Nvidia Corp. has quietly added two graphics cards into entry-level OEM family. One of the graphics cards – the model 310 – is just a renamed GeForce 210, whereas another one – the model 205 – seems to be the lowest-performing possible discrete graphics card available today that will hardly beat even Intel’s latest integrated graphics solutions.
Specifications of Nvidia GeForce 310 are exactly the same as those of the GeForce 210, the number of stream processors as well as clock-speeds of the “novelty” are exactly the same, so is theoretical performance. Perhaps, the model 310 will get additional software-based capabilities, e.g., support for CUDA and/or PhysX, otherwise, this is the most controversial rename of a product by Nvidia.
The GeForce 205 graphics processing unit (GPU) seems to be a true blast from the past: the solution features 8 stream processors at 1402MHz clock-speed, 4 texture units and 4 render back ends operating at 589MHz frequency as well as 64-bit memory controller to provide up to 8GB/s of bandwidth. Specifications of the product resemble those of GeForce FX 5600/5700, performance-mainstream products from 2003. Obviously, the novelty sports DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.1, Nvidia PureVideo and so on; however, with extremely low performance this solution will slower than integrated graphics solutions from ATI/AMD, Nvidia itself or even Intel Corp.’s GMA 4500HD.
Ironically, Nvidia’s own web-page dedicated to the model 205 claims that “Every PC needs good graphics”, a very disputable statement, considering that performance-wise the solution should be close to something discrete that is six year old. The release of GeForce 205 seems to be Nvidia’s desperate attempt to address the market of very low-end graphics solutions for Intel’s latest Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 platforms. The move is rather strange, considering the fact that in less than two month time Intel launches Core i5 and Core i3 chips with advanced built-in graphics cores, which are more than likely to beat Nvidia’s GeForce 205.
Both GeForce 205 and GeForce 310 are aimed only at OEMs and will be available only inside branded systems.