHz. It couldn’t step up into the category of more expensive products. On the other hand, we can't call this experiment absolutely useless. It is one of those rare cases when overclocking is not just a matter of personal pride but a practical means of making some games more enjoyable.
Depending on the specific test, the 20% increase in the GPU frequencies of the Axle GeForce GT 430 leads to a performance increase of 13 to 22%, or about 17% on average. This is a good result, especially considering the limiting effect of the card’s slow memory.
The overclocked Axle couldn’t outperform the GeForce GT 240, but the latter is an outdated solution without DirectX 11 support. More importantly, our overclocking helped the Axle card beat the Radeon HD 5570 GDDR5 and make the resolution of 1920x1080 playable in such games as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Far Cry 2, Fallout: New Vegas and Mass Effect 2. Its performance was also high enough for comfortable play at 1600x900 in Colin McRae: Dirt 2 and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Considering the price of the GeForce GT 430, that’s quite an achievement, especially as the frame rate is going to be even higher if you switch to the lower resolution of 1366x768 pixels.
Heavy applications like Crysis Warhead and Metro 2033 remained unplayable, of course, but they are not designed for entry-level solutions however hard you may overclock the latter. The opportunity to play full-featured games is itself precious and we just can’t demand anything else from an $80 card. Besides, a cheap device like this can make a good trainer for would-be overclockers because you don’t lose much money if you do something wrong and damage it.
Axle GeForce GT 430 Summary
Axle's GeForce GT 430 version that we used can hardly be recommended for HTPCs because it is large and rather noisy but it can make a good inexpensive discrete graphics card for an entry-level desktop computer. It can also be used as a dedicated CUDA/PhysX accelerator or, as we’ve said above, serving as a training ground for commencing overclockers.
- Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
- Supports DirectX 11, CUDA and PhysX;
- Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding;
- High-quality HD video post-processing with scalability;
- HDMI 1.3a support;
- Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support;
- High energy-efficiency;
- Efficient cooling system;
- Good overclocking potential of the GPU.
- Slow video memory;
- Low performance in contemporary games, yields to GeForce GT 240;
- Extremely reduced TMU and RBE sub-systems;
- Dual-slot cooling system;
- Noticeable noise.