Nvidia had been somewhat stagnant till the October 12 announcement of its new entry-level GPUs (GT218 and GT216) and graphics cards based on them (GeForce 210 and GeForce GT 220). We tested them and came to the conclusion that they are good enough for their class except for the junior model’s problems with high-definition video playback, which must have been due to some driver issues.
However, the GeForce 210 and GT 220 proved to be too slow in 3D games even though the senior model delivered a playable speed in games with low system requirements such as Left 4 Dead 2. The proposed application for these cards is to serve as high-definition video decoders in HTPCs. The GeForce GT 220 can also make an inexpensive PhysX/CUDA accelerator. So, Nvidia still had to offer an inexpensive gaming card because the GeForce 9600 GT was outdated and the GeForce GTS 240, being a re-branded GeForce 9800 GT with increased GPU and memory frequencies, was supplied to OEMs only and could not be bought in retail.
November 17, 2009, the company announced the GT215, a faster GPU than the previously announced GT216 and GT218. GT215-based cards were also announced under the name of GeForce GT 240. The delay must have been due to some problems Nvidia had had mastering new 40nm tech process to manufacture that rather complex GPU. Besides, the company had to reduce the clock rate of the GT215 to achieve an acceptable chip yield. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to report to you on the GeForce GT 240 series earlier, but we are going to give you’re a thorough test of it right now, comparing it with AMD’s Radeon HD 4670 and HD 4770 in today’s games. First, let’s see where the GeForce GT 240 series stands among same-class solutions from AMD and Nvidia.