Palit GT 240 Sonic and Gainward GeForce GT240 1024MB GDDR5 GS
PCB Design and Specifications
Both cards come in rather compact packages, Palit’s kit being a little bit larger. They are designed in different ways, of course.
Palit and its subsidiary Gainward have a strong dislike of the very idea of changing anything in the design of its product boxes. So, we again see the armored frog and the angel that our readers should already be familiar with, this time in a new color scheme and with some new details. The accessories are limited to a disc with drivers and a user manual. This should be quite enough for a GeForce GTS 240, though. These graphics cards just don’t need any cables or adapters as they have native DVI-I, D-Sub and HDMI connectors and don’t require additional power supply.
As we’ve noted already, Gainward is currently a subsidiary of Palit Microsystems focused on elite graphics card models which differ from mass-market products with higher overclockability or rich accessories. Therefore we were not surprised to find the Palit GT 240 Sonic and Gainward GeForce GT240 1024MB GDDR5 GS to be not just similar but exactly the same. They share the same PCB design.
Thus, the cards seem to differ with coolers only. The Gainward has a larger heatsink and a fan with a red impeller. The Palit’s cooler has an orange fan and a smaller heatsink. Both fans use a 2-pin connection. The aerodynamic casings are different, too. The Gainward GeForce GT 240 looks more aggressive than its twin Palit.
Other than that, we could not find any visible differences, except for the stickers with names and serial numbers. The power circuit of each card follows a 2+1 design with a 2-phase GPU voltage regulator and a single-phase memory voltage regulator. The former has 2 power MOSFETs in each phase and also has seats for additional transistors. Thus, the GPU power circuit can be reinforced if necessary. No external power is required. The GT215 is satisfied with what it can get from the power section of the PCI Express slot.
An uP6210 chip from uPI Semiconductor is used as the controller. The same chip is employed in the power circuit of the Gainward GeForce GT220 1024MB. The memory power supply is controlled by an uP6161 chip; we saw it earlier on the Gainward GeForce GT220 1024MB, too.
Both cards are equipped with GDDR5 memory from Samsung (K4G10325FE-HC05, 1Gb, 1.5V, 1000 (4000) MHz).
Eight such chips make up a graphics memory bank of 1 gigabyte with 128-bit bus. Thus, these two cards represent the faster version of GeForce GT 240.
Each card’s memory frequency is pre-overclocked from 850 (3400) to 945 (3780) MHz, which improves memory bandwidth from 54.4 to 60.5GBps. This is still lower than the Radeon HD 5750’s 73.6GBps, though.
The two GT215 GPUs have the same marking of GT215-450-A2 and were manufactured at the same time: on the 40th week of this year. They are also pre-overclocked to the same level: from 550/1340MHz to 585/1424MHz. This is still too low in comparison with Nvidia’s earlier solutions. The GPUs don’t even make it to 600MHz.
Each card is equipped with DVI-I, HDMI and D-Sub connectors, saving the user the trouble of connecting adapters. You may only need one (a DVI-I → HDMI) to connect two monitors with DVI inputs. Nvidia’s new 40nm GPUs can work with audio, bypassing S/PDIF, so you don’t have to connect any additional cables. SLI technology is supported but, even though the GeForce GT 240 should be considerably faster than the GeForce GT 220, we guess multi-GPU subsystems built out of such cards won’t be popular.
Thus, the Palit GT 240 Sonic and Gainward GeForce GT240 1024MB GDDR5 GS look absolutely equal to each other, except that the latter has a seemingly more effective cooler that may help it overclock better just as is expected from a Golden Sample product. Well, we are yet to check out of the Gainward version is an elite product or you can just as well buy a Palit GT 240 Sonic.