NVIDIA has been dominating the market share for GPUs for quite some time now. But have they truly dominated the low-end market which AMD is holding on to? Lets find out in this Zotac GT 730 Review.
NVIDIA® PureVideo® HD Technology
The combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers stunning picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.TrueHD and DTS-HD
Full support for TrueHD and DTS-HD advanced lossless multi-channel HD audio codecs brings the rich sound of the master recording to your living room.
The easiest way to optimize your games and keep your drivers up to date, the GeForce Experience application automatically notifies you of new driver releases from NVIDIA. With a single click, you’ll be able to update the driver directly, without leaving your desktop.
NVIDIA PhysX® Technology
Full support for NVIDIA PhysX technology enables a totally new class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic experience.
NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync
Nothing is more distracting than framerate stuttering and screen tearing. The first tends to occur when framerates are low, the second when framerates are high. Adaptive V-Sync is a smarter way to render frames. At high framerates, VSync is enabled to eliminate tearing. At low frame rates, it’s disabled to minimize stuttering.
Anti-Aliasing Mode: NVIDIA FXAA™
Anti-aliasing smooths out “jaggies” (jagged edges) but can be demanding on frame rates. Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA) is a new antialiasing technology that produces beautiful, smooth lines with minimal performance impact. And with Kepler-based GPUs, you can enable FXAA in hundreds of game titles through the NVIDIA Control Panel.
NVIDIA 3D Vision™-Ready1
NVIDIA 3D Vision brings a fully immersive, stereoscopic 3D experience to the PC. A combination of high-tech wireless glasses and advanced software, 3D Vision transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D. Get up to 2x monitor and keyboard brightness with NVIDIA 3D LightBoost technology. In addition, you can enjoy 3D movies and 3D digital photographs from 3DVisionLive.com in eye-popping, crystal-clear quality.
ABOUT THE GT 730
The GeForce GT 730 was launched in June 2014. It is a Middle-Class Graphics Card based on the second revision of the Kepler Architecture. This Graphics Card Equips the Kepler GK208 GPU which is essentially a power optimized version of the GK107 GPU. With a rated board TDP of 25W, it requires at least a 300W PSU and it relies entirely on the PCI Slot for power, meaning no extra connectors are required.
|GT 740||GT 730 DDR3 128Bit||GT 730 2GB DDR3 64bit||GT 730 GDDR5|
|Memory Size||1GB GDDR5 or 2GB DDR3||1GB DDR3||2GB DDR3||1GB GDDR5|
|Memory Bandwidth||80GB/s or 28.8||28.8GB/s||14.4GB/s||40.1 GB/s|
DDR3 vs GDDR5 – Which is better?
As you can see, there are 3 variants of the GT 730, namely the 1gb 128bit DDR3, 2gb 64bit DDR3 and the 1gb 64bit GDDR5. Our GT 730 is the 1GB 64bit GDDR5 version. But what do all these numbers mean? Essentially, GDDR5 is faster than DDR3 because it has more bandwidth. As seen in the table, the GDDR5 version is faster than both 64bit and 128bit versions of DRR3.
About ZOTAC GT 730
Zotac didn’t really changed much about the GT 730. Their Zotac GT 730 however is covered by Zotac’s extended warranty program. The most notable implementation of Zotac aside from its warranty is its Dual Slot cooler. Yes, you read it right, The card is dual slotted because of its cooler. This is not commonly seen on low-end cards. Most companies just put on a cooler just for the sake of not frying the chip. But Zotac made a good move by beefing up the cooler. It also give users a premium feel towards their low-end products.
Processor: Intel Core i5 4690k 3.5Ghz
Motherboard: ECS Z87H3-A2X
Memory: Gskill Ripjaws 1600Mhz 8GB
Storage: Samsung 840 Evo 120GB
PSU: Seasonic M12II 750w
Monitor: Dell E2310H
VGA: Zotac GT 730 1GB 64bit GDDR5
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
We tested our graphics card with a full-level playthrough of our selected games. We record the run with Fraps. Game settings are indicated in the charts. We only tested the card at 1080p because there’s no point in testing the card at a higher resolution considering its price point. We also didn’t overclock the card because our concept that people who will use this card will not be tinkering with its settings and just wants to play DOTA 2 and other eSports games at a solid 60FPS mark with eye-candy graphics.
In our DOTA 2 Benchmark, the GT 730 had higher Avg FPS than our R7 240 but the R7 240 had a higher minimum fps. With 100% Rendering, High Textures and High Shadows at 90fps avg, the user can still enable some eye-candy graphics options such as Anti-Aliasing, Ambient Occlusion and enable weather effects.
The GT 730 clearly dominated the R7 240 in our League of Legends Benchmark having a minimum fps of 60 compared to red team’s 16. That’s a 44FPS difference! Moving on to the Average and Highest Framerate, the GT 730 lead by around 13 and 20fps respectively. With much performance to spare, NVIDIA users could try to bump up the image quality by using VSR but it isnt recommended because of the 1GB Frame buffer limitation.
Moving on to a slightly demanding game, the GT 730 dominates again by having a greater overall performance by having around 10FPS difference compared to the R7 240.
Thanks to GT 730’s Memory Bandwidth Battlefield 4 become much more playable compared to the R7 240. That is, if you want console like gameplay at 30FPS. However, that note that in heavy fight scenes, the GT 730 tends to drop framerate around 23fps. Keep that in mind before engaging 5 enemies with your defibrillator.
Surprises, surprises. The GT 730 was able to achieve an average of 62FPS during our GTA V benchmark, That’s a 100% increase in framerate compared to the R7 240! We re-ran our GTA V benchmarks, but the GT 730 always averaged around 60-65 in every run. Do note that FPS dramatically dips when driving.
TEMPERATURE & POWER CONSUMPTION
The card idles at 29c and was only able to reach a max of 51c while running our series of Benchmarks. Zotac’s investment of beefing up its cooler really paid off. However, we weren’t able to gain some extra frames by making the card cooler because GPU boost is not enabled in this card.
We weren’t able to test the power consumption of the card but we will update it as soon as possible. To give you an idea the card’s TDP is rated at 25W which is 5W lower than our R7 240.
Performance. The GT 730 was able to exceed our expectations for a low end card. Thanks to its GDDR5 memory it was able to keep up with AAA games at a console like gameplay for 30fps on low settings. You can, however lower down the resolution to 768p to enjoy a much smoother gameplay. Still, we recommend on saving up some cash to buy a more decent card such as the 750 or 950 if you really want to play AAA Games.
Build Quality. Hands Down Zotac for investing in the GT 730’s Cooler. We hope that more graphics card partners place a better cooler for its low-end cards. A minor improvement that brings tons of joy to users. Zotac also backs this card up with its Extended Warranty program covering 3yrs of worry free gaming experience.
Functionality. NVIDIA continues to support its old model cards via driver updates and extra functionalities are enabled via extended features of GeForce Experience.
Bundle. NVIDIA doesn’t include any free game to their low-end hardware. I’d dig some freebies still though.
Value. Priced at $66(Php 2,900) the card is excellent for its price and give budget oriented gamers a stable & decent framerate at competitive eSports games. Its for those people who wants to spend their money more on in-game items and just want to try out AAA Games.
The ZOTAC GT 730 1GB GDDR5 is a great option for budget oriented gamers who wants the better bang for the buck card in this price point. Thanks to its GGDR5 memory, it was able to outperform the R7 240 in our series of tests. However, the ZOTAC Gt 730 1GB GDDR5 is priced $10 more than the R7 240. If you have $10 more to spare, go get the Zotac GT 730 as it will give you a better experience with marginally higher framerates. For those people looking for a good GPU that provides quality gameplay but wont rekt your wallet, the ZOTAC GT 730 1GB GDDR5 is a good option and should easily be on your top choices.
ZOTAC backs the GT730 with a solid 2-year warranty and once registered, a 3-year warranty. B2G gives this card its B2G Value Award & B2G Bronze Award!