Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1GL: PCB Design and Specifications
This product is shipped in a very compact box which contains the graphics card, a disc with drivers and a user manual. The only extra accessory you can find inside is a low-profile mounting frame.
The graphics card is cute and small and doesn’t show any visual sign of the potential of its GF108 processor.
This Gigabyte GeForce GT 430 has a half-height form-factor and is very short. Perhaps it’s even the shortest graphics card we’ve ever seen. It should easily fit into any system case but you must take note that for all its small size and entry-level positioning this card is equipped with a dual-slot cooler. It means you need some space around the slot you are going to plug your GV-N430OC-1GL into.
When we took the cooler off, we could see a very densely populated PCB. The power circuit is simple and uses two uP6103 controllers from uPI Semiconductor located on the reverse side of the PCB. The left part of the face side of the PCB is where the discrete voltage regulator components are located: chokes, power transistors and capacitors. There is no need for an external power connector because the GF108 is the most economical GPU in the Nvidia Fermi line-up.
The card is equipped with eight memory chips Samsung K4W1G1646E-HC11. We saw such DDR3 (or gDDR3 as Samsung calls them) chips on a few models of Radeon HD 5570 and 5450 cards. They have a capacity of 1 gigabit and work at a voltage of 1.5 volts. The HC11 suffix stands for a rated frequency of 900 (1800) MHz and that's indeed the memory frequency of the GV-N430OC-1GL card. The memory chips are connected to the GPU with a 128-bit bus, so the peak memory bandwidth is 28.8 GBps. That’s quite enough for the product category the Nvidia GeForce GT 430 belongs to.
The GF108 die is very compact and its packaging lacks a protective frame. The chip installed on our sample of the GV-N430OC-1GL was manufactured on the 35th week of 2010 and is revision A1. The Gigabyte card’s GPU frequencies are somewhat higher than those of the reference one: 730 MHz for the main domain and 1460 MHz for the shader domain. The manufacturer thinks that’s quite enough to justify the letters OC (for factory overclocking) in the product’s name. The GPU has a standard configuration with 96 stream processors, 16 texture-mapping units, and 4 raster back-ends.
The standard full-height mounting bracket offers an analog D-Sub connector together with DVI-I and HDMI ports. The latter two are available with the low-profile bracket but the image quality may be an issue in high display modes considering the use of a flexible cable. The described GeForce GT 430 is equipped with an HDMI connector but has a seat for a DisplayPort on its PCB.
The cooling system is just a plain aluminum heatsink with two 40mm fans. As opposed to the reference cooler, Gigabyte’s one has a double height, so you won’t be able to install the GV-N430OC-1GL into system cases that allow single-slot graphics cards only, such as some low-profile HTPCs or barebone systems. On the other hand, the high-performance cooler promises a comfortable level of noise.