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Nvidia's new low-cost graphics card

Geforce 9400 GT reviewed

Yesterday a sample of the Geforce 9400 GT arrived at our office. Our benchmark analysis of the Zotac card reveals what the low-cost solution is capable of - and what exceeds the capabilities.

Geforce 9400 GT reviewed
 
Geforce 9400 GT reviewed [Source: view picture gallery]

The Geforce 9400 GT is supposed to replace the 8500 GT respectively 8400 GS. According to its position in the lower performance region the card is likely to cost less than €50 (about $73). But you will have to accept some restrictions.

Here you can see the technical specifications:

Producer Nvidia Geforce AMD Radeon  
  8600 GT 9600 GT 9500 GT 9400 GT HD 3450 HD 3650 HD 3850
Chip G84 G94 G96(b) G96b RV620 RV670 RV670
Architecture (Nanometer) 80 65 65 (b: 55) 55 55 55 55
Frequency core (MHz) 540 650 550 550 600 700 668
Frequency Shader ALUs (MHz) 1.188 1.625 1.375 1.350 600 700 668
Frequency memory (MHz) 700 900 800 400 500 800 828
Shader version 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.1
Shader ALUs (VS/PS) 32 (skalar) 64 (skalar) 32 (skalar) 16 (skalar) 40 (8 Vec5) 120 (24 Vec5) 320 (64 Vec5)
Video memory (MiByte) 256 512 256/512 256/512 256/512 256/512 256/512
Memory type GDDR3 GDDR3 DDR2/GDDR3 DDR2 DDR2 DDR2/GDDR3 GDDR3
Calculating power (GFLOP/s, Pixel Sh.) 76,03 208 88 44 48 168 427,5
Texturefill (MTex/s) 8.640 20.800 8.800 4.400 2.400 6.000 10.688
Memory bandwidth (GiByte/s) 22,4 57,6 25,6 12,8 8 25,6 52,99


Zotac Geforce 9400 GT Zone Edition: 2.5 ns VRAM (picture: PCGH)
 
Zotac Geforce 9400 GT Zone Edition: 2.5 ns VRAM (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]
Zotac Geforce 9400 GT Zone Edition: silent, because of the passive cooler (picture: PCGH)
 
Zotac Geforce 9400 GT Zone Edition: silent, because of the passive cooler (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]
The theoretical performance reveals that the card won't be able to compete with the 9500 GT. The memory interface stays at 128 bit indeed, but in contrast to the more expensive model, only DDR2 memory with 400 MHz is used. Because of that the memory bandwidth is reduced from 25.6 to 12.8 GiByte per second. The numbers of Shader ALUs and texture units (TMUs) have been halved - their clock speed stays at 550 MHz. All this suggests that the Geforce 9500 GT will be twice as fast as the new Geforce 9400 GT.

Our test system:

Geforce 9400 GT: GPU-Z delivers some wrong details, but the card carries a G96b with 55 nm structure. (picture: PCGH)
 
Geforce 9400 GT: GPU-Z delivers some wrong details, but the card carries a G96b with 55 nm structure. (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]
Test system and configuration
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 @ 3,600 MHz (400x9)
Board: Asus P5N-D (Nforce 750i SLI chipset)
RAM: 4 x 1,024 MiByte DDR2-800 (5-5-5-15)
OS: Windows Vista 64 Bit with SP1
Driver:
• Forceware 177.79 (HQ)
• Catalyst 8.7 (AI def.)

VGA:
Geforce 9400 GT, 512 MiB DDR2, 550/1.350/400 MHz
• Geforce 9500 GT, 512 MiB GDDR3, 550/1.375/800 MHz
• Geforce 8600 GT, 256 MiB GDDR3, 600/1.188/700 MHz
• Radeon HD 3850, 256 MiB GDDR3, 668/828 MHz
• Radeon HD 3650, 512 MiB GDDR3, 750/800 MHz
• Radeon HD 3450, 256 MiB GDDR2, 594/495 MHz

As usual we use the High Quality settings of the Nvidia driver for all the Geforce cards. For AMD's Radeon models we stick to the Default A.I., since otherwise bugfixes and custom-designed optimizations would be ineffective.





--
Author: Raffael Vötter (Aug 26, 2008)






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Comments (15)

Comments 12 to 15  Read all comments here!
ruyven_macaran Re: Geforce 9400 GT reviewed
Super Moderator
28.07.2010 19:43
I'm not sure about CoD an Battlefield (never interested in the series anyway, now totally lost in dozens of sequels), but that Starcraft2 requires a bit more graphics power, then years old AoE3 or even WoW&W3 (which are as old and had outdated graphics even when brand new) shouldn't be a suprise.
Ar.Pi Re: Geforce 9400 GT reviewed
Senior Member
15.06.2009 00:27
Quote: (Originally Posted by Unregistered)
will the nvidia geforce 9400 gt play cod4 on highest settings ???


I wouldn't think on highest, no.

A lot also depends on resolution.

A 9500GT would prolly pull COD4 on highest with med/low res.
Ar.Pi Re: Geforce 9400 GT reviewed
Senior Member
20.04.2009 22:59
I can't see any reason of getting 9400 GT (unless where you buy has weird pricing). You can get 9500 GT for the same price (even with 20$ rebate). And even better just invest another 15$ and get yourself 4670 or 9600GT.

But even with 9500GT you can run COD5 fine on Max up to 1280 resolution.

If I was you (and presumably on tight budget), I would get 4830. (if you are in the US: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102822).

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